When selecting the best leader for your next fly fishing expedition, it's important to consider the length, the diameter of the butt section, and the diameter of the tippet. In order to determine what length leader you need, you'll need to know your water conditions, the type of fly line you'll be using, and your target species of fish. Sinking lines require short (3-5 foot) leaders, while floating lines will need 7-12 foot leaders. You'll also want shorter leaders for murky or turbulent waters, which create poor visibility or faster-moving fish. If you're working in shallow, very clear, or slow-moving or still waters, you'll want a longer leader. You'll need longer leaders with more selective fish such as trout, while short will be fine for fish that aren't shy of bait. You'll need a butt section with a diameter approximately two thirds the diameter of the tip of your fly line. Small flies will also need a small diameter tippet. As a general rule, divide the size of the fly by three to get the "X" rating of the tippet.
The right leader can help you bring in a variety of species of fish in different conditions while fly fishing. At Sportsman's Warehouse, we offer furled leaders, pretied leaders, and more to help you on your journey, whether you're targeting trout, salmon, or musky. Shop from our collection of leaders and tippets from trusted manufacturers including Rio, Orvis, and Scientific Anglers.