The Old Leader
How does one know when a leader needs to be changed. In the lion pack, it’s when the old boy can no longer defend himself. In humans it’s usually when the company is failing or the party in power changes. But in fly fishing, it’s when the mono looses it elasticity. Mono has a bit of elasticity—the anount depends upon the stiffness of the material. Stiffer mono has less elasticity than very soft monos.
To begin the angling day, most fly fishers straighten the leader. Being a plastic, the mono “remembers” that it was wound on the reel, and so remains coiled when it’s pulled off the reel. Straighten the leader by stretching it and holding it in a stretched position for several seconds so that the plastic “remembers” that it’s supposed to be straight. If it won’t straighten by stretching, it has lost its elasticity and needs to be replaced.