Choosing a Furled Leader
We offer many different materials, tips, weights, lengths, and colors of furled leaders. Choosing the right one may be confusing for those who have not used furled leaders before. The following is an explanation of the various different leaders and their best applications.
We offer a choice of three materials:
- UNI-Thread is our favorite and most popular leader material. It is strong, fine, and supple. These characteristics make for a great furled leader. UNI-Thread leaders have virtually no memory and low stretch.
- Monofilament is one the most popular materials for making furled leaders and is preferred by many anglers. It is not as supple as UNI-Thread but is less visible. It has considerably more stretch than UNI-Thread. Some anglers prefer this for tippet protection. The stretchy characteristic can leader to tangles if care is not take when breaking off snags.
- Fluorocarbon is similar to monofilament but has far less stretch. It is also less visible, stronger, and more durable than monofilament. While it can be treated with floatant for surface fishing, fluorocarbon is a good choice when a submerged leader is desired. It sinks more readily and evenly than our other material choices.
We offer two tip option on our leaders: micro tip rings and woven thread loops.
- The micro tip rings offer easy and convenient tippet changes using the same knots you would use to tie on your flies. Tippet can be tied on securely with a normal improved clinch knot. Many anglers find this easier than tying loop-to-loop connections required with woven loops.
- The woven thread loops require loop-to-loop connection when attaching tippet. Perfection, no-slip, and surgeon's loop knots can all be used. Knot choice is an anglers preference. Woven loops are available on all of our leaders.
We classify our leaders by which fly line weights they are best matched to. We offer leaders for 3wt and lighter lines, 4-6wt lines, and lines 7wt and heavier. Each weight of leader also has a different taper designed for the type of fishing most likely to be done using those fly line weights. Our light leader (3wt and under) is a great small fly leader well suited to smaller water, spring creeks, or other waters where light lines and fine delicate leaders and tippet are used. Our medium (4-6wt leaders) are a good all-round leader with plenty of turnover power, but versatile enough for many applications depending on tippet configuration. They are great for turning over bushy dry flies, and are a good choice for most trout fishing. Our heavy leaders (7wt and higher) are designed to turnover large, bulky flies and handle large fish. They are a great choice for bass bugs and certain trout/salmon/steelhead fishing.
There are no rules that require you to use a leader only with its designated line weights. For example, light leaders can be used effectively with 4wt or heaver lines when a more delicate presentation is needed. Likewise, medium weight leaders can be used with heavier lines, particularly with 7wt lines.
We offer leaders in 6, 7, and 8 foot lengths. This length is the actual length of the leader you receive.
The leaders do no include any tippet. You will have to add you own before you begin fishing. With this in mind, you should choose your leader length knowing that you will be adding tippet for a final length 2 to 4 or more feet longer than the starting length of your leader. Starting with a 6 foot leader, you may end up with a leader anywhere from 8 to 10 feet long for example.
Length choice is otherwise similar to how you would select a conventional monofilament leader. Short leaders are great for use with shorter rods on smaller water or where you need to turnover a fly into the wind. Longer leaders are better for when less turnover momentum is needed and delicate presentation is more critical. Our 6 foot leaders are a good starting point as they can be adapted to many application by adjusting size and length of tippet. All lengths offer good turnover and easy casting characteristics.
We offer many different colors, particularly in our UNI-Thread leaders. We have not found color choice to be critical to fishing success, except where a visible leader aids in strike detection. When fishing small flies or fishing subsurface, a highly visible leader is a great aid in tracking your fly and detecting strikes. Color is again, a matter of angler preference. If you feel that a natural or subdued color is an advantage you will want to select a natural color leader, if you feel you need a visible leader, choose a lighter colored leader. Our light yellow and tan UNI-Thread leaders are a good compromise between high visibility and natural color. We also offer extremely high-visibility chartreuse leaders. All of our UNI-Thread leaders are opaque.
Monofilament leaders come in clear and grey. It is important to note that while clear monofilament material is used in their construction, they are not clear in the same way as conventional monofilament leaders. They are less visible on the water than UNI-Thread leaders, although they do light in a sparkling fashion depending on conditions. The grey monofilament leaders are a dark grey color. While being nearly opaque, they do not reflect light like the clear monofilament leaders.
Fluorocarbon leaders come only in clear. They are similar to clear monofilament leaders but are less visible.