Nymphing Leader

Speaking of nymphing, John Rhodes, Jr., who was one of the people in the audience at my Nymphing talk in Denver, asked if I would please post the diagram of my bottom-bouncing nymph leader. So, here it is.

The Unibody Nymphing Leader used when bottom bouncing a nymph.
The Unibody Nymphing Leader used when bottom bouncing a nymph.


  1. Mark Zebley says:

    I enjoyed two of your talks this weekend. In the nymphing leader, what is the Maxima Chameleon pound test?

  2. Coast Guard man says:

    I attended the show as well and had a similar question. Online, at this website: http://www.flyfishusa.com/leaders/maxima.html, I found a chart that shows all MC lines with .020 diameter are 25lb test. Hope this helps.

    Mr Borger, I truly enjoyed hearing you on Sunday as well.

  3. Gary Borger says:

    .020 inch is 25 pound and .013 is 12 pound. Thanks for the question.
    Best, GB

  4. Gary Borger says:

    Thanks for the info. Readers–have a look at the site, it lists all the currently available Maxima Chameleon sizes.

  5. steve says:

    Enjoyed your nymph seminar and casting lesson at Pleasanton on Sat Gary, great stuff. Re. the above, assume the 5ft from fly to indicator assumes the water is ~ 4ft or less deep? Thanks

  6. Gary Borger says:

    Yes. Typically this is the leader I use in riffle water which is usually less than waist deep and moderate speed. In faster and deeper currents I use a longer piece–up to about 8 feet–so that they flies can get down quickly and ride the bottom.

  7. steve says:

    great, appreciated. Going to give this new set up a go, loved your insight about the function of the split shot!

  8. Chad says:

    GB — You mention above you use a longer piece in deeper/faster water. Is this 4ft increase all in the 0/1x section?

  9. Gary Borger says:

    Yes it is. As a reminder, if I’m using small stuff (flies in the 16-22 size), the 0X/1X section is downsized to 3X so that the imitations can get down and stay down easier. Best, GB

  10. wynn says:

    enjoyed your pleasanton presentation on nymphing – what is the importance and impact of the 25lb test line?

  11. Gary Borger says:

    I’m assuming you mean the 25 pound test Maxoma Chameleon leader butt. I use Maxima Chameleon because it’s a medium stiff material and very abrasion resistant. It’s smaller in diameter than a softer material of the same stiffness and so cuts through the wind better. It’s a good size leader butt for 4-6 weight rods, which are the most used trout sizes.

  12. Chad says:

    GB –

    What is your opinion of furled leaders? I have been using them for a couple of years due to their great convenience, but after reading your latest book I am thinking of switching to your recipe on this page.

    Would a 5 ft furled leader be appropriate in place of the 5 foot section made up of MC? Or would you expect this to be less effective?

  13. Gary Borger says:

    Hi Chad, Thanks for the question.
    Furled leaders may built from a single strand of mono twisted back onto itself, or they my be built from many strands of mono or thread. Because they are built from two to many strands, they generally tend to be softer than a single strand of mono of equal overall diameter. It is the softness that endears furled leaders to their most avid proponents. I like them especially when fishing spring creeks and similar waters that require the greatest attention to overcoming drag.
    However, because they are softer that a single strand of mono of equal diameter, I prefer single strand leaders for most of my work. And, as you’ve noticed, I use Maxima Chameleon (MC) for butt sections. That’s because MC is a medium stiff material with great abrasion resistance. Its stiffness allows me to use a smaller diameter butt section than would softer monofilament materials. The smaller diameter means less wind resistance. So, yes, one could use a larger diameter furled butt section, if desired, on any leader design, but to what advantage?