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Dragonfly Angler–Dragon Fly Leader Review



Furled leaders, falsehoods, and the fly fishing Fairy .  Recently I received several of Dragonfly Angler’s new leaders.  Now I am familiar with furled leaders in concept, I never used one because I was told “Oh they throw spray, the fish see them, and they catch all the junk in the water”.  Now usually this is coming from someone who is selling the one piece tapered leaders.  So when I received the leaders I figured I would throw down the gauntlet, because these are not your standard furled leaders these are what I would call a marriage of a furled leader butt section and carefully crafted knotted leader tip.  I, being the last person to be called a great caster, added another hurdle to for these leaders to overcome.


Test one:  Wind resistant flies


8’ 4wt rod (St. Croix slow action)

Dragon fly leader 5X 9.5’

Fly – Size 10 rubber-legged Stimulator

Wind – Top of a mountain – It’s always windy and I am the only one that even attempts to fly fish this lake.

So I start out with just getting the line out and had about 10 feet of fly line out of the top of the rod and the fly was actually turning over.  So I work out a normal 30 foot cast, being that this is my stream rod it’s not what I would refer to as a cannon for launching flies.  At 30 feet with a big air resistant fly, the leader was turning the fly over perfectly. In fact I was truly surprised how much it was helping my casting.  I have a habit of really slapping a fly down especially in the wind.  This is where these leaders had me scratching my head.  The furled butt section turns the fly over with power and the knotted tip section just places the fly down on the water as if the fly fishing fairy was just lowering it into place on the waters tension.  I didn’t experience the spray that I had been told about even when I roll casting.


Test two:  Double fly rigs


8’ 4wt rod (St. Croix slow action)

Dragon fly leader 5X 9.5’

Flies – Size 10 Stimulator + bead head nymph /  Size 10 Irresistible +  Bead head Sparkle Pupa.

Wind – Same as test one


I guess I was feeling confident because I never cast two fly rigs with this rod.  The leader turned them over and still delivered them to the water softly.  The fine tip of the knotted leader did not bother the fish at all.  This lake is crystal clear where even Bluegills are spooky and require long fine leaders.


Test three:  The junk test

8’ 4wt rod (St. Croix slow action)

Dragon fly leader 5X 9.5’

Flies – Various floating and sinking flies


I took test three to another lake.  This lake is weed covered and algae choked.  I intentionally cast into areas that were as nasty as I could find.  What I did find was the only place the junk was ending up was on my flies.  The furled section just slid through all of the stuff and the knotted sections knots are well tied and smooth so they didn’t catch anything either.  So the falsehood of catching junk is unfounded.



The end result of the these leaders is a leader that fixes the problem I find with tapered leaders having either too stiff a butt section or a supple weak butt section.  The knotted portion of single strand leader makes the leader invisible to the fish.  All in all I can say is I am a convert and will be fishing these leaders for multiple species.  Try one and see - you will not be disappointed.


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