The tapered leaders in the market today work great, save yourself time, money and effort by buying a tapered leader you intend to fish with and as it  shortens supplement it with tippet. I like to combine the leader and tippet with a blood knot, there are other techniques but that is my preference (see our knot cheat sheet for instructions on tying a blood knot). It may be hard to judge the length of the leader after you start adding tippet, I like to use my fly rod as a reference in determining the length of the leader after I start tying on tippet to the leader. My personal suggestion is a 6X 9′ leader for trout.

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  1. One of the distinct advantages of tying your own tapered leaders is that you will always know the exact length of your tippet as well as each length of leader material all the way back to your fly line. If you've tied it, you'll know the exact recipe you've used and can replace successive sections as it becomes necessary. That means you'll save money in the long run, save time on the water, and be able to experiment with any recipe you've found or any novel recipes you have in mind.

    Preparing new leaders is also a pleasant activity when the temperatures drop and the snow flies each winter.

    You can purchase leader tying kits at a well-stocked fly shop or at one of the larger vendors on the web. The kit will provide you with the full range of diameters from butt to tippet.

    Try it !!

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