Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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One of the 3 flyrod setups I use.

  1. Quarrow 5wt reel
  2. Cabelas Three Fork 7'6" 3WT rod
  3. 5wt FT line 30 lb Dacron backing
  4. 6lb test spider wire braid leader
  5. Orange or black foam spider.

I use this setup most frequently because of the lighter rod … causes less arm and neck pain… with the 5wt line experimentally has proven less effort in the cast.  I ruined a five dollar mono leader within an hour some nasty knots. Ended up tying on some 6lb braid caught my personal best gill at 9.8”. I have personally caught many hundred gill in just a few weeks on this setup. I have used braid ever since.

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Replies to This Discussion

nice outfit Ken;;  bring it to the rendevou this spring!!  you;ll need it!!

carl i just dont trust myself casting with others in the boat or around me... lol

Nothing wrong with that.
I prefer a stepped or tapered leader, because I use long ones.
I tie my own, in fact, normally between 9 and 10 feet in length.
To that I add a fluoro or mono tippet.
Thus, the taper transmits the lines energy down the line to the fly. Long, untapered leader lengths tend to rob some energy and make more it difficult to get a good roll-out and control of the fly. Now, I don't wanna come off like some fly guru, but things worked better when I switched to this system.
Now, I'm curious - should I try some 4# braid?
You know I'm gonna!!

I’m like you David i like to do things right but i didnt know how long i would be doing the fly fishing thing. i was really ticked off i destroyed the 5 dollar leader. it was tapered and i was told i needed it at the sporting goods store I bought the line backing etc. .. bought this tackle on the way down to the lake and was going to practice hands on. The lake was tipped off to me by the local DNR. I destroyed the leader in probably less than an hour. The only thing i had to tie on was braid and high visibility yellow.  I looked up on my smart phone how to tie a nail knot tie it on and continued.i had to shorten the leader down from 9ft to 6ft or shorter. The little gills off the dock didnt mind so i set forth and caught many gillage on the main lake from the boat. The bite was on whether fly fishing or bobber fishing everyone was catching fish. casting and tangling was a nightmare, then it happened i hooked a larger fish and fought heavily... it ended up as my personal bes gill  just short of ten inches..

now the braid sits on top nicer but the casts are a little awkward towards the end due probably the liteness of the braid. That day i destroyed and had to retie many leaders.

Necessity is the Mother of Adaptation.
How did you "destroy" the leaders.
I've worked in my share of 'wind knots', but I can't say I've ever destroyed them.

The thing that saves a level leader is when it is short. Plainly, there is just less mismatch length between the line and the fly. The braid probably has too much flex to maximize transfer like a hard mono or fluoro type, but because it's short you get along with it.
You may want to try a 4-6# fluoro lead and see how that works.

since then Ive figured out what i was doing wrong and corrected it... not letting the rod load up in the back cast and starting the forward cast to soon and the fly would snap like a whip forward. 

Okay, rhythm and timing.
Every rod has it's own, and without a tapered leader, it's gonna be more important.

the only time i picked the rig up this season was to practice casting left handed... i still dont have the hang of it.

Heck, I dont even try to cast southpaw!

Ken;; just bring your fly rod buddy;;  practice roll casting!!  I roll cast 90 percent of the time;; can cast pretty dang far to; and reasonably accurate!!  I just use regular mono line tied to the fly line;; works great for me!!  easier for me to change !!  I don't use a real long leader   prefer the tippet part  not going back into the rod eyes!!

make your own leaders ken, not hard.if your like me you have lots of spools of mono or braid in different tests lying around,especially those the ones with only a few yards of line left.i have made leaders out of braid.the good and bad with braid is it floats.good for my bass bug rod as i only use a 6 ft leader of 30 lb braid.for the 3 wt i would start with 30 then maybe 12 for the mid section down to 8 for the end only cause braid is so thin. i try to leave a loop to tie on mono or a micro ring works.the tippet is 6 or 4 mono for me.i use camo line.most of the knots seem to appear in the tippet.a lot easier to change flies with a mono tippet.and with the loop on the end of the leader easy to tie on new tippet.black spiders and poppers were the ticket for me all summer.kept running out of em which is a good thing,

thanks jim... i have alot to learn about leaders etc.... but im embarrassed to say i did not give the flyrods a shot at all this year... now last year  i got so hooked on it that's all i wanted to do and to catch everything on the fly. fish were out deep i still continued looking for fish in the shallows. i caught so many fish with this setup i just left it alone. however i am a notorious tweeker. thanks

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