Twined or furled leaders
Step seven - Q&A
By Martin Joergensen
A lot of fishers from all over the world have tried making these leaders - all with satisfactory results. Many have questions, though, an here I try to repeat the most common questions and their answers.
Q: The discussion describes the end product as a butt. Is it possible to make an entire leader except the last tippit section using this method?
A: You can easily make as much of the leader as you please as a twined section. There is one drawback of having the tippet tied directly onto the twined section though; when you gradually cut off flies and shorten your tippet, you will eventually have to tie on a new tippet section.
Doing this directly on the twined section is not a trivial field task. It's not difficult, but just takes some patience and care. Tying on a basic 'pretippet' can solve the problem. Here you can easily tie on a new tippet section with a Surgeon's knot.
Q: I am intersted in making a long 15 ft. leader for salmon fishing with a two-handed rod. I think the twined butt would have to be somewhat around 9-10 ft. Is that about right?
A: That would probably be fine. I use my furled leader as a butt, extend that with a 1½-2' piece of mono and tie my tippet onto that. With the heavier dimensions of a salmon leader a 10' furled butt extended with 2-3' of Maxima and a 1-2' tippet should work.
Q: In your own variations you give a formula using 5 pegs, is that correct?
A: My board has hooks in one end and 5 peg positions:
left row: 80, 160 and 220 centimeters
right row: 130, 188 and 220 centimeters
Q: Can I make a longer board and get a longer leader?
A: Elongating the board and the twined section is no problem. Just extend the peg positions proportionally or add pegs. Regarding the number of strands you will have to experiment. I used simple mathematics and a spreadsheet for my calculations.
Materials and thicknesses
Q: What happens if you use different materials for the two twined components?
A: I know that a lot of people use thread in stead of mono and are very pleased with the results. Especially for dry fly fishing, where the supplety of the thread leader is very useful. I have tried combining with copper wire for a sinking leader, but that does not work. Fluocarbon would be a better choice.
Q: Have you used fly tying thread. Another site on making furled leaders mentions using Uni Fly tying thread 6/0. Have you tried this yourself?
A: Yes, I have made quite a few leaders using tying thread, and if you find the nylon ones soft and limp, just wait untill you feel a leader made from tying thread! They are incredible! The supplety is excellent.
If you need the softest of leaders, try tying thread. I have used Monocore and UNI and both work fine. You will need quite a few more strands to get a thick leader, but for really fine and thin leaders, you can use the formulas described in the article. Most tying thread will absorb water, so for dryfly leaders you will need to treat them with a floatant such as Mucelin.
Q: How do you attach the end of the leader material to the bottom peg? The instructions mention making a loop. What kind of a loop, a loop that slides and closes or a loop that remains fixed such as a perfection loop?
A: Just an overhand loop. I use a diameter of a foot or so which adds further to the thickness of the bottom part of the leader.
Q: How do you maintain tension on the thread when you come to the bottom peg and
cut off your material from the spool?
A: Leave the thread on the spool while you build the leader. Keep tenstion all the time and when you come to the finishing point, keep tension on the line while making the final overhand loop. It might sound a little tricky, but is quite easy; measure the line for lenth, double it over, keep the tension, make the overhand loop, pass it over the peg and cut the tag.
Q: How are the loop connections at the ends incorporated? Simply knotted at the end or woven in somehow?
A: You don't incorporate anything if you use my method. The loop is there when the leader is finished. Make sure that all starts and finishes are made with loops. I use a simple overhand knot to make an open loop when I start and finish a strand. I that way you get loops only in each end. These you catch with a pieces of mono to hold them and later remove that mono when you attach the leader to the fly line via a loop-to-loop system.