Re: Leader Options for Technical Dry Fly Presentations
I don't have the level of experience (# of years) you have in FF but here are my observations / experiences,
Dry fly fishing:
1) Furled leaders: Work really well due to their lack of memory, can achieve perfect tight loops. Well designed furled leaders turn over long > 5ft of tippet. However, I always experienced the water spray effect despite proper treatment, so have moved on from these
2) Knotless leaders (Rio / Orvis): Work well & are very versatile but aren't perfect. Once can attach long tippet & butt sections to achieve "George Harvey leader" behavior. Recently tried the Rio Suppleflex leaders and they are very good for Dry fly presentations.
3) Maxima knotted leaders: Have been tinkering with various formulae that I have found on the web, have yet to find the best one...search continues. A couple of months ago I found a gentleman who makes his own Maxima knotted leaders, these deliver the best performance for my needs / cast: Stiff butt section that prevents casting knots (if I rush a cast) but also allows the lower mid and tippet sections to fall in curves. So, when I cast them the butt and mid section lay out in a straight line but the lower mid + tippet section land in nice soft curves. In my opinion these leaders are the best I have fished and will be my first choice going forward.
I like the Gary Borger Uni leader very much (look up his website for the formula). I have modified it very slightly by incorporating a sighter in the 1' section. This allows me to fish w/o a indicator on skinny water.
I haven't tried too many variations to attach the leader to the fly line. I usually tie a very small perfection loop, which is not the best for conservation of energy.