How to Set up a Weight on a Fly Fishing Line

How to Set up a Weight on a Fly Fishing Line
Fly fishing in different areas, times and seasons poses challenges for your tackle because you must present different flies as they are in nature. For example, nymphs, shrimp and leaches do not float; salmon flies do not bounce on the bottom.
Fishing below the surface requires either a sinking tip fly line, which uses a weighted tip fly line to pull the leader below the surface, or applying weights directly to the line.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly fishing reel spooled with line
  • Pliers
  • Package of weights
Step 1
Pull the line from the fly rod until all of the leader is unspooled and approximately 12 inches of fly line extends past the end of the rod. Lay the rod in a safe place.
Step 2
Choose the correct weight size based on multiple factors, including water speed, weight of the fly line and depth needed for correct presentation.
Step 3
Position the weight on the leader line based on the needed depth of the tackle presentation. The tackle usually will float above the weight, so there must be enough distance between the weight and tackle to let your tackle float, although not so much that the fly to makes it back to the surface.
Step 4
Pinch the weight onto the leader line in the desired location using the pliers. Before crimping completely tight, review the weight's placement and verify it is in the desired location. After this confirmation, crimp tightly so the weight will not move.
Step 5
Test the weight by casting your line into the water and watching for indicators you are fishing at the correct depth. If you want to be near the bottom, you should feel the weight bouncing along the bottom occasionally. If the fly should be one to two feet below the surface, you should be able to see it in the desired position. If your fly is not at the desired depth, remove the weight from the leader line and repeat Steps 3 through 5.

Tips & Warnings

Write down weight sizes and locations that work to avoid repeating the testing stage
Attaching a lanyard to your pliers keeps them close enough to reach quickly at any time
If using lead weights, never put them in your mouth and always wash your hand after handling them
Avoid damaging the leader line by not crimp the weight on too tightly. You will be able to see damage to the line if the crimp has been too tight.

Article Written By Jeremy Slaughter

Jeremy Slaughter is a tax, accounting and small business expert. After completing his master's degree in accounting at Keller Graduate School of Management, Slaughter co-founded an accounting and tax firm where writing plays a daily role.

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