With the trout season now in full swing here in the UK, our thoughts turn from the heavy tungsten nymphs to presenting our flies on the surface.  This is in my opinion the ultimate way to catch our quarry in the spring and summer months.  Good presentation of our flies is critical to capture that rising fish, having spent in some cases many hours during the winter months perfecting that pattern at the vice, all hopes can be dashed if your presentation lets you down…

Fear not, one key ingredient you can use in your armoury is the new addition to the Masterclass range from Fulling Mill, The MASTERCLASS Tapered Leaders.

They are available in two lengths 9ft (0x-12lb Tip through to 7x-2lbTip) and 12ft (2x-8lb Tip through to 7x 2lb Tip). Formulated from advanced nylon copolymer material. The ideal addition to your fly line to help turn over any fly patterns, sizes or styles with ease.

Attaching the leader to your fly line couldn’t be easier, simply tie the butt end (the thicker end) using your preferred knot onto the loop of your fly line or braided loop. Alternatively, tie in a perfection loop to the butt end and use a loop to loop connection to fly line.  I would recommend also using a small tippet ring at the tip end of the tapered leader then tie in a length of Masterclass Copolymer to which your chosen fly pattern is attached. Continue with the Tapered theme when attaching the tippet material. So for example if I’m using a Size: 3X – 6lb Tip Tapered leader, I will attach a length of Size: 5.56lb – 2.53kg – 4.5X or less copolymer.

Using a tippet ring 1.5mm or 2mm will prolong the life of your tapered leader 10 fold.  Your fly can be tied directly to the end of the tapered leader if you so wish, but I’ll leave that one up to you.

Presentation, as I’ve mentioned, is key and use of a tapered leader between fly line and tippet will help in transferring the energy from the fly line through to the fly. So the turnover of the leader, tippet and more importantly the fly will be more controlled.  Use of the tapered leader and tippet should help present your fly to the rising fish more effectively with very little that will spook the fish, such as your fly line anywhere near your target. This, of course, assuming your overall casting is up to scratch…

The leaders have an ideal taper ratio and the butt end not too excessive which can cause issues if they are too thick as it hampers turnover and in some cases, they can even kink or spiral which defeats the object of use.

Signs are good this season for the dry fly angler, the Masterclass range of leaders and tippet material are readily to hand in my pack and never too far away when the trout are looking up that’s for sure.  A selection of products I definitely recommend in pursuit of the rising fish.

Have a great season and all the best…

Phil Ratcliffe
Fulling Mill Ambassador
Sage, Rio, Redington Pro Guide
@pr_fly_fishing

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