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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 10, 2006December 10th, 2006, 1:54 pm EST
This topic came up in the mono vs flouro thread, and it probably needs its own thread, so here goes. I just hope those crickets don't set in too loudly.

This thread is to elicit comments on furled leaders (not to be confused with braided ones). A few years back, getting motivation from a Fly Fisherman magazine article and directions from the internet and from Jim Cramer, the author of the article, I tied furled leaders from uni-thread and fished them for a season or two. There were distinct advantages and, at least for me, disadvantages, so I went back to mono leader bodies. But I'm not sure to this day that I should have. I really like the furled leaders for their link to angling history, for their light touch (they make almost no splash), and for their floatability. I'm not sure about whether or not they are better for reducing drag, as claimed. But I especially didn't like them for nymphing, though Cramer does, And I'd bet he's a better fisherman than I am. Ultimately it was a pain to switch back and forth when I thought I needed a mono leader, even with the "quick change" loop system I devised, so I limited furled leader use to Trico fishing. Though I think they work very well for this, lazy me, last season I just used the leader on the reel (a mono one) and tinkered with the tippet some, adjusting to stream conditions as usual. I'd like to hear others' comments on furled leader experiences.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 10, 2006December 10th, 2006, 11:59 pm EST
David, I have several mono furled leaders that I purchased, and believe I used one of them briefly, but don't remember what I thought of it. Jim Cramer and I corresponded via email, and he said he didn't like mono, so I stuck with thread. I'll post in one of his emails in below to give some of his opinions about furled leaders. I apologize for the format, due to copying the email directly, but it is readable. If others have questions about tapers, or about jigs, I believe I have more information in another file. I thought it was fun to make them.

From Jim Cramer: "Some of the leader variables available and my recommendations follow.

1. Thread. Currently, my thread of choice for most trout applications,
is 3/0
or 6/0 polyester thread. Each brand of thread has its own
characteristics and
will change leader performance. For special applications leaders can be
made of
Kevlar or the super strong spun gel threads but these materials do not
and therefore do not protect light tippets. I have used monofilament
thread but
I don't recommend it except for a few special applications. Some
can be used for salt water furled leaders where presentation problems

2. Length. The leaders can be made in almost any length. Most of the
leaders that I make are 6 to 9 feet in length so when you add the tippet
end up with a 9 to 12 foot leader. For general use I recommend a 7 to
7.5 foot
leader which with a tippet makes a total of 10 to 11 feet. The soft
landing and
reduced drag reduces the need for extremely long leaders.

3. Loops. I can provide the leaders with or without spliced loops at
either or
both ends for loop to loop connections. All the standard tippet sizes
work well
with these leaders. For my own use I omit the loops and use a jamb knot
attach the leader to a loop on the fly line. The jamb knot is also known
“Becket Bend” or “Sheet Bend”, (the sailors’ names). For the tippet I
use the
double surgeons knot. If you use a double surgeon for the tippet it is
when replacing the tippet to leave the old knot in place until the new
knot is
tied to avoid unraveling.

4. Taper. Three and five step tapers are most common. With the heavier
and short leaders I recommend the three step taper. For the regular
lengths and
lighter threads I prefer the five step taper. The steepness of the taper
also be varied. The #514 (my code) is a 5 step leader with 14 strands of
in in the butt, tapering to a 6 strand tip. This is a delicate leader
recommended for the smallest flies, rods 3 wt and less and ideal fishing
conditions. The most popular leader is the #522 which is a 5 step taper
with 22
strands in the butt section. The 522 is best suited for 4 wt and heavier
and normal fishing situations. Almost any taper can be built into these
leaders, but these are most useful. A six strand tip is the standard but
also can be changed. (Breaking strength of a six strand 6/0 thread tip
is 8 to
9 pounds, and the 3/0 six strand tip is 12 to 14 pounds.) There is no
correlation between the thread designation and the monofilament “X”

5. Color. The two most popular colors are Lt Cahill (pale yellow) and a
visibility Chartreuse. Color is limited only by my available threads.
colors I have readily available are Tan and Fire Orange. The Fire Orange
gaining quickly in popularity and is one of my favorites. The lighter,
colors enable the angler to track his fly much easier under adverse
conditions. For nymph work I generally use either the darker colors or a
bright color that serves as a strike indicator.

6. Leader treatment. For dry fly fishing I recommend treating the dry
with a good paste floatant such as Mucilin. If you don’t have Mucilin I
found that a good paste floor wax such as Johnson’s floor wax works
quite well.
One treatment should last most of a fishing day. I do not recommend
proofers such as Water Shed as they do little to aid flotation."
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Dec 11, 2006December 11th, 2006, 1:35 am EST
Good post Louis
I used furled leaders for the first time last year on the Little J. It was late July at the time, I used a Blue Sky 6ft on my 9foot 3 wt rod with .006 dia 4 foot leader. I was really delighted with how it performed for midge fishing. The only disadvantage was when I casted into the brush, when you break off you sure have a mess.


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Dec 11, 2006December 11th, 2006, 4:00 am EST
Apologies, Louis, for the cricket treatment on that other thread - it is a daring topic to start and I commend you for your audacity.

I have never used furled leaders, although I do enjoy learning about traditional tackle. I'm enjoying reading this discussion.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 12, 2006December 12th, 2006, 2:29 am EST
No problem Shawn. All in good fun.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Cassville MO

Posts: 3
Flysmith on Dec 12, 2006December 12th, 2006, 8:16 am EST
JaD; when you stretch a furled leader, such as a hangup, they do tend to spring into a wad. If you dry cast the leader a few time, it will take the reverse twist out of the leader.
AKA Smitty
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 12, 2006December 12th, 2006, 8:43 am EST
Smitty, thanks for the tip. Do you have any other furled leader tips or experiences for us who are new to them? What's your overall view?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Cassville MO

Posts: 3
Flysmith on Dec 13, 2006December 13th, 2006, 2:33 am EST
I have used furled leaders for years. Mostly a dry fly fisher, I like the fact that I can grease the leader heavily. I actually have a two rod setup. One rod with a mono leader for wets and one with furled when there is a hatch. There are a number of people who offer quality furled leaders, but my personal favorite is the Blue Sky brand. I've thought about making my own, but I can buy a $15 leader that will last me a season or two. Unless you just want to make your own,it just doesn't make sense to go to the bother. I would rather spend my time tying new patterns or just fishing. I've heard all the arguements on furled leaders, and most are just hogwash IMO. If I can offer any tip, it would be to use a tippet ring. The tippet "eye" of a furled leader is fragile and is usually the first part of the leader to wear out. I solve this problem by sewing a tippet ring to the leader end, then I loop connect to the ring with the tippet material. A greased leader will easily float the ring. You can also buy furled leaders with a tippet ring already attached at Feather Craft w/mail order. I don't remember the web sites for Blue Sky or Feather Craft, but you can google them up.
AKA Smitty
Cassville MO

Posts: 3
Flysmith on Dec 13, 2006December 13th, 2006, 2:35 am EST
AKA Smitty
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Dec 13, 2006December 13th, 2006, 4:15 am EST
I don't know Blue Sky at all, maybe they're great, but I can very enthusiastically recommend Feather-Craft. I wish their store website was a little easier to navigate, but once you find what you're looking for they have really good customer service and their tying materials come in generous quantities.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Corinth TX

Posts: 3
DeRidder on Dec 17, 2006December 17th, 2006, 8:53 am EST
Jason I second that about feather-craft, good company to do business with.
www.Blueflycafe.com sells blue sky leaders and great flies at a very reasonable price . I can vouch for Bluefly , done a lot of business with them and can't beat their prices. I buy my #14 and smaller ( my eyes arent as good as they used to be, Lol).
I furl my own leaders also and never found the need to buy them.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 20, 2006December 20th, 2006, 8:57 am EST
Gonzo, and others. With the thread body leaders when fishing dries it really helps to use Mucilin or as Jim Cramer suggests Johnson's paste floor wax to be sure they float and don't sink your tippet.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Posts: 2
JimCramer on Dec 25, 2006December 25th, 2006, 7:14 am EST
Hi all!

A friend told me of this discussion so I've just checked in.

Here is an excerpt from my files that you may find interesting.

Furled Leaders - What are they and the Pros and Cons

Let me try to shed some light on furled leaders. I started making them about 1994 and since that time I have made well over a thousand leaders. In that time I’ve done considerable research and experimentation, and my friends and clients have done a lot of field testing.

What is a furled leader? For those not familiar with them, they could best be described as a miniature tapered rope. Multiple strands of material are twisted together to make the knotless tapered leader. They have no hollow core and are not to be confused with braided leaders on the market.

Like most everything else, not all furled leaders are created equal. Some are much better than others. Much depends on the material of which they are made, as well as design, taper and construction. Most of the commercial furled leaders on the market are made of monofilament. which tends to be stiffer and retain some memory. It is not my material of choice for most trout fishing although mono has its place for certain situations. Having said that, I will say that I am currently experimenting with some new mono that shows promise. The only place I use mono furled leaders is for salt water applications where delicate presentation is not a concern.

I find that the furled leaders made of thread excel for fishing dry flies. The advantages are listed below. Some of those advantages are lost when the leader is used for subsurface work and material changes may be called for to satisfy those conditions. I do find that the highly visible leaders are very useful for short line, highstick nymphing as any current drag on the leader is easily detected. The leader also serves as long strike detector. Are furled leaders the the answer to all fishing conditions? No, but what they do well, they do very well.

Let me address the most common concern of anglers upon seeing their first thread furled leader - “Won’t the color spook the fish”? A leader’s primary function is to provide the most natural presentation possible of the fly and a colored leader has little impact on the fish. Trout and other fish are continually exposed to flotsam and inert objects and are not spooked unless such objects move, cast sudden shadows or act unnaturally. If the fish spooked at everything floating down the river they would soon starve. When a trout rises to a dry fly its window of vision is diminished to the point that the furled section is of no concern. From the anglers point of view the visible leader is a definite asset as one strives to track their fly in adverse conditions.

The following advantages and disadvantages apply to the thread furled leaders. My apologies in advance if the indents in the text get misaligned.

Jim Cramer


o Memory Free

o Positive turnover provides increased accuracy

o Reduced micro-drag

o Natural elasticity protects light tippets

o Gentle presentation eliminates leader slap

o Compatible with a wide variety of tippet sizes

o User Friendly, not prone to wind knots (however one can form wind knots if they try, *S*)

o High-visibility assists the angler in the tracking
small flies in adverse light conditions

o Good retention of paste floatants

o Excellent knot strength

o Far less spray than hollow braided leaders, comparable to monofilament leaders

o Inexpensive, if you make your own

o Custom leaders can be designed with a wide latitude in tapers and characteristics to meet many angling situations

o Good longevity, reports of leaders lasting several seasons are not uncommon


o Positive turnover increases difficulty with curve and 'trick' casts

o Thread leaders can mildew if put away wet in a warm dark place

o Will collect dirt if used in scum covered waters and will not float until cleaned

o Knots are difficult to remove

o Keep you back cast up as the leaders are very difficult to remove from the brush

In summary furled leaders excell for certain conditions but they are not the answer to every fishing situation.

Jim Cramer
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 26, 2006December 26th, 2006, 5:10 am EST
Jim, thanks for weighing in, and for all your help a few years ago when I was making my own uni-thread leaders. I recently gave one of the guys who posts here one of the thread leaders to try, and I'm going to dig mine out this winter for some midge fishing. I especially like them for midge or Trico fishing because of the visibility and help in tracking small flies (I took your advice and tied up some chartreuse and fire orange leaders). One thing I really like is how well they float when greased with Mucilin. Thanks for the tips on high-sticking with them. I'd think they also would work very well for greased leader nymphing with midge pupae or Sawyer style shallow nymphing.

For everyone else, at one time Jim would tie up custom leaders and he sold them for a very reasonable price. If you want to try one of the thread leaders (they are plenty strong, by the way; see his analyses I posted above in the third post down from the top. I also tested them and found them to have similar break strengths.) you might send him a private message by clicking on his name and ask if he is still selling them. I believe his analysis of the pro's and con's is very inclusive and accurate.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 25, 2007February 25th, 2007, 10:52 am EST
Jim, don't know if you'll see this, and perhaps another visitor will have an opinion. Below is a section edited and copied out from another post about a recent day on the stream:

The wind was my biggest problem; it kept blowing my leader, tippet, and fly around, so I had a hard time fighting drag. I had slipped on a Unithread furled leader, and wind may be another condition under which to prefer a nylon leader to a furled Unithread one. The Unithread leader is very light, generally allowing it to settle onto the water without spooking fish as easily as a heavier nylon leader, but it seemed to be blown around more than nylon would have that day in the wind.

Also on roll casts it seemed to lack the ability to pop the fly out into the wind the way a nylon leader would have. But the above observations may be partly, or all, my rationalizations for not having better control of my casts.

I wonder, if I had used more low snappy bounce casts, might I have been able to get the problem under control sooner?

Jim, others, any thoughts on these observations?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Posts: 2
JimCramer on Mar 15, 2007March 15th, 2007, 4:56 pm EDT

You don't state what the taper was on your furled leader. Was it a 3 step, 5 step, what was the thread and what was the taper? Some leaders, having what I classify as shallow tapers, i.e., few strands in the butt could contribute to the problems you describe. And of course casting skills also contribute.
Most of my typical trout leaders have at least 22 strands in the butt and if I expect lots of wind I may go to 24 or 26 strands.

Jim Cramer
Jim Cramer

Posts: 22
Stanislav on Mar 16, 2007March 16th, 2007, 12:59 am EDT
I`m really interested about this discussion. Could you guys show some scheme haw exacly to make such a leader. Sorry for the lack of knowledge. I`ve seen some schemes but its obvious that some of you know a lot about this leaders so give some advises what tread to use, haw many steps 3,5,what`s the difference and ect... It`ll be a pleasure for me to tie my own furled leaders.
The life is too short to fish a bad fly
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 17, 2007March 17th, 2007, 2:14 pm EDT
Stan,I learned from the internet by using Google and searching "furled leaders" and "twined leaders."

Below I'm posting in something I saved from a website years ago. You may or may not be able to contact Freaner now. This should give you an idea of how to proceed, but you'll probably have to do some internet searches as well. Also see the comments Jim Cramer emailed me a while back. Let me know if you don't get enough information and I'll try to add more.

Jim, thanks for the tip on trying a heavier butt. A better caster might not have any problems with wind, and I may learn to battle it better with furled leaders at some time. I'm switching back and forth some (nylon to furled and back) but it's fun to get the furled leaders back into action.

Furled Leader Instructions:

Making Furled Leaders --
by: Claude Freaner

I was first shown a furled leader by Hans Weilenmann and was instantly impressed with the limpness and lack of memory of it. After doing a little searching I found instructions at Martin Joergensen's web site http://www.danica.com/mj/ in which he had made some modifications to Henk Verhaar's instructions. I sent several questions to Henk about the process and he was gracious enough to take the time to answer them in detail. These instructions may be considered an update to Henk's original work.
I'll be referring to the sketches in the accompanying drawing [sorry; it didn't copy, but you may find it on the net--Louis] , so I'd suggest you download it and print it so you can follow along. I took a scrap piece of 1" by 4" lumber I had that was around 10 feet long and used it as the basis of my furled leader jig. A quick trip to the lumber store for a 36 inch long 1 inch diameter wood dowel (you could use an old broom handle), and I was nearly ready to go - just had to root around in the "messy drawer" to find a couple of cup hooks I knew were hiding therein. I took Henk's original measurements for dowel placement and marked them on the board. The dowel was cut into 4 inch long pieces; I then found some 1.5 inch long wood screws and drilled a pilot hole in the bottom of each dowel piece that was slightly smaller than the screw. Moving to the 1x4, I drilled a hole at each marked location slightly larger than the screw diameter, and then a countersink hole on the bottom of the board so that the screw head would be recessed and not scratch the furniture. I screwed the cup hooks into one end of the board, and I was ready to go.
The original measurements of Henk's ended up as a 10 foot long 5X leader when I finished. I've also provided measurements for creating 8 foot and 12 foot leaders. The only decision left is what material to use in making the leaders. My first choice was 2 pound test Berkeley Trilene mono (standard mono fishing line), as I could buy it in a 400 yard spool. This turns out to make a decent 1X leader butt. Alternative materials I've used, and now prefer, are standard 6/0 and 8/0 Unithread (used normally for tying flies...) The thread leaders are even limper, and seem stronger, than the 2 pound test mono. I'd suggest the 6/0 thread for leaders fished with a 5wt or heavier line, and the 8/0 for leaders on 4wt or smaller line. Color is your choice; I've seen yellow used (the whole leader is a strike indicator), and I've used pale blue, light gray, and white. Since you're going to add a couple feet of mono tippet to the leader, it doesn't really matter much, in my opinion.
Let's assume you're using 6/0 Unithread. Tie a large (3 or 4 inch) loop in the end of the thread using a figure 8 knot, surgeons knot, square knot, or whatever and put the loop onto one of the cup hooks. Now, take the thread down to the first dowel on that side of the board, go around the dowel and back to the cup hook, then back to the dowel, etc., making a total of 5 turns. As you pass the dowel following the 5th turn, continue on to the next dowel, go around it, and back to the first dowel. As you go around the first dowel, drop the thread spool through the first set of loops to interlock the loops - go back to the second dowel, around it, and back to the first where you drop the spool through the first loops again.
Henk's original formula has 2 and 1/2 turns for this second set of loops - my spreadsheet analysis seems to show that 3 and 1/2 turns would make a more uniform taper to the leader. When I asked Henk about this, he agreed, but said that he had noticed no difference in fishing, and using the 2 and 1/2 turns, he could make 3 leaders from one 100 meter spool of thread. So, my conclusion is that you can do 2 and 1/2 turns or 3 and 1/2 turns - take your pick. Whatever you decide, when you do that number, go past the second dowel to the last dowel (the one in the center of the board), go around the last dowel and up to the closest dowel on the other side of the board, go around it, back to the center dowel and go around it, back to the second dowel on the first side, and as you go around it (from the inside to the outside - always), drop the spool through the previous loops to lock the loops together. Now go back around the center dowel at the bottom, and up to the closest dowel on the other side. If you pause to count, you'll see a total of three strands of thread between this dowel and the center dowel at the bottom, and three strands of thread between the center dowel at the bottom and the second dowel on the first side.
Continuing on, make either 2 and 1/2 or 3 and 1/2 turns between the next two dowels on the second side, making sure to always drop the thread spool through the previous loops to lock them together. Then finish with 5 and 1/2 turns between the last dowel and the second cup hook. Cut the thread, and tie a 3 or 4 inch loop in the thread end and slip it over the cup hook.
If you start with the first cup hook and count strands of thread, you'll see it starts at 11, goes to either 5 or 7, then to 3, goes around the center dowel at the bottom, increases to either 5 or 7, and ends with 11 again. Since the dowels are offset in distances, this will give you the taper when you finish. Now, close to the center dowel at the bottom, hang a weight on the thread (either side of the dowel), to maintain the tautness as you proceed to the next step. I used a couple of 1 ounce lead sinkers, hung from a paper clip (1 sinker for the 8/0 thread). Carefully pull each set of locked loops up off the dowels and toward the center of the board. You'll end up with the thread attached at the cup hooks on one end, going around the center dowel at the other, and kept tight by the lead weights. Go to the cup hooks; on either, slip a paper clip onto the little loop where it goes around the cup hook - this is so you can take the loops off the cup hook and have them fall apart. Keeping the thread loops tight (just tight enough to not get messed up) walk around until you're standing in line with the board and about 14 feet away from the cup hooks.
At this point place the paper clip onto a cup hook that you have previously placed in the chuck of a reversible electric drill and left sitting here. What you should see is: connected to your drill is a paper clip attached to a fat bunch of thread that becomes a thinner bunch of thread loops, and then fattens up again as it approaches a cup hook around 14 feet away. Maintaining a slight tension on the thread with the drill, turn it on and twist up the loops. Look at the label on the drill and see how many rpm it does. You'll want a total of around 2400 revolutions for a 10 foot leader, maybe 2100 for an 8 footer and maybe 2700 for a 12 footer. keep the drill on however long it takes to get that many turns. You can make sure your thread doesn't get too tight and break by holding the drill in one handing and constantly "tapping" on the revolving thread to check its tension. Expect to have the thread shorten by about 10%, or 16 to 18 inches, when you reach the correct number of turns - so be prepared to continually ease the tension on the thread by moving the drill slowly toward the cup hooks. 20
When you reach the right number of turns, carefully place the drill on the floor, a chair or whatever, maintaining the tension on the twisted thread (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT). Move up to the halfway point and make sure your lead weights are attached here via the paper clip and are hanging off the side of the board. If you have another person around to help, now is the time to use them. Letting the weights or the other person help keep tension at the midpoint, walk back around to the cup hooks with the drill. Carefully detach the paper clip from the drill and slip it over the cup hook that has thread twisted onto it (not the empty cup hook). If possible, clip the thread loops onto the cup hook so you can remove the paper clip. KEEP THE TWISTED THREAD UNDER TENSION AT ALL TIMES; otherwise it'll kink up on you and you can throw it away.
Once you have the two thick ends on the same cup hook, take the drill down to the thin part that your weights or other person is holding. Attach a paper clip to the line at this point, and slip the paper clip onto the drill -keeping everything under tension. Reverse the drill motor so it will now "untwist" (spin counterclockwise). Give it around 800 turns for a 10 foot leader, 600 for an 8 footer, or 1000 for a 12 footer. What you are doing here is actually allowing the twisted strands to kink, but in a controlled fashion. When you finish, set the drill down, unhook the paper clip from the cup hook in the drill, and, holding the twisted thread a couple of feet above the paper clip, let go of the clip and let it spin free - it should only twist one direction or the other for a very few turns. Move your hand another couple feet up the leader and let go of the paper clip again - continue to the cup hook. Before you slip the leader off the cup hook, insert a paper clip into the little loops so that the two twisted strands can't come apart. The small end of the leader won't come apart, but the heavy end will.
Tie a loop of choice in the heavy end; I prefer a figure 8 loop, but a surgeon's loop and perfection loop knot will also work. This loop can then be interlocked with a loop on the end of your flyline. IMPORTANT: DO NOT TAKE THE PAPER CLIP OFF UNTIL YOU'VE TIED A LOOP KNOT ON THE HEAVY END (it'll unravel on you). On the small end of the leader, you have a 1X tip so you should add a 12 inch or so long piece of 3X tippet to this, using loop knots, blood knots, or whatever, and then finish with 4X or 5X tippet, or even add another length and end up at 6X or 7X. After you've made a couple of these, the total time you'll spend is around 15 minutes to make a leader - and that includes time to go get the drill, open up a beer, adjust the TV volume, and so forth.
These leaders will turn over a fly just casting with your hand - no rod needed! Drilling the extra holes in the board for the 8 foot leader and the 12 foot leader will allow you to move the dowels as necessary for making longer or shorter leaders. If you have any questions about this process - you can email me at: freaner@gte.net
Claude Freaner
Lake Ridge, VA
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

Posts: 22
Stanislav on Mar 18, 2007March 18th, 2007, 7:36 am EDT
That will help with sure :) Thanks a lot.
The life is too short to fish a bad fly
DJ Daugherty

Posts: 2
Ddaugher on Nov 20, 2009November 20th, 2009, 6:02 am EST
check out http://www.stinkdogleaders.com

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