Graeme's leaders

Graeme's leaders

Viking Lars | Saturday, 9 February 2019

Graeme Hird makes the tapered, braided leaders that Paul swears by for his jungle fishing for snake head and gourami. Being a bit of a leader nerd myself. I’ve used furled leaders for trout fishing (and still do on occasion, more later). Generally I find that braided and furled leaders pick up too much water, get soaked and spray excessively on the first false cast.

The one occasion where I do use a furled leader (made of tying thread, I think) is when doing no weight/low weight nymph fishing. I have a few screaming orange, short furled leaders that I picked up at the BFFI some years ago, and they function extremely well as an indicator. The trick behind this leader is that it's quite short (3 feet, I think) and I prefer a long length of un-tapered mono for nymphing.

I seem to have been under the misunderstanding that Grame’s braid-leaders were also twisted/furled, which they are not, as far as I can deduce from the various Board-posts where they’ve been discussed.

Graeme splices braids of decreasing breaking strain (and hence thickness, I assume) together, and it’s obvious that will in the end form a tapered leader. Still I was concerned about the braid picking up water and causing spray.

But Graeme then impregnates the leader with a linseed-oil/varnish mixture, which I suspect completely eliminates the spay-issue, and probably also adds a little mass and lots of durability.

So - I think it’s on to the internet, find some braid and braiding needles, order some and start experimenting. I fish  a lot of big flies for pike, including poppers.

My leader design is *very* simple (one or to thicknesses of very heavy nylon for the butt and 50cm of wire for the tippet - done. It works fine, but when I go for “smaller” flies (pike-small is 15-20cm) on hooks, often “lightly” dressed, this leader is way too aggressive. Here’s where I want to experiment with Graeme’s design.

There's quite a lot of chatter on the Board about Graeme's leaders, and I thinkk a search for "varnish" brings up most, and otherwise, here's a starting point.

Have a great weekend