Easy Bonefish Leaders

We really like the “half again” leader formula – it’s easy to remember, turns over bonefish flies nicely, and can be easily adjusted to fit a variety of conditions.  Especially for Bonefishing, we find that the simpler the leader the better.  The “half-again” leader starts with a long butt, then half again, half again.

For example, a 5’ butt of 30-lb, 2 1/2 ’ section of 20-lb, 15” of 15-lb plus 27” tippet of 12 lb gives you an 11-foot leader. 

We recommend clear leader material such as Mason, Maxima Clear (not “Maxima Chameleon” or “Ultra Green”) Ande, Rio Saltwater IGFA or other brands designed for use in salt water.  The stiffness of Mason makes a good transition between fly line and leader, improving the ability of the leader to turn over the fly. Maxima, Ande and Rio are thinner than Mason,if you prefer a softer material.  Bring spools of 30-lb., 20-lb., 15-lb., 12-lb., 10-lb., and 8-lb. Mono.

Chip Bates with a nice 12 pound Bahamas Bonefish
Chip ties his own, you should too!

Standard leader length is 9 – 12 feet.  On a windy day, shorten your leader to 7 – 9 feet.  On a calm day, lengthen your leader to 12 – 14 feet (or more).  In either case, test out how your leader turns over the fly under the conditions that day and make any necessary adjustments.

Don’t Forget:  Check your leader regularly for wind knots or abrasion and replace if worn or weakened.

You can find more on leaders, like using Flourocarbon, why we recommend it and what knots to use, as well as other helpful information about bonefishing in the Bahamas in our “Bahamas Bonefishing What to Bring List”.

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