Taper for Good Turnover
I fish a small stillwater where I am only allowed to use a single fly. What would be the benefits, if any, of using a tapered leader?
Peter Cockwill replies: A tapered leader will definitely help with ‘turnover’ – the term used to describe the leader straightening out and landing the fly away from the end of the fly line. A tapered leader helps particularly when using dry flies or small nymphs as their weight alone often isn’t enough to achieve this turnover.
If you are just getting into flyfishing then I would suggest you use a level section of nylon about the same length as your rod. When coupled with weighted nymphs and small lures this should be enough to achieve turnover. And as you are likely to get the occasional tangle, replacing a few feet of level nylon is somewhat cheaper than replacing a tapered leader.
However, when or if, you do start using tapered leaders I suggest that after a few fly changes you add a couple feet of level nylon to the end of the leader to prolong the life of the taper. That is then known as the tippet.
Reprinted with permission of Trout Fisherman magazine.