Fly Fishing Tips 1 min read

How to Make a Tapered Leader

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

June 23, 2016

tapered leader

Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions demonstrates how to make a tapered leader, here a 10-ft 4X leader. This a good leader for a typical trout nymphing rig.

Tapered Leader Formula

The leader formula used is a standard 60/20/20 where the leader consists of 60% butt section, 20% mid-section and 20% tippet.

tapered leader formula

Tapered Leader Formula

So for a 10-foot leader we would need a 6-foot long butt section, 2-foot long mid-section, and a 2-foot long tippet section.

tapered leader dimensions

Dimensions for a 10-foot leader

Tapered Leader Materials

Butt Section: 4-ft Maxima Chameleon 30-lb + 2-ft Maxima Chameleon 20-lb

Mid Section: 1-ft Maxima Ultragreen 15-lb + 1-ft Maxima Ultragreen 8-lb

Tippet Section: 1-ft Maxima Ultragreen 6-lb + 14-18″ Maxima Ultragreen 4-lb

Tim also recommends attaching a tippet ring to the end of the tippet section to make it easier to attach new tippet material and help prolong the life of your hand-tied leader.