CutThroat Leaders Review
I have my first order of CutThroat hand woven Furled Leaders and there is a lot to like about them. I have not been a fan of braided leaders in the past but it has been many years since I first tried a furled leader. When I first tried out a furled leader they were not thread and they were loosely furled. They were disappointing and I never consider them again until now.
CutThroat Leaders is a sponsor of NAFFF and with all the good things I have recently heard about furled leaders it was time to try them again. Mike Morin is the owner and operator of CutThroat Leaders. The leaders from CutThroat are woven from a good quality thread and the weave is just right, not too tight or too loose. They come in a variety of lengths, types, colors and materials. If you don’t like any of the standard leader configurations Mike will try to accommodate your requirements.
What is a Furled leader
A furled leader is a leader made by weaving the selected material to form a woven leader. Many different materials can be used but modern day furled leaders are made from thread or fluorocarbon. The advantage of thread is it has no memory and there is never a need to stretch or straighten a furled leader made with thread. You connect the furled leader to your fly line with a loop to loop connection. Then tie a tippet to the end of the tapered furled leader and your fly to the tippet.
The CutThroat packaging is first class. I was immediately aware that the packaging was professional and very well done. Each leader comes in a zip lock bag that contains the leader and a card with the description of the enclosed leader. You can tell the type of leader, the length and the intended rod weight. On the back of the card is useful information on how to use the leader, CutThroat’s address and phone number. There is also a handy chart that gives the Diameter, Tippet Size and Tippet Pound Test for tippet material. Last but useful for many is a list of what size tippet to use for a particular size fly.
Front of package indicating the type, the weight and tippet connection.
Back of package giving various useful information.
Types of Leaders Available from CutThroat
There are Dry Fly, Nymph, Spey, Saltwater and Steelhead/Salmon furled leaders. They are offered in different lengths and weights with either a tippet ring or a Shorb Loop on the tippet end. With a tippet ring you tie your tippet material to the ring using your favorite knot. I like a Uni knot but an Improved Clinch or the same knot you use to tie a fly on with. With the Shrob Loop you connect your tippet material with a loop to loop connection. You can order thread or fluorocarbon furled leaders.
Leaders come with Shrob Loop or Metal Ring
Leader Colors Available
Dry Fly: Green, Tan and Green/Tan Camo
Nymph: Green, Tan, Green/Tan Camo
Hi-Vis Nymph: Green, Tan with Orange or Yellow Butt Section
Spey: Green, Green/Tan Camo
Spey Saltwater: Blue
Saltwater: Green, Blue, Tan, Blue/Tan Camo
Steelhead/Salmon: Green, Tan, Green/Tan Camo
Close up colors of a Camo leader
Leader Lengths Available
Dry Fly 68” Multi-Purpose, 76” Ultimate Dry Fly
Nymph Lake Leaders (Pre-Treated to sink) 24” & 36”
River Nymphing 50”
Hi-Vis Nymph 50” Total length with an 18” length of HI-Vis that floats to act as a strike indicator
Spey 24” Dredger, 9’, 10’
Saltwater: 50”, 68”, 76”, 108”
Steelhead/Salmon: 50” Dredger, 108”
The leaders are sized to be use with specific fly line weights. They are available for 0-3, 4-5-6 & 7-8 weights. Spey leaders come in a 9/10 weight.
Fishing CutThroat Furled Leaders
I fished both the 4-5-6 weight and the 7-8 weight. The 4-5-6 was on a 6wt Hardy and the 7-8 was on a Sage RPL. I really liked the 76” Ultimate Dry Fly leader. I added a longer than normal tippet to see how it would work. Even with the long tippet it was up to the task with a nice soft delivery. I added a weighted fly to see how that would work and it cast OK but it was better after I shorten the tipped to about 30”. The longer tippet and weighted fly was not a normal setup for a Dry Fly presentation but I wanted to see what I could accomplish.
With a floating furled leader you have to treat the leader for it to float properly. CutThroat sells the Loon Payette Paste. When you order your furled leaders make sure you order a tin of the paste. This paste is messy to use but you can solve that by applying the paste at home. Apply to your furled leader and then place the leader back into the zip-lock package the leader comes in. It is a lot easier to clean up at home.
I took one 7-8 CutThroat 68” leader and soaked it in Loon Hydrostop dry fly floatant over night. I don’t think it needs to soak for that long but I forgot about it till the next day. When applying Hydrostop to flies it only needs to soak for a few minutes. I wrung out the excess into the bottle and couldn’t tell any had been used. It seemed to float as well as the paste and was much easier to apply. I am undecided if the Hydrostop or the paste floatant works the longest or the best. I will just say that they both work and you might want to do your own experimenting. I do know that when I used yarn indicators the Hydrostop made a big difference in how well the yarn floated.
It is nice that you don’t have to stretch a furled leader and the little metal ring is handy to tie on your tippet. Furled leaders are easy to remove and put back into their zip lock bag if you want to change the type or length. I would expect one leader to last a long time, much longer than a standard mono leader. Their longevity helps to off set the initial higher cost. In the long run they will be cheaper than using a standard, tapered mono leader.
After sever outings and a few fish my furled leaders still look just like they did right out of the package. It is so easy to change tippets and you don’t have to worry about getting a good blood knot every time you change tippets. The initial cost is more than a mono tapered leader but due to their longevity they will be cheaper over the long haul. Furled leaders will help anyone who is having wind knot problems but it won’t eliminate poor casting techniques. If you have a reasonable good casting technique you will see a marked reduction in wind knots. Furled leaders work with all types of fly fishing but really excel with dry fly fishing. You can make a furled leader float or sink according to what you dress the leader with. I think a great Nymph leader set up would be the red butt treated to float and the rest of the leader treated to sink. How much you float/sink could help control your depth.
Overall I am sold on the CutThroat furled leaders and everyone should add some to they equipment. They are well made with great packaging. They are available in a surprising number of colors and designs. Mike is serious about having a good product and good customer service. I don't think anyone will be disappointed with his furled leaders. I definitely will be using them from now on.
CutThroat Furled Leaders