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AdirmanJuly 11th, 2018, 5:39 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
So I was at the flyshop the other day and noticed furled leaders on the shelf; I’ve heard of them but never used them. What is the advantage of using a furled leader over mono or flouro?

MartinlfJuly 11th, 2018, 2:02 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Supposedly they help one cast easier (tighter loops) avoid drag better. I made them, tried them, and could not tell any significant difference. But some swear by them.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJuly 11th, 2018, 5:26 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
What is the advantage of using a furled leader over mono or flouro?
There may be an advantage to the fly shop owner. They surely cost more than nylon leaders and often are more costly than fluorocarbon leaders.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
IasgairJuly 11th, 2018, 7:20 pm

Posts: 148
Threaded furled leaders are an excellent choice. I have been using Zen furled leaders for a few years and I can't say enough about them. Zen has furled leaders for all applications, and a great warranty. Just don't lawn cast them because they will gather dirt and then they will no longer float and it will void the warranty.

It is believed, and I also believe this 100% that furled leaders do not frighten fish. Why? I don't know, but the fish must see them differently, as just debri, like twigs or leaves floating by.

Threaded furled leaders are very strong, roll over nicely, and last for a few years if you take care of them. Also, most come with a tippet ring to attach your tippet to. I used the same furled leader for two years with no issues. And I was fishing from late May to early Nov. about twice a week.

I do not like the nylon furled leaders. I tried them for a few months, and they soak up water after awhile, and the ends finally gave way by being cut from the tippet.

The great thing is they are versatile. You can use a threaded furled leader for wet flies or nymphs as well.

The only advice I can give that many people don't realize to do is place a 8 to 10 inch piece of mono, around 18 to 20 pound test between the fly line and the leader. Doing this transfers the power better and helps to roll the fly over.

I don't use nylon or mono leaders anymore, I go through them too fast and found threaded furled leaders are worth the money.

As for drag, you still need a good presentation, but they do help with drag. It also helps to wiggle the tip of the rod when releasing the cast to make "S" curves in the line. But that helps with mono leaders too.
AdirmanJuly 12th, 2018, 4:50 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
Excellent answer, thank you so much! So, the leader doesn’t spook the trout? You’re sure? I thought that it would looking at it. Also, you use it for dry , wet and nymph fishing?


IasgairJuly 12th, 2018, 7:41 am

Posts: 148
People talk about not over lining fish because it will spook fish. With mono/nylon, yeah, because of the sheen by the sun reflecting through the leader. And of course if you really over shoot it and over line it with the fly line, that will do it too.

Ever since I was talked into furled leaders I had my reservations as well. But after fishing them, and learning to take care of them, they last a long time. And I had noticed the fish are not shaken by them at all. I have watched my leader many times go right over the fish and it still came up and took the fly. I swear!

Furled leaders have been around for 100+ years. They worked back then, and they work today. I truly believe they are getting more popular.

Another thing I like about them is they land very softly, and are very supple. Plus, they don't spray water like a mono leader does when lifting it off the water. In my opinion, they are way above mono leaders today.

You'll find people who are set in their ways, and will tell you furled leaders are just a hype, and these people have never tried furled leaders. They speak through their ignorance. And there are folks who just simply prefer mono over furled, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Some furled leaders come impregnated with floatant, like Zen and Appalachian furled leaders. I hear Appalachian is a good brand and also guaranteed to float like Zen. But I have not tried them, so I can't really comment. But Zen I do use, and will say they are wonderful. I don't much like Cutthroat furled leaders. You have to apply floatant yourself.

Now, at times you will see your leader go under. It's the current pulling it under, or you may have dirt in your leader making it sink. It's good to rinse the leader out with cold tap water after fishing to get rid of scum or dirt from fishing.

I'm going to send you a PM with a tv episode of a person talking about leaders, and he does cover furled leaders and how to properly tie them, and their usage, and a little history. He covers different leader styles, and he's a different type of tv fishing host. In other words, his show keeps it real, and I like that.
WbranchJuly 12th, 2018, 10:40 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I can usually catch any trout that is rising as long as the fish is a steady riser, say a rise at least every minute, and the bug drift doesn't wane. I think it is great that some of us like the attributes of furled leaders. Far be it from me that I would want to cause controversy hehe.

I have never used a furled leader and I will never put one on my fly line. I catch more than my share of larger trout with nothing more than a 9' - 12' tapered leader with a tippet ring and a 4'- 5' section of 5X Rio nylon tippet. I get above the fish on about a 30 degree angle away from the rise form. Throw a slack line reach cast and wiggle line through the guides to extend the drift. The fish will eat the fly.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
AdirmanJuly 12th, 2018, 2:53 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505

Sounds great, look forward to it 😊
AdirmanJuly 12th, 2018, 2:54 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
I hear you Matt, why change what’s workin for you already !!
WbranchJuly 12th, 2018, 5:28 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

Yep, I have tried braided leaders when Orvis brought them out about 20 years ago. They were something different and if anything I felt they didn't have the butt stiffness I like to help me turn over 4' - 5' tippets. I still have a few in my leader book but they haven't been on a line for at least a decade.

While we are talking about leader options I would like to mention something I use when steelhead fishing and using 4X - 5X tippets. Steelhead strike voraciously. They can easily snap a tippet on a downstream strike. There is a product called "Shock Gum". it comes in 3' lengths and it like a clear round rubber band. I blood knot the upper end to a piece of 24" Red Amnesia I use as a strike indicator when nymphing. The other end I blood knot to the remaining butt of the leader. When you get a vicious strike the gum rubber stretches and protects the light tippet. If you are heavy handed you can apply them to you trout leaders too.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
IasgairJuly 12th, 2018, 7:17 pm

Posts: 148

Yep, I have tried braided leaders when Orvis brought them out about 20 years ago. They were something different and if anything I felt they didn't have the butt stiffness I like to help me turn over 4' - 5' tippets.

Furled leaders don't get everyone's fancy, and I get that. I used to have the same issue as you did with the tippets not turning over. That's when I learned to put a stiffer piece of mono between the fly line and the leader. This helps to turn it over.
AdirmanJuly 13th, 2018, 12:55 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505
Thanks Matt and Iasgair, I checked out the sites you sent me and watched the yutube segment onleaders , very informative!

Thanks again


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