Originally Posted by silver creek
If the situation demands a 12 foot leader using a 9 foot base and 3 feet of tippet, you are not going to use a 5 foot base furled leader with 7 feet of tippet. When I fish Hebgen Lake I sometimes have to use a 15 foot leader with 5X tippet. Neither a single length furled base leader or normal monofilament leader is not going to serve for that situation and for a basic 9 foot 5X leader.
It is best to think of furling as a method of tapering a leader which can differ in design, materials, and base lengths. If you never had to change that base length of a furled leaders, why are there so many length formulas?
For the record, I use both furled and hand tied leaders these days.
You can get furled leaders in many lengths. But if you still need to go longer and don't want the 6 feet of 5x that you describe, you can always add a couple feet of 4x to the end of the furled section, then 3' of 5x. It will work in the same manner as a hand knotted tapered leader.
But it is all a matter of preference and situation. Yesterday I was nymph fishing, using a Cutthroat furled nymph leader with the bright orange indicator butt section, great for tight-line/Czech style nymphing. Then I walked upon pods of fishing rising to midges in a broad riffle. I decided to leave the heavy-butt leader on as a sight aid, but had to go to a #20 fly. I left the three feet of 3x tippet on that I was nymphing with, added a foot of 4x and three feet of 5x. This made probably an 11' leader or so and it stretched out beautifully. Granted I was presenting a tiny wet fly, not a dry (I couldn't see the Griffith's Gnat for my life). But it worked well and I landed some fish.
I find the furled leader to be quite nice in most of my fishing situations.
But to the original question: If you want to try furled leaders, you should. It is simply the butt and taper section of the leader, just with a different material than hard mono. If you want it to preform like a Harvey-style leader and land with slack in the tippet, just make the tippet longer until your cast leaves the amount of S slack that you want.
Like raindog said, you probably over-thinking it. Buy some different furled leaders and use them and play around with different configurations. Check out Cutthroat Leaders and Joni's Fly Goddess site (Joni - The Utah Fly Goddess
) both forum members and great folks.