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Make you own furled leader without a jig
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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I’ve been messing with making my own furled leaders since last season. I don’t use a jig and power drill; I make them from regular mono and furl them by hand. I really like them. They cast as well or better than the hand tied mono leaders I tie, but I like them more because they float better and are more visible for nymphing than plain mono. I usually apply floatant (muscilin) to the butt end and they float well all day. Like the regular mono leaders, they can be tied to perform the way you want them – to turn over a fly well, to execute slack casts, or somewhere in between.

It’s real simple and they cost practically nothing. I make them from regular 4 or 6 lb test mono, no need to use expensive tippet material either or buy a leader building kit with different diameter mono. You can just peel some line off your son’s (or your) Snoopy rod and your ready to build. You can use clear mono, stealthy colored mono, or use bright colored line for visibility to make a hot butt leader. The line is twisted together to form a tapered mono leader.

A good formula to try for a 6’ leader, measured starting from the butt, is 24” (8 strands) – 20” (6 strands) – 16” (4 strands) – 12” (2 strands). To make this 6’ (72”) furled leader, peel off 12’ (144”) of mono. Match both ends and double it up. Go to the end where the loop is formed, grasp one piece of line in each hand between your fingers, and twist both ends IN THE SAME DIRECTION. The line will twist together (furl) into a single fiber. Work your way down to the end and tie in an overhand knot to hold it together. You now have a single 72” strand, which will serve as the base of your leader. I usually add a few inches to each segment and cut them back to the exact measurement when finishing it.

Put your first segment aside and work on the next longest segment. Peel off 120”+ of mono, double it up and twist together in a same direction as the previous segment. You will end up with a 60” segment. Follow the same procedure for segment 3 - 88”+ of mono to yield a 44” segment. And segment 4 - 48” of mono to yield a 24” segment. All four segments should be twisted in the same direction.

Now to form the tapered leader you just twist together the four segments. Take the first two segments, the two longest ones, tie the ends together with an overhand knot, and twist both together. Twist both lines with your fingers in the same direction, but in the opposite direction from which you twisted before. In other words with your fingers on each hand you should always twist the line in the same direction, but if you twisted all the segments to the left, now twist the segments with your fingers on each hand to the right. Changing directions will tighten, not loosen the furl. Do the same thing for the two shorter segments. Knot them on the end and twist them together the same direction as the previous segment.

Now you are left with two segments. Knot and twist the final two segments the opposite way of the last segment .

You now have a tapered furled leader. To finish, you need to put a loop on each end and put a nail or needle knot where each segment meets together. I always start by forming a loop on the butt end and nail knot or whip-finish it together. A loop that is whipped or nail knotted slides through the tiptop easier than tying a knot with the leader. I measure from the end of the butt loop. For this leader nail knots will be, measuring from the butt end at 24” - 44” - 60”. – 72” (loop). You can also use a tippet ring on the thin end of the leader instead of a loop. I lay the leader out next to a tape measure, use masking tape on the butt end to keep it in place, and tie the knots. After tying the knot, I cut off the tag ends of the nail knots and the excess line remaining, since each segment was measured a few inches longer from the beginning. I coat the nail knots and loop knots with Knot Sense or Sally Hansens. This also helps the leader slip through your tiptop without hanging up.

A few things I’ve found are:

You can experiment with all different tapers, type and color of mono, and lengths of leaders. 4 lb test with 8 strands seems work well with a 3 or 4wt line. 6 lb test, 8 strands, works well for a 5 or 6 weight. You can use more strands or heavier line for a 7 or 8 weight lines. A 6’ furled leader is my average length, but you can tie one longer for a fine fishing, and shorter if you are doing a lot of nymphing. Also the length of any leader is dependent on the rod length and the size of the stream you are fishing. Since the leaders are so easy and cheap to make, you can make several and use the one that best fits the conditions and equipment you are using.

Laying the leader over the back of a chair and separating the tag ends when furling is a good way to keep the tag ends from twisting together when making each segment.

I’ve made some hot butt leaders for nymphing using bright colored mono. Also, I have used bright colored mono or bright colored thread to tie my nail knots for better line visibility when nymphing. Also, I like to “dirty” the knots with a little Strike Putty (orange works best) for visibility when nymphing. The furled leaders hold the Strike Putty better than regular mono and can removed easily when fishing dry flies. No need to mess with or buy any indicators if you have bright colored knots or a little Strike putty.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, the butt floats like a cork, even more so when floatant is applied since the furled leader holds floatant better and lasts longer. This feature is great for nymphing or for mending when fishing dry flies.

I often tie a short segments of 3X – 4X – 5X for example, on the end of my furled leader to step down to my tippet. I can use the same leader to create a long leader for clear water and fussy trout, or make it shorter for high stick nymphing, simply by changing the length and size of the mono on the tippet end.

It sounds like a lot of work when you read my instructions, but after you build one or two, it’s really not any more work and doesn’t take any more time than building a regular knotted mono leader. Give it a try – good luck.

Posted on: 2008/5/21 11:34


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

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I've used old woven style that sprayed water and the newer orvis ones with lots of memory in the past and didn't care for them. what advantages do you find in using them, besides the given of turning flies over smoothly? Me personally, if I'm covering water I found them to be limiting...(I used indicators mainly for nymphing)
and I would be interested in your thoughts on using them from it acting as an indicator for nymphing (i found you can't fish deep enough) to dry fly presentations - all in the same leader or are you changing based on different water / presentation.
I would love to find a way to not have to change leaders to go from nymphing (dead drifting deep, not swinging) to dry flys. It would be cool if it was just a few knots to tie on a new tippet section.


Great post, thank you.

Posted on: 2008/5/21 23:22


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 876
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skiltonian,it sounds like your previous experience might have been with a braided leader,as opposed to a furled one.braided leaders spray water,not so much furled leaders.


afishinado,i've read your post a few times and still don't quite get it.i'm a real genius,aren't i? :)

i was thinking of building a jig for leaders made of tying thread,but your way with mono might be better.

Posted on: 2008/5/22 0:36


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig
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From Chester County
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Skil,

Like Shakey said, it sounds like you tried braided leaders in the past. Braided leaders are hollow and spray water, furled leaders twisted together and are solid, therefore do not hold or spray water.

99% of the time I use the same leader for both nymphing and dries when on the stream. When I arrive I chose the furled leader that I believe will best do the job based on a lot of factors – size of the stream, water clarity, length of my rod, depth of the stream, etc.

I do use indicators on occasion and a furled leader works well with them too. I will give you a typical fishing scenario. When fishing a smallish to medium size stream I may chose a 5’ furled leader. No rises seen, so I plan to start nymphing. Attached to the furled leader I would tie on say 20” of 3x, 20” of 4X, and 24” of 5X for my tippet. That would give me a 10’ + leader. This is a similar formula as the business end of a George Harvey leader. I can turn over a fly, but also make a slack cast with relative ease. When attaching my tippet section, I would tie it with an Orvis tippet knot and leave the upper tag end long enough to use as dropper. I would begin fishing with a weighted generic nymph and a nymph to match what I think will be active at the time. I would put a little Strike Putty on the 3X knot, on the end of my furled leader, and one knot up on the furled leader for visibility, and work casting upstream. Instead, if you wish, you can put a floating strike indicator in the middle of the 3X section and adjust it up or down from there. I always make sure that there is thin diameter line riding below the indicator. I would never put an indicator near the butt of a leader, whether it be furled or conventional. A heavy leader in the water tends to drag the flies – the thinner line gives you a better drift and more sensitivity for strike detection.

Let’s say I work into an area of deeper/ faster water. I would add a third fly, a heavily weighted nymph (anchor fly) which I tie for this purpose. I would attach it to the eye of the point fly making a heavyweight 3 fly rig for dredging the bottom. Often I rig the anchor fly as the second fly in the rig. If necessary, I will add a split shot or a little sticky weight to get the rig down, but mostly I try not use the added weight to my rig.

I work out of the fast run up to a glassy pool and see small delicate rises – ut oh - looks like midges. I cut off my dropper and the other 2 nymphs leaving me with 5X on the end of the leader. I simply attach 36” of 6X as the tippet, I now have a 13’ leader ready for midge action. I used the same leader and changed from a deep nymphing rig to a midge rig without any hassle.

This just an example, but it is typical to how I use one leader butt and just change the terminal end to meet conditions. HTH.


Shaky,

For now just disregard the instructions. Grab a piece of mono. Double it up by aligning the tag ends. Grab each piece of line near where the loop is formed and twist both sections of the line between you fingers in the same direction. The line will twist together forming a single strand. You than make multiple segments of different lengths and join them together to form a tapered leader. HTH

Posted on: 2008/5/22 8:34


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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Bump.

This has been discussed lately. This thread is the source of truth on the matter, imo.

Posted on: 2010/1/20 10:49


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
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Wow Jay how long did it take to find this ?

Posted on: 2010/1/20 16:00
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There is no disadvantage in being able to cast far"
- Lefty Kreh -


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

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From Bozeman
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Quote:

Fredrick wrote:
Wow Jay how long did it take to find this ?


About 15 seconds to pm afish about that furled leader post he made forever ago.

How long it took him to find, I have no idea. I do appreciate it.

Posted on: 2010/1/20 16:12


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

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2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3428
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He probably had 2000 post to go threw before he found it . There not that hard to make....... If I can do it anyone can ......

Posted on: 2010/1/20 16:40
_________________
There is no disadvantage in being able to cast far"
- Lefty Kreh -


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
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Well i can for get about sleeping tonight. I have seen these leaders in action. Waiting for a post like this or a chance to ask you. Thank you.

Posted on: 2010/1/20 20:26
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To this day, I still cannot go fishing without flipping over at least one rock..........or two...........or till I find a buggy.


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

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thanks afish and jay too , this furled leader has been bugging me lately , i don't know why , i guess it because i hate trying to tie blood knots 20 minutes before dark while the trout are slamming the top infront of me cause they know i am untieing a nymph and trying to make the "dreaded switch" i am definitely going to be playing with this a little more , i mean the furled leader here fellas .....thanks

Posted on: 2010/1/20 20:36


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig
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Joined:
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Quote:

Fredrick wrote:
He probably had 2000 post to go threw before he found it . There not that hard to make....... If I can do it anyone can ......




Advanced search for "furled "leaders" > author name > from the beginning

Posted on: 2010/1/21 7:40


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
Posts: 248
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By some chance do you have a formula for fishing Smallmouth ? or is the one posted above with 6lbs. test ok. or should i use the same lenths (144", 120", 88", 48") with 8lbs. test, so i can use different tippet material ?

Posted on: 2010/3/15 9:51
_________________
To this day, I still cannot go fishing without flipping over at least one rock..........or two...........or till I find a buggy.


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig
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Joined:
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From Chester County
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The same formula works with either 10lb or 12lb line.

BTW, I changed the way I make these leaders and now use a Triple surgeons knot at each segment rather than a whip finish. I faster and seems to keep the strands tighter and together longer.

Posted on: 2010/3/15 9:57


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
Posts: 248
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I don't know that knot. This L.L. Bean ultimate FF book has all kind of knots in it, I'll look it up.
The nail knots connecting all the segments where slipping till I read the tread again (for the 20th time) and saw you coated them with nail polish or head cement or knot glue.
They are pretty easy when you get the hang of them and more cost effective.

Posted on: 2010/3/15 10:16
_________________
To this day, I still cannot go fishing without flipping over at least one rock..........or two...........or till I find a buggy.


Re: Make you own furled leader without a jig

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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Triple surgeons is just a triple overhand knot. So easy a caveman could do it.

Posted on: 2010/3/15 17:15



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