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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are you all using for keeping blue water mono leaders semi-stretched and ready? Nada? Building some tarpon and other blue water stuff.
Thanks,
Matt
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Unless your looking to fish IGFA leader I feel this is pretty much a thing of the past I feel. They look cool but I don’t see much benefit in it if fishing heavier tippets.
 

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Unless your looking to fish IGFA leader I feel this is pretty much a thing of the past I feel. They look cool but I don’t see much benefit in it if fishing heavier tippets.
Why do you say that? Have you discovered some magic elixir to straighten the coil out of heavier leaders? If so, please share. I know the leather patches work for the light stuff, but 60- to 80-pound leader is a different story.

I'm still using the Outfitters stretcher case I bought years ago. Don't think they're even made anymore. Space is a premium on my skiff, but I'll always find room for that case during tarpon season.
 

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To be honest I don’t have to much issue pulling new fluoro off an ande spool and getting to work with it. Tie it on and give it a hardy pull through your hands and get to work. I am also not building a new leader every time as my rods stay rigged year round and add length as needed, or when changing sizes.

Some of the more traditional wooden stretchers I have seen other use have flies tied on them to save time when tying/re tying onto igfa style leaders with specific lengths for certain sections. To be honest I don’t want to be tied down with what fly to use as what’s in my stretcher as at most times I have over 200 flies in my box and at times am not married to one exact pattern. If rolling without the traditional setup and using the pvc tube method I still don’t really get the use to carry the other piece of gear. Keep some leather or a towel on the skiff and do what smackdaddy says. Just my opinion your mileage may vary.
 

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Years ago stretchers for heavy fly gear were mandatory since the curl in heavy mono wouldn't straighten out otherwise... Most of us quit using stretchers with the advent of fluorocarbon leader material - since they're just not needed... I have two stretchers and haven't used either of them in years...

Using 80lb fluoro bite tippets connected to 20lb hard Mason mono tippets - all that's needed is to hang the fly on something (a cleat, one of the spokes on a steering wheel, anything that's fixed and easy to hang a fly on...) then pull the leader hard and hold it for a moment - and any curl simply disappears (both from the bite tippet and the Mason...) , and that leader will stay straight all day long....

If you're determined to use heavy mono bite tippets - then you are going to need that stretcher... but as a guy who puts a lot of beginners on big tarpon in the backcountry of the 'glades where an 80lb bite tippet is standard... they just aren't needed if you make the switch to fluoro for your bite tippet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys! Wealth of information here! I’ve only had problems with butt sections made from 80# Ande as my leather patch won’t straighten that.
Matt
 
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Unless you're using some monster fly line... 80lb for a butt section is probably more than needed... I use 40lb for 8 & 9wt lines, 50 for 10wts, and only 60lb for 11 through 13wt lines... I keep a permanently spliced butt section on all of my lines (all floaters for smaller lines -then intermediates for size 10 on up...). Good idea to always remember that fly lines are rarely any stronger than 30lb.... Heavier butt sections are only for matching the size of your fly line (needed if you're tossing heavier, bigger, flies that won't turn over properly unless the fly line and the butt section of your leader flex at the same rate... as though your leader was just a carefully designed extension of the line you're using...

Here's the lengths... 8wt - 4 feet, 9wt 4.5, 10wt 5 feet, 12wt 6 feet - and all of my butt sections are Ande or Sufix mono.... Tippets are hard mason (15 or 20lb) bite tippets all fluorocarbon - unless we're working something with teeth -then it's a bite tippet that ranges from #3 (for macks, bluefish, tiny sharks) all the way up #6 for big critters (haywire twist on each end of the wire... then an Albright for tippet to wire in light weights and tiny solid tuna rings at the tippet end for big fish (and heavier wire). All of my wire is done up using standard Malin's coffee colored trolling wire...

Hope this helps....
 

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I used to have an awesome stretcher. Wood box with a carved sailfish in the lid. My dad made it for me. But since I switched to fluourocarbon years ago I haven't used one since nor see no need. Just one less thing I have to have on the boat.
 

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I still find a leader stretcher useful for tarpon fishing in circumstances where I use a quick change leader even with fluoro. I don’t use quick change leaders for Oceanside fish, but I do use them early and late season in the Backcountry and the Glades. A quick change leader and a loaded stretcher are a great way to quickly switch out flies after break offs.

I built a small stretcher out of Starboard that fits down into the dead space inside my Patagonia Great Divider and I find it very useful.

Stretcher.jpeg
 

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My stretcher has sat unused. Doubt I'm going to catch a world record poon
@Backwater gave me this tip.
Get a spool of 80# then put some nails with rubber washer to protect the line. I stretched it back and forth across my downstairs garage ceiling. Left it for a week then cut it into 24" pieces then stored them in a 1" PVC tube with caps on either end
i have 2 tubes one with 80# and one with 50#. I keep them in my Tarpon fly bag
Of course mark your tubes
 
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Here's my solution for leaders - I had an article in Florida Sportsman about it more than ten years ago now.... I keep four spools of leaders ready to go each one is clearly labeled, 12-30, -20-40, 20-60, and 20-80.. The first number is the tippet size, the second number is the bite tippet size... Tippets are mono - bite tippets are fluoro....

Each leader is actually a pair of leaders joined by a common bite tippet about 30" long with quick change loops on each leader end... Every pair of leaders is looped together in a continuous chain (I like to have at least a dozen pairs on hand... In use you just peel off the top leader, cut the bite tippet in half and you have a leader ready to go. Attach the fly, briefly stretch the leader -then loop it to the butt section and you're in business...

Later on today I'll find the pics and post a few to illustrate what I'm talking about. This system works very well - particularly at night when you can't see very well for knot tying...
 

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Sorry for the delay... here's a pic of those leader wheels. They consist of a pair of leaders joined by a common bite or shock tippet that's 30" long -then looped onto the next pair until you've created a chain of leader pairs wound onto a convenient spool. In use, pull off the top pair, cut the bite tippet in half (leaving 15" of heavy tippet to tie a fly onto... ) and you're then ready to do a loop to loop connection onto the butt section of your leader.
 

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I have tried it a bunch of ways and actually do fish records on occasion, well my angler does (girlfriend). I tried stretchers and it was honestly a pain bc of the need to keep flies tied on, never knew what I would throw throughout the day.

Now I keep a long butt section on my fly lines usually 40-50lb. I pre tie and measure my bite and class tippets leaving my bite tippet slightly longer than the 12in required (room for a knot). I will then coil up my class tippet and store in a 18in long (1in diameter) long PVC tube that has a 4in diameter PVC cap adapter on it, screw on type. this way my bites stay straight and my class is coiled in the the 4in part of the tube. I can then mark the lids with tape. 2lb/20lb, 16lb/50lb, ect.. I put my igfa measurements on the tube when I need to retie I can simply tie my class to my butt section and measure it. then tie my fly on and measure bite section.
 

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I have tried it a bunch of ways and actually do fish records on occasion, well my angler does (girlfriend). I tried stretchers and it was honestly a pain bc of the need to keep flies tied on, never knew what I would throw throughout the day.

Now I keep a long butt section on my fly lines usually 40-50lb. I pre tie and measure my bite and class tippets leaving my bite tippet slightly longer than the 12in required (room for a knot). I will then coil up my class tippet and store in a 18in long (1in diameter) long PVC tube that has a 4in diameter PVC cap adapter on it, screw on type. this way my bites stay straight and my class is coiled in the the 4in part of the tube. I can then mark the lids with tape. 2lb/20lb, 16lb/50lb, ect.. I put my igfa measurements on the tube when I need to retie I can simply tie my class to my butt section and measure it. then tie my fly on and measure bite section.
Can you post a pic of the tube to see how you connected the cap and pipe? Thanks
 

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I have tried it a bunch of ways and actually do fish records on occasion, well my angler does (girlfriend). I tried stretchers and it was honestly a pain bc of the need to keep flies tied on, never knew what I would throw throughout the day.

Now I keep a long butt section on my fly lines usually 40-50lb. I pre tie and measure my bite and class tippets leaving my bite tippet slightly longer than the 12in required (room for a knot). I will then coil up my class tippet and store in a 18in long (1in diameter) long PVC tube that has a 4in diameter PVC cap adapter on it, screw on type. this way my bites stay straight and my class is coiled in the the 4in part of the tube. I can then mark the lids with tape. 2lb/20lb, 16lb/50lb, ect.. I put my igfa measurements on the tube when I need to retie I can simply tie my class to my butt section and measure it. then tie my fly on and measure bite section.
I have tried it a bunch of ways and actually do fish records on occasion, well my angler does (girlfriend). I tried stretchers and it was honestly a pain bc of the need to keep flies tied on, never knew what I would throw throughout the day.

Now I keep a long butt section on my fly lines usually 40-50lb. I pre tie and measure my bite and class tippets leaving my bite tippet slightly longer than the 12in required (room for a knot). I will then coil up my class tippet and store in a 18in long (1in diameter) long PVC tube that has a 4in diameter PVC cap adapter on it, screw on type. this way my bites stay straight and my class is coiled in the the 4in part of the tube. I can then mark the lids with tape. 2lb/20lb, 16lb/50lb, ect.. I put my igfa measurements on the tube when I need to retie I can simply tie my class to my butt section and measure it. then tie my fly on and measure bite section.
Also ... how do you tie your class to your butt? Loop to loop or knot? Toying with the idea of loop to loop
 

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Loop to loop all day long for me... a simple surgeon's loop for the end of the butt section - then a matching one for the leader end... If I have my angler using a simple Poor Boy leader -just a straight length of 20 or 30lb fluoro without any bite tippet each loop is the same surgeon's loop (double the line then start with an overhand for both strands -then carry it forward with a second turn before tightening...).

If it's heavy or class tippet (tippet with shock or bite tippet at the bitter end then I'll usually do a bimin twist at the other end of the tippet - then do a surgeon's loop with the doubled line formed by the bimini.
Here's a photo...

Very tight bimini twist for the hard Mason 20lb shown - then a quick surgeon's loop as close to the bimini as possible. I try to make up 10 to 20 leaders at a session so that I never have to tie a leader on the water....
 

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If it's heavy or class tippet (tippet with shock or bite tippet at the bitter end then I'll usually do a bimin twist at the other end of the tippet - then do a surgeon's loop with the doubled line formed by the bimini.
Here's a photo...
I actually do this knot for my backing to fly line and class tippet to the rest of the leader.
 

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Sorry for the delay... here's a pic of those leader wheels. They consist of a pair of leaders joined by a common bite or shock tippet that's 30" long -then looped onto the next pair until you've created a chain of leader pairs wound onto a convenient spool. In use, pull off the top pair, cut the bite tippet in half (leaving 15" of heavy tippet to tie a fly onto... ) and you're then ready to do a loop to loop connection onto the butt section of your leader.
How many are wound on there at any given time? I may give that a try.
 
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