View Full Version : leaders

03-22-2010, 06:39 PM
I'm still kind of new at flyfishing and I was wondering what everybody's opinion on furled leaders was.And how many of you use them?

03-22-2010, 07:57 PM
I have used them for a couple of years. No memory (like me), wear like cast iron and turn over easily. I like them but they are more expensive than the tapers mono leaders. Do a search and you will find tutorials to make your own. Here is one where you make them with your hands:

Jim Casada
03-23-2010, 01:48 PM
4wt--I've always tied my own leaders for two reasons. It's cheaper and you can have whatever length you want. As Knothead correclty suggests, you do need to follow certain "formulas" to get proper balance and "turn over" effectiveness. In one of my earlier books, Modern Fly Fishing, I included several of those formulas.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

03-23-2010, 07:26 PM
Jim goes back to the old school of building your own leaders, as he mentioned, so you can make to your own needs. When I started flinging flies about 47 years ago, I used 8 lb. mono since didn't know what a tapered leader was. Do a search on tying leaders and see what you come up with there. I vaguely remember a formula of 40%/30%/20%/10%, with each percentage being a percentage of the total length. I think that is close. Do you have a problem with crud hanging up on the knots? I forgot to mention, all the furled leaders I have were given to me. I'm cheap!

03-23-2010, 09:30 PM
I just found this link. I've never tried this,m but I think I will.


03-28-2010, 12:54 AM
I don't use furled leaders but do tie my own knotted leaders. I like that I can customize based on the situations I expect to be fishing in. More importantly, a properly tied leader using a proper formula will turn over better than any commercial knotless leader that you can buy, in my opinion anyway.

Google ''leadercalc'' for a good tool to use to create leaders. I prefer to use Maxima for the butt section and first taper sections (because it is stiff and transfers cast energy well) and Rio or Umpqua for the last tapered and tippet sections, but you can purchase less expensive kits from Maxima and Umpqua that include every diameter that you will need for anything 7wt and under.

I don't use furled leader because it is easier to tie the single strand leaders, and they do the job just fine.

03-28-2010, 02:05 PM
I started using furled leaders last year. They are expensive but they last for a long, long time. In the long run, I spend much less on leaders with the furled than replacing the tapered mono leaders. ($11.95 for one furled leader vs. $6.95 for a pack of two Orvis tapered leaders) You've paid for the furled leader with the second pack of tapered leaders and, as mentioned before, they have no memory and lay out much more nicely.

03-28-2010, 03:51 PM
I'm going to be trying a furled leader for the first time this week. Just handling them I can see the benefit of having no memory.

I'll have to report back with my thoughts.

03-28-2010, 05:46 PM
My take on it is that furled leaders work great for dries and dries with small droppers, but are limited in nymphing. They do last a long time, and turn over dries with roll casts all day with ease.

03-28-2010, 07:08 PM
I used furled leaders for a full season and went back to using knotted mono leaders that I tie myself. I may be off-kilter here but I honestly felt I was missing some fish buy using a furled leader. Reason: A furled leader is bigger, bulkier and can be seen in the water. While they indeed roll over a fly and cast great, it's the business of catching fish that bothered me. I believe the fish can see that bulkier leader in the water. Most of the time I used 2 and 3 feet of tippet at the end of the furled leader, just as I would a "normal" mono leader. I observed fish come up and rise to a fly only to have them, at 1-2 feet from the fly, slow and turn away and refuse the fly. Now, this could have been a simple refusal because of drag on the fly or the wrong fly or whatever, but I saw it more and more when I started using a furled leader. I really believe the fish was seeing the furled leader off from the fly a short distance and it was enough to turn them away. I mean, if the fish are not spooked by seeing the furled leader a couple feet away from a fly on the water, then why not just tie tippet directly to your fly line and do away with the leader all together? But then we could say the fish could see the thicker butt section of a single-strand mono leader too? I guess so, but I really dont think it is as pronounced and possibly blends into the water for less visibility that a furled leader. Having the fly 8 to 15 feet away from any "visible" form of line makes a huge difference, I think, hence why we use a leader to begin with.
These are just some thoughts, that could be right or wrong. All I can say is I fished furled leaders, for trout in small mountain creeks and bigger, pressured tailwaters as well as larger rivers for smallmouth bass, for a full season. I then went back to fishing my hand-tied mono leaders and convinced myself that they are superior than the furled leaders for catching wary fish. My refusal numbers to a presented fly went down significantly. Or maybe I just got to be a better fisherman? I cannot say for certain but it was noticeable enough for me to quit using furled leaders.

tire guy
03-29-2010, 06:59 AM
Knothead, thanks for the video.

03-29-2010, 08:07 AM
At Troutfest last spring, Lefty Kreh said he thought braided and furled leaders "threw some spray" when landing. I've read somewhere about "waxing" or putting "fly float paste" on them to repel that water uptake. I belief is that your leader should not pass over the fish anyway only your tippet. I used both types of leaders in YNP last summer and feel I didn't have that much difference in catch rates. The only stream nymphing I did was a shallow Hopper-Dropper system so the furled leader wasn't an issue. For fishing the Beartooth Mountain lakes or dragging a big stonefly nymph, I most definitely prefer a knotless. I picked up a supply of both off another board last week so I'm going have to "test them" again this summer. There is a "Furled Leader" website you can google.

I used to tie my own leaders but decided purchased ones were just as good. Knot issues.

Any advantages with a furled leader, I feel are negated by switching leaders if you change your dry fly to nymph moderate to deep pool.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum