Originally Posted by lightline
You don't have to use that "leather thingy" to straighten a leader. Just pulling it tight with your hands/arms usually works. Stretch it a little. If that doesn't quite do it, pull it slowly between your thumb and index finger a time or two. Works just as good as a leather thingy. Takes about 15 seconds to straighten a 12-foot leader. Just don't pull too fast and burn yourself.
I have used the "leather thingy"
and sometimes find it useful. I always used factory tapered leaders and just replace or extend the tippet when necessary. I can't be bothered buying 8 to 10 spools of leader materials for a hand tied leader to save a few bucks. IMHO, tying your own leaders is like tying your own flies. It's something you will eventually want to try if you get deep into this sport. Hey maybe I'll try building my own rod at some point. That must be gratifying to catch a fish on your own rod.