It all started when I was 5 or 6 years old. On a trout stream on Edinboro, PA. I saw a trout just under the roots of a tree. I yelled to my dad who was fly fishing nearby. I jumped up and down with excitement and pointed it out. I wanted to catch that fish with my cane pole. Dad said I could try, but I’d probably spooked the trout because he saw me and I was too noisy. He then proceeded to tell me that I had to learn to be quiet and stay out of sight as much as possible, and my efforts would probably be useless for this fish. You know, he was right. As much as I tried, my worm just drifted by every time.
It was different on the lake when catching Bass, Bluegills, and Catfish. I only needed to dangle a bait in front of them. Though Largemouth Bass were persnickety, Perch and Crappie Bass were more difficult, therefore I realized; some fish were much more discerning. Next, I learned the secret art of fly fishing, it required a finely tuned and very long tippet that provided stealth. I was allowed to use my mother’s steel fly rod (yes, I said steel) dare I think about using my father’s split bamboo outfit.
When I was 9, we moved to Florida and it was a whole different fishing world. Most fish spooked easily, and when hooked could run like the dickens and even go 100-200 yards. However, I noticed some fish followed my bait with much scrutiny but never touch it. I wondered why this occurred so often. (More later)
Throughout my worldly fishing experiences, Ontario, Northwest Territories, Alberta, British Columbia, Mexico, Senegal, Egypt, Panama, Costa Rica and dozens of states in the USA. I continued to learn, as fishing was just not quite that simple. (More about my experiences later)
Everywhere I went, I learned from many different fishermen culminating with various facts of; technique and presentation; stealth and finesse stood out, (and those not so stealthy). I have always added to my fishing aptitude, and finally, in 2009, I seriously starting worked on my presentations with a gusto.
Experience has led me to understand the use of a species and technique specific rod, a quality reel, and of course the mainline, (that which is on the reel before any leader and bait). (More on this later)
Many species seemed to require more finesse than just a chunk of cut bait dropped off a bridge or party boat. I never lost sight of my past experiences, I wanted a leader that was invisible, sensitive, as unobtrusive as possible and a leader which didn’t require the constant frustration of re-tying or changing because of abrasions or kinks. After all, there were fish that were just hungry and would inhale any bait without concern of how the bait looked. A stealthy presentation would be as good for those fish, but also for those other vicious but finicky predatory monsters. I realized a high-quality ultra-fine stealthy tooth proof shock leader was required, it needed all I the wisdom I’d learned;
Therefore, the custom hand tied Stealthy Hybrid Leader was born.
Bill Harned, Owner LineMasterii.com