I'm going with the braided leader as the culprit also. I fished with them for a while back in the early 2000's. Bad spray when lifted off the water.
There's still a lot of people that think a furled leader and braided are the same thing. They are- as being leaders but that's where it ends. A Ferrari and '61 VW Micro Bus are automobiles too if you want to look at it that way.
I use guess who's leaders too