furled leaders

I was induced to, or suckered into, take your pick, buying a furled leader at the Lynnwood fly show last winter and haven't used it yet. I fish both moving and still water for trout (rarely salt), and fish dries, nymphs, and streamers as seem most appropriate. I'm looking for your tips from those of you with experience using furled leaders on what applications they work well for and where they may not offer any advantage over tapered mono leaders.
I use furled leaders for 99% of my dry fly fishing. I like how they turn over and I don't seem to get wind (i.e shitty caster) knots. The ones I use are made of uni thread, I think, and they float very well when I treat them with mucillin or some other paste floatant. While I don't do a lot of dry fly fishing, the furled leader currently in use has been going strong for 2+ seasons.

I have one made of fluorocarbon and I like it for any bobber-less sub surface fishing (high sticking, swinging wet hackles etc...).
They definitely last longer and are less prone to tangles as mentioned.

A well designed furled leader can turn over a long level tippet as well, like 4-5 feet or more.

I sometimes make my own, which I started doing because my shitty casting was ruining a lot of pre packaged mono leaders. Then I bought a packaged leaders at an estate sale for 50ยข, so I've been using those instead.

Definitely try it, I think they feel less hingey than a mono leader and you've already got it! Good luck!
I used furled leaders, even going as far as furling my own leader formulas. I used both uni-thread and mono to make them. I like them for all the reasons mentioned above, especially how long they last. I still use a standard tapered leader once in a great while, but prefer the furled leaders.


Active Member
I am a big fan of furled leaders. I use the Blue Sky brand, but there are others. There is no "special" technique that is needed. Just cast as you normally would. I use them for dries, streamers and nymphs.
The only draw back I have seen is that when you get a tangle it can go "nuclear" and take a while to undo. Knots in the leader are difficult to undo so I just let them be. There appears to be no loss of strength with a simple knot and it does not impact casting. The one I have on my 4 weight is into its 3rd season.
I especially like the fact that they have loops on both the proximal and distal ends so they are easy to attach to the fly line and tippet. They only thing to be careful of is the loop on the tippet end. You have to be sure to avoid cutting the loop when changing tippets. Even then, you can fix the problem by tying a perfection loop. Also, the "furled" technique seems to have eliminated the problem with water logging that occurred with braided leaders.

Steve Call

Active Member
I've used furled leaders off and on. The pros have been mentioned above. The cons are they have to be "greased" with some kind of floatant periodically, and I find you have to taper the tippet between the end of the furled leader and the fly. For example, with a 5' furled leader you probably want to used 18" of 3x, 18" of 4x and 18" to 24" of 6 x. Or, some combination like that. You might get away with two longer sections of tippet. Finally when dry fly fishing the furled leader throws a spray of water when false casting. I don't know if any of it makes a difference. Like I said, I use them sometimes and sometimes I jump back to using tapered leaders. I think they're great for streamers and nymphing, but I prefer tapered leaders for fishing dry flies.
I gave them a go last summer but then found my self just adding a tippet ring to my tapered mono leaders. As it was said above, when you do get a knot it goes nuclear, and I agree completely with what Steve said about having to taper the tippet. If you don't tapper the tippet it doesn't really cast all that great, at least I can't get it to. I just recently got into hand tying my own tapered mono leaders
and adding a tippet ring to the last section of the taper right before the tippet. I find this method works best for me. But to get back on track, If you're fishing heavier tippet no lighter than maybe 3x or 4x and don't mind greasin' her up a little every once in a while then they're pretty nice.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I don't have any problems with my tapered leaders. My problem starts when I use two flies, a bobber(Indicator), and a BB shot, for weight. This set up if I'm not careful will end up in a birds nest in a heart beat. But I only fish the two fly setup in the winter time.


Active Member
I used them for a spell and liked the way they turn over which made for cleaner presentations in most cases; however, on technical water with spooky fish, I did notice the aforementioned spray issue and that was a problem for me. Overall, I like them for most applications.

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Funny, I just tried making a few last night the jigless way by just rolling them in my fingers... after about 9 million curse words and 4 attempts later, I finally got one I liked. Then I took a look at it this morning and trashed it... back to the drawing board.

I will second that the ones from The FlyFisher are nice.
I tried that jigless way in the past myself. I found that twisting it is just nowhere near as good as an actual furled leader. It also limits the material you can make them out of.
Not all furled leaders are created equal. I use the onesc from the fly Fisher in lacy and have yet to ever have a knot or tangle. No I'm not kidding. Also he makes them in different flouro formats and they act as poly leaders for a sink effect. If you are fishing dries do not use the flouro ones and grease liberally with payette float.
I've gotten all mine from cutthroat leaders. He's now selling some floatant called "Otter butter" it's a bit more of a pain in the ass to apply than the payette paste but the leader seems to float all day with one application.


Active Member
I use them just about 100% of the time, and after having to use a store-bought tapered mono leader when I stupidly broke my furled leader, found it very difficult to cast.

I use a 78" furled leader and add about 24-36" of tippet, no further tapering. The only streams here are the spring creeks in Wisconsin's Driftless Area, and I never noticed that the fish paid any attention to the leaders - I catch plenty. I use Cutthroat furled leaders, never bought anybody else's, as these work just fine, but I bet many other brands are equally good. They have a wide range of lengths, strengths, colors. They do need some attention with Payette paste, which I do about 2-3 times during the course of a day. I already have too many hobbies so don't furl my own.

I will say something more - my casting is much improved with the furled leader. I feel that I have a lot more control over the direction, distance, and delicacy of my cast. That, for me, is the reason I use them.
Thanks for all your comments. I'll be out next week on a smallish, dry fly stream, and I might give it a go. I have a 7'6" model, which should be fine on small streams with a couple feet of one-size tippet.


Active Member
Cutthroat has a smaller size - 48" I think - for smaller rods. You might be fine with a 60" leader, but the smaller one works great for my 6'6" 2 weight.

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