Furled leaders and small streams - a confession

Guest666

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I found furled leaders are useful in tight places where you do not have much elbow room, they allow you to get line speed up quickly and with practice you can play some presentation tricks with them. If you ask 9 people on here about anything you will get 10 opinions :D. My advice is get one from Mr Trout and give it a try if you are struggling to turn your fly over.

Like Coasty I moved on, building my own leaders and improving my casting so that sometimes I cast with only 2ft of fly line out and 10ft of leader attached. It's all part of learning the sport, as long as you enjoy it and do not get too frustrated then you are doing ok.
 

hydropsyched

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That list of options puts a factory order BMW to shame. :eek:mg:

I think I'd just give Mr Trout a PM ..
You don't have to choose all the options Mike:D
The different colour schemes etc are a bit over the top but being able to choose the length that suits you best might be useful to some.
 

beryl

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I used them a while but unless it gets silly tight I generally stick to build your own mono. I recently purchased a 2#parallel silk line ( much cheaper) and use a furled leader to provide the taper plus a short leader on as per usual. Seems to work.
 
B

Becks and Brown Trout

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Andy

I'm assuming that you will be using a fairly steep taper on your short leaders. What recipe do you work to?
Bill

The very shortest I would go is 4ft but thats pretty rare mainly 5ft or 6ft I keep the tapered butt section of shop bought tapered leaders when I have used them a lot and they become shortened down. I will use a short butt section and extend using the rule of halves extend the leader to whatever I want . if its blowing a gale they become steeper if its calm they become longer and finer. Incidentally I carry a selection of short tapered butt sections with tippet rings attached. I tie the leaders and tippets with a three turn water knot so have to be careful what diameters you step down through. My eyesight is ***** so try to prepare as much at home. It all sounds a bit of a faff but it really takes very little time. As for formulas or recipes remember im from Yorkshire I couldnt afford owt posh like that.

Andy
 

guest70

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I went for a five foot job and then just added a couple of feet of 0.14mm tippet, so 7' overall. It worked ok in the constricted environs I found myself in, even when 'bow and arrow' casts were occasionally required to get into tiny pots under roots.
It was the usual aggressive turnover though and just not up to the job when I found a pair of fish sipping in the accelerating water at the very tail of a pool.

To be honest though, when such fish are 8 inch long, it's debatable whether the whole hands and knees job is warranted. I didn't think so and just moved on upstream in search of other targets. My feeling was that the furled leader suited nymphing very well and dry fly marginally less so in the context of the session. Worthwhile experiment though, definitely.

Interesting discussion. At least I've got an idea what some of you small stream experts are on about now!

M


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beryl

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I went for a five foot job and then just added a couple of feet of 0.14mm tippet, so 7' overall. It worked ok in the constricted environs I found myself in, even when 'bow and arrow' casts were occasionally required to get into tiny pots under roots.
It was the usual aggressive turnover though and just not up to the job when I found a pair of fish sipping in the accelerating water at the very tail of a pool.

To be honest though, when such fish are 8 inch long, it's debatable whether the whole hands and knees job is warranted. I didn't think so and just moved on upstream in search of other targets. My feeling was that the furled leader suited nymphing very well and dry fly marginally less so in the context of the session. Worthwhile experiment though, definitely.

Interesting discussion. At least I've got an idea what some of you small stream experts are on about now!

M


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I thought the two feet of tippet in your original post was a misprint. Were you casting to spotted fish or prospecting? If the latter that's pushing it a bit.... The shortest tippet I have used is four foot and that was two different strengths so still had some tapering element.
 

guest70

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I thought the two feet of tippet in your original post was a misprint. Were you casting to spotted fish or prospecting? If the latter that's pushing it a bit.... The shortest tippet I have used is four foot and that was two different strengths so still had some tapering element.

Both. Seven feet was more than adequate in the situation and might actually have been a foot too long in the tightest spots. Nine feet as per your suggestion, would have been far too much.


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beryl

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I wonder how a fish sees a furled leader? It's quite dense so I have always assumed it would be a part of the flyline.
 

JeffR

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My feeling was that the furled leader suited nymphing very well
Ah, now there you go....I don't use 'em for nymphing at all! Basically as I don't find a need for them when I've got a weighted nymph on the end. I only use them for dry fly work, and generally just on small streams/rivers as per the discussion. Like Beryl though I'd usually have a slight longer tippet on: 4', maybe down to 3 at a push. For the reason's Coasty has said, an alternative I sometimes use is a cut back tapered mono leader. Yet another alternative, actually what I first started using before the silk furled jobs, is a chopped back Marc Petitjean stepped kevlar braid leader, which is a bit lighter and thinner than furled silk equivalent, but does cost about 5 times as much.
 

JeffR

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Both. Seven feet was more than adequate in the situation
Yeah, I'd have probably done that too, but a 4' furley + 3' tippet rather than 5/2, but thats just me, might not have made a lot of difference to the fish, you seemed to catch plenty anyway
 

johnclayton

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I've been using furled leaders for the past ten years or so for all my fly fishing which includes trout, salmon, sea trout and grayling and find them absolutely brilliant.
I understand that furled leaders originally were constructed with horse hair but that is going back many years ago and believe they were used prior to silk lines.
I fish small streams similar in fact to the photograph at the beginning of this thread and have some 3 ft leaders constructed from Benecchi 12/0 tread to which I attach a short piece of 5lb green maxima about 14 to 24 inches and then a tippet of 30 inches or so of 2 to 4lb line.
This I would use for a single fly and alter it slightly for a team of two wet flies although have used three on occassion.
For sea trout and salmon I tend to use a five foot leader with between four and six feet of 8 to 15lb nylon attached to the end although at night for sea trout in low water use seven or eight feet of nylon on occassion and for sea trout normally use a dropper.
Last year I purchased some 20 foot furled leaders from the U.S which I rig up and use as a french leader and when not in use have them in my waistcoat and can change my set up in minutes.
I use the same leaders for dry and wet fly and just grease them when necessary and have never found a problem with them and personally can't recommend them enough.
As to colour I use them in yellow, brown and green which are made of thread and have some clear nylon ones as well which I tend to dye in cold coffee and sometimes tea to give them a brown tinge.
I prefer yellow thread ones if possible for trout and grayling and like them best when they have discoloured and become a dirty yellow/green.
Some people including friends hate them and still use tapered nylon leaders which I personally abhor, but at the end of the day its down to personal preference.

JohnClayton
 

johnclayton

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The first furled leaders I used were made by Jim Williams who runs the Wiltshire fly fishing school but as far as I am aware doesn't make them any more and some 10 years on am still using some of the leaders he made.
I have tried other furled leaders and have found them all to be excellent but do like having them made specially for me.
The 12/0 Benecchi leaders were made by Rod Dibble whom I met at the British Fly Fair International where I have demonstrated as a pro tier on a number of occasions.
Rob apparently is giving up making leaders but has I understand passed on his designs to Luke Bannister who now makes them and also makes hand crafted cane rods as well.
I have also ordered leaders including two of 20 feet in length from Streamside furled leaders in the U.S and they have a selection of leaders from 2 to 20 feet and a bespoke service as well and have had some leaders made with a built in sight indicator that I use for nymphing.
I can't recommend furled leaders enough and find that I can cast quite well even in a wind with them and they certainly turn flies over well.
I don't fish still waters much but when I do have used 6ft furled leaders with stepped pieces of nylon with a total length of some 15 feet which again turn over well and makes the whole leader 20 feet.
If you haven't tried furled leaders give one a go you just might be surprised at how good they are.

JohnClayton
 

JCP

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No confession needed.
I am in the John Clayton corner and have been for a good number of years now.
By coincidence Jim Williams was my initial introduction to furled leaders closely followed by Blue Sky in USA.I have a plethora of furlies for various applications and have never looked back.I can buy Blue Sky leaders from highlanderway.com in UK and have others from Mr Trout and Rod Dibble.Lots from Rod Dibble who's arm I twisted for some more in 2013.There are furled leader permutations to cover most applications where they could be an option worthy of consideration.
I readily accept we all have our preferences.By the same token for me furled leaders have been a revelation from rivers and streams to reservoirs and saltwater:thumbs: Some rigs are a permanent fixture until they wear out joined via a castwell knot.Too simple? yes but slips through the guides with ease and never failed me to date and plenty of testing.;)

Best JP



Best JP
 
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graylinghunter

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OK, it's fair to say that I've been a critic of furled leaders hereabouts in the past. Credit where credit's due though and I have to say my experience tonight has convinced me that there is some merit in their use, given a suitable application.....

Bad weather and blown rivers forced me off piste and into hitherto unvisited territory in the form of a virtually unfished little stream which a mate had insisted held large numbers of wild little trout. I had my doubts but packed my 7 foot rod and resolved to give it my best shot at piscatorial paedophilia. What followed was an interesting learning curve and a timely reminder that it doesn't do to pooh pooh something just because it appears a bit, well, Mickey Mouse.

I was all at sea for the first few pools: trees, roots, vegetation, you name it....I caught the lot and struggled for a while just to get my flies in the water. Eventually I got my act together and went on to discover that the place was indeed stuffed with trout; but only after I rooted out a furled leader from the darker recesses of my vest. I have to say that once I'd got one of those babies greased up and a couple of feet of tippet attached, the going got a whole lot easier - the directness and accuracy was a joy to behold and I was able to poke my flies just about anywhere I could get a flick of the rod in.

Even on the slightly more open sections, the fish were small and daft enough that there wasn't any real need to wiggle some slack into the cast, even taking a dragging fly at times...so the furled leader happily remained attached whether fishing nymphs or dries.

I always suspected that small, tight streams might be better suited to such terminal tackle, but having actually tried them in that context now, I can see why quite a few forumites are sold on them. Fair dos, I won't be so dismissive in the future (although I won't be using them on a 'normal' sized river).

In fact the whole small stream business proved surprisingly absorbing. I knew from the start I wasn't going to land owt bigger than half a pound, but having set my expectation levels accordingly I found the whole thing a bunch of fun. Some photos below.

How I lost my small stream virginity....


"Please don't hurt me Mister, for I am only little!"


Well chewed WHM


M
About time....
it does have the odd surprise.....fish on the way to 2lbs
 
T

troutbum67

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I think furled leaders are ok on small streams because a longer mono leader will give many advantages on bigger rivers , I find furled leaders on small streams give you more accurate casts and a better chance of catching the trout on the first cast . On bigger rivers longer leaders don't seem to spook fish and you can at times make multiple casts to the rising fish . Over the last week or so I have noticed trout spooking on the tails of pools whilst fishing small streams . I did do a lot better further up the pool .
 

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