Permit Leader System

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When it comes to salt water fly fishing for permit your leader system can sometime make or break your ability to present the fly correctly especially when dealing with heavy winds.  In this post you will learn many different reasons how important and good leader system is for permit and fly fishing the salt water flats.  We will cover knots, type of mono and tapers all of which I believe make a huge difference in the performance of your leader. 

Let’s start with Tapers.  I believe that when you pay money for a fly line, you get what you pay for.  You are paying for a beautiful machined tapered fly line that has been designed by scientists and fishing professionals that will help transfer store and transfer energy smoothly into the leader system.  If your leader system is not constructed as a continuation of your front taper on your fly line then I believe that valuable energy is wasted.  This energy is needed big time when fishing for permit for usually the leaders are longer (at least 12ft long) and the flies are bigger.  Both of these factors call for an extensive transfer of energy from the fly line to fully extend the longer leaders (especially into the wind) and roll over the heavier permit flies. 

 For this reason I like to tie my permit leaders with many equal length sections to create the best and smoothest storage and transfer of energy possible. If your leader acts as a continuation of your front fly line taper then the energy will transfer smoothly all the way to the fly very efficiently.   

Mono – I like to use the stiffer Scientific Anglers Salt Water mono when tying up my permit leaders.  I believe that the stiffer mono helps to store and hold energy easier than softer mono.  The main reason for this is the mono is stiff just like the stiffness of the fly line helping to hold energy in the system.   

I like to use the following mono sizes in equal lengths all the way to the fly for the best transfer of energy. Whatever length of leader you want just make the sections equal in length.   

As long as the Diameters of the mono continually decrease at an equal average your leader will transfer energy smoothly and efficiently.   

·       SA Salt Water 30# 

·       SA Salt Water 25# 

·       SA Salt Water 20# 

·       SA Salt Water 16# 

·       SA 16# Fluorocarbon (note the SA 16# Fluorocarbon tippit is smaller in diameter than the SA Salt Water 16# hard mono to help continue the smooth taper to the fly)


Knots – I personally like to tie a perfections loop at the end of my butt section.  


Chard Perfections Loop

This allows me to easily loop the leader onto the fly line. 

Then I like to use blood knots to connect the different sections together.  


Chard Blood Knot

I personally like to use 4 turn bloods from the 30# to the 25#, 4 turn 25# to 5 turn 20#, 5 turn 20# to 6 turn 16# and 6 turn 16# to 7 turn 16# Fluoro.   

The knot I like to use to the fly is a non slip loop knot.  


Chard Non Slip Loop

The loop knot helps the crab fly to hinge and dive straight to the bottom imitating a flying crab.   

With this leader system you will be able to make a great straight line presentation even into the wind helping to increase your odds tremendously.  And when permit fishing any angler will be happy to achieve any kind of advantage possible.

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