Lake Fishing Line and Leader Set-Ups


Kat lives in Langley, BC. She’s a Library Learning Commons Teacher and has a Doctoral degree in Educational Practice with a focus on fly fishing narratives and educational practice. She started fly fishing in her teens and fishes with Nora, her dog and her dad. When she’s not fishing or teaching she’s writing about fishing.

This week  Kat shares her  two different line and leader set-ups, she uses for lake fishing.

Lake Fishing Trolling Line and Leader Set-Up

Troll or Cast Set-Up

  • Main Line – 
    • Float, Sink or intermediate main line.
  • Tapered Leader
    • Kat has a tendency to fish with 3x tippet and leaders as I am targeting trout mostly five pounds and up.  I also like to fish like an optimist and plan like a pessimist.  
    • “I know people like the ‘finesse’ of the finest tippet, but at the end of the day, I’d rather have had 3x when a surprise on the line ends up in my net and not lost in the lake, taking my fly with it.”
  • Sink Tip Alternative
    • A secondary alternative, and one that Kat typically uses on the river and not in the lake.  Is to have a sink tip or sinking leader with a loop to loop connection.  Tie a short piece of monofilament and tie on a fly with a non-slip loop knot.
  • Tippet
    • Typically the same strength or less than your leader.  ie. 3x to 4x or 5x.
  • Fly Connection
    • Non-Slip Loop to give the fly more natural movement.
Indicator Lake Fishing Line and Leader Set-Up

Indicator Set-UP

  • Main Line
    • Your float line or a specific indicator line that will have colouring marking depths for you.
  • Tapered Leader
    • Usually 3x tippet again, I err on using pre-made tapered indicator leaders, mainly because they are easier to get set-up and ready for the water.
  • Indicator
    • This is adjusted to the length of about a foot or two above where the fish are hanging out.
      • Example – Set the indicator at 15 feet if you see fish on the finder at 16-18t.
  • Tippet
    • Typically the same strength or less than your leader. 3x, 4x or 5x.
    • This will also be helpful when you need to add more length for targeting fish purposes.
  • Swivel and Split Shot
    • Swivel helps the fly naturally settle and flow with the wind.
    • Split shot may be added to the line just above the swivel by a few feet to help get the line down faster.

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