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Furled Leaders


Michael T
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I whipped up several furled leaders using Kathy Scott's method and olive colored nylon upholstery thread. I even put the furled loops at each end, which is the hardest part to the entire process. I used her board dimension and configuration to make a tapered 5.5 foot leader. I took my 4/5 rod, looped a furled leader onto the Clouser fly line, looped on a 4 foot flourocarbon tippet, tied on a deer hair popper (with the hook broken off) and headed into the back yard. I flung out some line....stripped a little more off the reel....more casting....more line....and the popper turned over beautifully. It turned over beautifully every time! I paced out how much fly I was casting and was roughly 50 to 55 feet. At one point I was casting 70' of fly line.

 

OK, I have to revisit the conditions: casting on grass can't provide the line/water friction to help load the rod, a 4/5 weight rod is not exactly the size one thinks of using to throw a deer hair popper, and my horrible problems with tailing loops just a few days ago were non-existent?!?! Could the furled leader have made that much difference in my cast?!? :blink:

 

I need to hit the pond and learn how this leader will preform after it gets wet. However, it's nylon thread, so I'm assuming it won't/can't soak up enough water to significantly change its properties. Right?

 

Does anyone have experience with furled leaders? Do they contribute to a better cast? Or did I have some sort of overnight casting epiphany?

 

If the leader made that much difference, I'll be opening "Michael's house of furled leaders" in a store near you! :lol:

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I think you're just casting really well!

 

I could never make the switch to furled leaders... if anything I'm poisoned with the opposite extreme affliction: really long mono leaders. I've gone toward using 9 foot 0X store bought leaders. After the tippet gets eaten I loop on an arm length of mono.

 

Looking at a furled leader, it looks like a continuation of the fly line to me. Why not just make a fly line with a radically thin tapered head and put on just 2 feet of tippet?

 

<shrug>

 

-j

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I really like furled leaders. I think they do turn over well. I've used several Roman Moser furled leaders (I don't know if they are available around here any more) and one that a friend made from mono. They all cast real well. I've been wanting to try making some myself, but just never got around to it. I think there are some cool possibilities with furled leaders:

 

- Adding a stand of super-braid (dyneema or spectra), or making a whole leader out of it. It would be bullet proof!

- Adding some type of heavy material to make a sinking leader.

- Using a florescent material in the butt section as a built in indicator.

 

As far as leaders in general, I find I don't like the knotless tapered leaders as much. I prefer a furled or home made knotted leader. They seem to turn over better (for me anyway). I think the reason is that a knotted leader (usually) has a fairly long section of stiffer heavier material whereas a knotless tapered leader starts to taper right away.

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I think the reason is that a knotted leader (usually) has a fairly long section of stiffer heavier material whereas a knotless tapered leader starts to taper right away.

 

I hear you. One thing I'm starting to figure out about one-piece leaders is that the flexibility of the butt section changes between companies and between different tippet ratings 0X to 7X. So a 0X leader will have a much stiffer butt than a 7X leader from the same company/model line. As a result, one has to really focus on matching the butt section to the flexibility of the line, almost making the final tippet diameter a secondary concern. Yup, I'd say that's a strong argument for building your own leader.

 

(An aside: I don't find turn over to be as big a deal with SM fishing, usually the clouser or sparkleminnow has enough weight to pull the leader straight.)

 

But anyway I'm slowing finding a few combos that match perfectly. A Umpqua (sp?) 0x matches my 7wt line well. And a Frog Hair 5x "Slack Leader" matches perfectly with my 3wt line and lays out a fly with lots of nice little drag reducing wiggles. I'm still looking for a perfect match for a 5wt.

 

Sheesh, maybe I should think about learning to tie my own leaders. I don't know if I'm being more or less lazy by trying to find the perfect store-bought ones... but I know that once I find it it will be discontinued :P

 

-j

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You should try tying a leader or two! I used to tie them using blood knots, but thanks to Joseph's suggestion, I now use double surgeons knots. It's really quit easy. I also like to use the florescent Amnesia line for the first few butt sections (ala Harry Murray). It makes detecting strikes (that you may not feel) a lot easier. In most cases, I can still see up to half my leader even when fishing sinking flies.

 

Have you tried the Maxima knotless tapered leaders? They actually use two different materials (stiff butt, soft tippet section) in their knotless leaders. I bought one at the end of last year, but haven't tried it yet.

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You should try tying a leader or two!

 

Have you tried the Maxima knotless tapered leaders?

 

Heh, okay okay... Well, actually I'm going to be fishing pretty hard next week. I've got a week off and I'm going to look for some driftless trout. I've bought a few leaders to try on the trip, mostly RIO's this time. So maybe I'll have some new info to report, too.

 

I did try a Maxima leader and I remember not likeing it that much, but I forgot why??? Hmm, I'll bring it along and try again.

 

7 hours till my vacation... B)

 

-j

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Jamie, I don't know if it was just me casting better. In the end, I guess it doesn't matter. The end result is a smooth cast with a tight loop that's turning over. Let see how long that lasts.

 

Al, I was thinking of those same possibilities.

 

I too have fished with the tapered knotless store bought leaders. I never like how light the leader ends, so I'd cut off the last 3 feet, about where the diameter would match my 10lb. flourocarbon, and tye that on as the tippet. One thing that drives me crazy is the memory of the mono leader. I irks me to spend the time to smooth out the memory coils. And, I was never very impressed with how it could turn over a fly; frankly, I didn't see that much differnece than an nine foot length of 10lb. flourocarbon.

 

I still haven't fished with the furled leader, so I must reserve further judgement. However, if I experience a similar performance as I have in the back yard, I am sold.

 

Jamie... let's see....the fly is tyed by me.....the leader is furled by me......perhaps it's time for the next step. ;) Do you still have that rod wrapper? :lol:

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Jamie... let's see....the fly is tyed by me.....the leader is furled by me......perhaps it's time for the next step. ;) Do you still have that rod wrapper? :lol:

 

Of course! I'll bet you could find some nice blanks on sale now that the rod making season is drawing to a close!

 

:lol:

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Guest Mark P

Jamie:

 

Instead of adding the loop go to feather-craft.com. They sell small metal rings that you place on the end in lieu of the loop. They work much better than the loop. Feather Craft sells their own furled leaders and they incorporate the rings into all of them.

 

I have alot of experience with furled leaders and I have found that the loops tighten up after a few fish and will even cut through and make it tough to tie on a new tippet section. The rings work much better and don't effect turnover.

 

I especially like using these leaders when trout fishing. They allow for a nice delicate presentation of a dry and float better than a tapered or knotted leader.

 

Mark P

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Mark, actually I do use those silver rings! And I use a little knot-sense on the knot to make it fairly weedless.

 

But back to furled leaders... how long of a tippet do you guys use on them? I just can't get past how visable they seem... Am I giving smallmouth and trout too much credit?

 

-jamie

 

p.s. my fishing trip was a bust with this weather. Streams were running like chocolate milk in WI, then the cold weather hit. :(

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Jamie, I think you are giving the smallies too much credit; however, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to trout. I don't think the line bothers them much, if at all. I mean, there is this goofy pointy thing hanging below the fly (above on Clouser types) which imitates NOTHING on the fish.

 

These leaders are 5 and a 1/2 foot long and I've been tying about a 4' tippet of 10lb fluorocarbon. This configuration seems to work very well for my 7 weight Avid. I don't know for sure that line doen't make any difference to smallies, hence the flourocarbon. Beside, I like its knot strength.

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I understand there is a DVD done by Kathy Scott on making furled leaders. Does anyone know how to get one (DVD that is)?

 

I whipped up several furled leaders using Kathy Scott's method and olive colored nylon upholstery thread.
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