Going to Alaska in August. I have a 9'5wt rod for smaller streams and such, but am also brining an 8wt rod. My 8wt rod has 7wt floating line on it and just looking for the best all around leader size and tippet size to pair up with. Didnt know if 12lb or 16lb strength would be enough. I am looking at the Rio steelhead 16lb leaders. But again, also didnt know what size tippet to pair up. I dont imagine I'll be hooking onto anything much bigger than that, although I guess I dont really know what to expect in Alaska. I am a fairly novice fly fisherman so trying to identify the best line is a little tricky. For the most part, I fish with just 1 fly at a time (Havent been advanced to tie multiple flies on at once).
Great questions about leader and tippet strength. If you are going to be fishing in August for salmon, we’ll assume it will be for coho (silver) salmon. Most of the other salmon species are getting past their prime by August and coho are a favorite of fly anglers.
Most coho flies are large, weighted attractor patterns that look like nothing in nature and are a challenge to cast. Heavy lead eyes, rabbit strips and large hooks all combine to make a chunk of a fly. And coho often tip the scale at 15 pounds or more so they can be quite hefty.
For these reasons, we favor a Rio 9 foot Salmon Steelhead Leader in 16lb test. They are designed to help deliver a heavy fly and are tough and abrasion resistant too. Match them up with Rio Salmon Steelhead Tippet in 16lb or Maxima Ultragreen in 15lb and you are all set. The 3-pack is a good value if you plan to fish more than one day.