Tie your own leader

There is a djungel of fly fishing leaders out there. Do you have you own favorite?

I have tried a lot of different brands and lengths but never really found a leader that beats the ones I tie myself. I did not invent this formula, only got inspired from a legend in the fly fishing world; Charles Ritz. He developed his own system and I changed it a little bit in order to make it work where I go fishing. I prefer pretty long leaders… 10 feet or more when fishing sea trout in the ocean and 12 feet or more when the dry fly is floating downstream some secret nordic river.

If you want to try, here is the JFF formula. You do not have to add extra centimeters in order to compensate lost material when doing the knot, it is already done. Loop knot: Perfection loop, all other knots: The blood knot. (it becomes slightly more aerodynamic than the grinner knot).

One more thing! The quality of the monofilament you use is of course very important. Check out different brands and compare the stiffness. You want a pretty stiff line in order to make the fly turn over when fishing, We use Maxima or Stroft…

Ok, it looks like this:

Dry fly leader, modified Ritz leader

0.50 = 140 cm

0.45 = 102 cm

0.40 = 46 cm

0.35 = 36 cm

0.30 = 29 cm

0.25 = 24 cm

0.20 = 20 cm

0.16 = 100 cm (last piece = flour carbon)

Total length ≈ 14 feet


Seatrout leader

0.50 = 130 cm

0.45 = 92 cm

0.40 = 44 cm

0.32 = 36 cm

0.27 = 30 cm

0.24 = 92 cm (last piece = flour carbon)

Total lenght ≈ 12 feet

Please let us know how you like the leaders! Good luck! /Fredrik



I tie my leaders from clear Amnesia with less steps and a tippet ring. Makes straightening a breeze, your leaders last longer and it’s very easy to vary/change your tippet!

Amos Garrett

Fredrik– Could you also do your leader formulas in Imperial measurements ( feet and inches)?– thanks– Amos


Leave a Reply to Amos Garrett Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>