Not often am I struck with a bolt of inspiration when it comes to
leaders (or anything else for that matter). I've been furling leaders
for a long time, and aside from adding a few strands, and using a
different type of material, it's pretty routine stuff. A few months
back, I happened across a reference to an article written by an American
engineer named Bernard Beegle.
In the article, Mr. Beegle
discussed the idea of using what he called a convex leader. He tied up
single strands of mono to create in effect, a weight forward leader. To
be honest, the idea did not seem very intuitively obvious to me. As I
thought about it more and more, it seemed like weight forward fly lines
preformed very well in a number of situations, would the same concept apply to leaders?
got busy furling and after a bit of fine tuning, came up with what
appeared to be a good design. I like to test my leaders by first casting
them by hand, mainly to see how well they turn over. Not only did the weight
forward leader turn over well, I could actually very easily throw a nice
Next step, field testing. Took the leader out to do
some lawn testing. Attached a quarter sized chunk of fluffed out yarn to
see how well the leader would fling it. It did great, I think that
extra mass up front helps power out the cast and turn over the large,
wind resistant fly. I think it's the same principle as to why bass bug
fly line tapers are in a weight forward configuration.
tried to cast a very short line, well actually no line, just the leader.
It cast in a nice tight loop, this configuration works
very well for tight, close quarter fishing situations.
Next step, field testing. It's not a pretty job, but someone has to do it. I was able to spend alot of time fishing the leader on my local pond. It fished bulky pan fish and small
bass bugs very nicely, great turnover of the wind resistant bugs. I
think this is one application that something other than a traditionally
tapered leader might excel.
After playing with leaders for a while, I expanded the concept to furling Tenkara Lines. Again, I was very happy with the way they performed, especially casting larger flies/bugs. All testing was again done fishing warm water environs with larger flies and bugs.
Unfortunately, when it gets cold here in Michigan, the water gets a bit thick. I've yet to fish the leaders/lines in any moving water situation.
Don't know how they will perform there. Fortunately, there are other warmer places during the winter, I've had about 3 dozen folks give the leaders and Tenkara lines a test drive, and the feedback to date has been universally positive.