Twined or furled leaders

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Step two - preparation

By Henk Verhaar

So how does one make such a twined leader butt? I'll start out by describing the needed materials, then describe the basic procedure for a standard butt, ending with an indication of all the possible customizations.

The board
Materials needed
Most important is what I'll call the leader board. This basically is a 2.4 m long, 25 cm wide wooden board with a smaller board overhanging the top, three hooks attached to the underside of the overhang, and a number of plugs, attached to the board, beneath the two outermost hooks. See figures 1 and 2 for general idea of setup and for some standard measurements.
The board can be homemade from available scrap wood having the correct dimensions -- attachment of the overhang is with dowels and glue. The plugs are cut sections from a round stick (like a broomstick) about 2 cm in diameter, and are attached to the board with dowels. Use the distances shown in figure 2 to start with. They can be either glued down, or just stuck into holes in the board -- this makes it possible to alter the custom taper of the butt by changing the plugs to a different set of holes. More on this later. Draw a line across the board at approximately 2.00 m down from the hooks (or 90% of the distance from the hooks to the lowest plugs).

Next item is some heavy lead weights with attachment loops. I use surf casting lead weights with anchors (these are normally bent outwards to assist anchoring of the weight to the bottom, but in our case are kept straight so as to facilitate turning the weight), and a heavy wire snap as attachment loop, although a heavy paperclip could be adjusted for this purpose also. See also figure 6.The weight

Other stuff
Some superglue will be necessary to seal the two ends -- again, more on this later -- and finally a roll of mono to make the leader butt. Yes that's right, you need just ONE roll, one strength of mono, to make an entire butt. I usually buy this in 100m rolls. 100 m (110 yards) will make you three complete butts. For trout and other light line leaders I use 12/00 mm dia. mono (this is similar to 6X). For light saltwater work I may step this up to 15/00 (5X) and for heavy pike streamer leaders even 18/00 (4X). But to get started, you can get by with just one 100 m roll of 6X.




User comments
From: Lincoln Parmer · lynx18087·at·  Link
Submitted June 27th 2008

Dear Henk: Is it possible to build the furled leader with different thread weights such as 3/0 for the butt of the leader, 6/0 for the mid sections, and 8/0 for the tippets. And, how would I go about doing that. Thank you..

From: Mark Ringlstetter · mark.ringlstetter·at·  Link
Submitted July 16th 2006

I have thought of making Furled Leaders for a long time now. Yesterday I decided, today is the day (or as an Italian Flyfisherman would say it, "Carpe Diem")! In about 1/2 an hour I built up the rig as diagrammed so nicely by Martin, followed his directions and made my first Furled Leader in another half an hour. It really was that simple. I don't know now why I ever waited so long to make the first one. This afternoon I'll make up a longer one and try it out tomorrow on my favorite river nearby and let you know how I like it.

Thank you Martin for all your efforts in writing all these detailed instructions and diagrams. It is actually VERY easy once you actually decide to make one.

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