The general rule is to select long leaders for floating lines and short leaders for sinking lines. Why? Generally speaking, floating lines disturb the surface film and a long tapered leader is an advantage in placing the fly as far away from the line as possible. On the other hand, sinking lines rarely disturb the surface. They require short leaders because long leaders may buoy up and away from the fish at the desired depth. Sinking lines come in dark bottom colors. Because these colors tend to match the colors of lake and river bottoms and aquatic plants, these leaders tend to go almost unnoticed by fish.
Fly Fishing - The Lifetime Sport
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