AZ Wanderings Furled Leaders

Olive-600x600First thing I need to say is I'm really late in publishing this review on the Arizona Wanderings Furled Leaders. I've been fishing the leaders on my 3wt and 5wt for about 6 months now, and wanted to see how they held up, and put them through most every situation before giving them an honest review.

I was skeptical that thread leaders could hold up a whole season like the Mono/Flurocarbon ones that I make myself do, and I was wrong. Both of the leaders still look like new, no fraying, or wear even evident, I'm fully impressed! I've put a lot more casts and fish on the leader on my 3wt both on the Mogollon Rim for trout in the extreme small streams, and marathon Bluegill days 200+ fish a day, and I can't tell a wear difference between it and the one of the 5wt that has seen a lot less fish, but some nice sized fish indeed.

 

From the San Juan River in New Mexico...

superbowl juan-jason fish-ben

superbowl juan-jason fish-ben

 

superbowl juan-jason brown-ben

superbowl juan-jason brown-ben

 

One of the things that amazes most people when you show them a furled leader is that when you uncoil it there is no memory. It just uncoils and is perfectly supple. While a mono furled leader doesn't retain any coils after a cast or two, the thread based ones that Ben produces are just perfect right out of the package. You can hold one in your hand and get perfect loops just casting the leader, no rod, no line, or anything.

 

Lee's Ferry Arizona

lees ferry dry02

lees ferry dry02

 

jason ferry 1

jason ferry 1

 

I usually use P-Line (Fluorocarbon coated Monofilament) to make my leaders, and have only fished a thread based leader a few times before trying out Ben's leaders. I like how furled leaders turn over much better than standard tapered leaders and a lot of shock protection to the light tippet tied to it. I think both the thread and mono/fluoro based leaders have their place in your pack as each has some advantages over the other in certain situations. And there are advantages as well to hybrid mono/thread leaders as well but that's something for the Furled Leader tutorials coming out soon.

 

... to 200+ fish a day on Canyon Lake

200 plus bluegill day

200 plus bluegill day

 

The AZ Wanderings Furled Leaders are made very well, and hold up great. The taper Ben is using has a nice smooth turn over even when throwing an indicator rig on the Juan, or hopper dropper setup for fiesty bluegill on the lake. Being a knot-less leader there are no tag ends of line at each step in the taper to collect moss or slime from the water keeping the leader clean all day. With that said, the one fault I find with the thread leaders in that area is in warmwater lakes with a good algae bloom happening the leader tends to collect the micro particles of algae in the water and gets a little heavier and sinks quite a bit. That is an extreme situation, and it still happens to the other mono furled leaders, just not as bad because they are not porous. Letting the leader dry, and recoating with floatant helps quite a bit.

 

Another advantage of the furled leaders is versatility. Rather than switching leaders all the time, you can just adjust your tippet length or strength with a simple knot at the tippet ring. No complex knots to join line to line, just use your favorite terminal knot like you do a fly. My standard knot is the Uni-Knot, but lately I've been using a version of a figure-8 knot that I've been experimenting with.

 

If you've never fished with a furled leader, Ben's leaders would be a perfect way to give them a try. Reasonably priced, American made by hand and a quality product all the way around. Pick up one for your next trip, and I bet you don't go back to standard leaders again. Not to mention the actual savings you'll get not constantly replacing your leaders during a trip. Check out the Furled Leader page on the AZ Wanderings site for more information and ordering. http://azwanderings.com/furled-leaders/

 

 

Pros:

  • Presentation and ability to turn over the fly better
  • Wider range of uses than standard leaders, less changing, more fishing
  • Wind knots while rare with furled leader are easy to remove if so
  • Long term cost, one leader can outlast a season

 

Cons:

  • Dirty water can weigh the leader down after a full day and it sinks more than expected.
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