Re: Hand tied tapered leader vs. knotless tapered leaders
I used to always use tapered leaders for everything. That has changed a lot in the last 2 years and especially when I am fishing with heavy flies, and chucking for distance. An extremely stiff butt section really helps with turning over heavy flies, especially at distance. The factory tapered leader is more progressive in the taper, so it can be more fluid for good presentations, but will not turn over the flies as well as hand tied.
I have a great article on the recipe for hand tieds and the best materials to use. I will dig it up on Monday or Tuesday and send it to you. I think if you are casting for wiper or pike and need to really get heavy flies to turn over, it is worth learning the recipe.
For trout, in streams, I use the tapered section of a tapered leader that is about 3', then flat line from there. I agree with Mr. Tot that flat line is the best to manouver tough currents, and also sinks easier than a tapered leader. But with trout, it aint about casting....carp, same thing.
I made up a half dozen hand tieds for big stuff when I read that article. I still have 2. The butt section material is kinda spendy and you won't really use it for anything else, but it definitely helps.
That said, a few casting lessons will turn over the big stuff better than any material!
I wish people wouldn't whore out Colorado waters for the sake of notoriety.