Zen Outfitters leaders

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 1 year, 8 months ago.

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    Do any of you use these ? I ordered one to try, their trout line . I am interested in the silk too but have no experience at all with either of them. I have only used mono and for the past year,the orvis braid . I fish medium to small streams with mostly fast water, with medium action rods and have noticed the braided leader seems to be more prone to tangles than the mono, but then, that could be due to my poor casting at times too. Thanks in advance.



    It’s all I use. I’ve posted their link a few times. I use the silk version now, but have the thread version too. Hard to tell a difference. I just thought the silk version fits better with a silk line.

    I would never use a mono leader anymore.


    Have you guys tried Trouthunter’s 14′ leaders? They’re unreal. Tried one out last night, was turning over dries and woollies alike at 60’+ in the wind.
    They’re awesome.



    I was at a pond, and the fish were out a ways, the superb presentation and extra leader length was definetly my saving grace.



    Scotty MacFly

    I’m just getting ready to purchase some furled leaders by Cutthroat leaders. I have use the nylon, and even though they were ok, by that I mean they did what they said they’d do, I have had them eventually cut through at the leader making them useless. They also spray too much when lifting off the water, but do help eliminate drag. If they are out of the leaders I am looking for in the next town over, I either will order them or order the Zen brand that Creek uses. He hasn’t ever led me astray. And with what you’re saying, maybe I should just order the Zen.



    You should. You have to treat the Cutthroat leaders to get them to float. It wears off. The Zen leaders come permanently treated and are guaranteed to float the life of the leader.


    Dry Fly Guy

    It is my opinion (and only my opinion) that a thread (silk or uni) furled leader is wonderful. And I hear Zen makes a great product.

    But I am not a fan of monofilament furled leaders. I use monofilament as just that: monofilament. Whether it be hand tied or chemically tapered, and I use furled thread leaders (uni and silk) which I furl myself. If I had to choose one and stick with it exclusively…. Furled leaders would be my choice without even having to think about it.

    And 14′ leaders at 60 feet.. In the wind… You sir are a much better caster than I.

    ~ DFG


    Dry Fly Guy,

    trust me, my casting is not that great, those leaders are unreal, I’ve never had great turnover with long leaders until trying these things out. I usually can’t get turnover at distances if I go over 9′ of leader length. From what I can tell, the leader is all butt section, but tapered very nicely, only about 18″ is tippet material, I added another foot of 6x, and they worked great.
    What really blew me away was being able to cast a woolly bugger so well with that long of a leader. (Although for the woolly I cut the material off that was smaller than 4x). Still had about 12′ of leader.
    I have never tried furled leaders though, I’ll have to give them a shot if the opportunity arises.




    What kind of waters are you using the 14′ leaders on?


    Scotty MacFly

    OK, I’m sold, it’s Zen for me. Creek, how well are they in our fast pocket water? Can they withstand our cmf’s we have here? I like thick boulder gardens in the waters I fish, and I’m just wondering if they handle the turbulent waters ok.



    Actually, I find it easier to get a drag free float with them. They’re so much more limber than a mono leader that don’t drag the fly.

    I wouldn’t make a habit of dragging them over boulders. I try and avoid that, so I don’t know how they’d hold up.



    I was just trying them out on a local trout pond, but I’m looking forward to using them on a river this weekend.
    Planning to get away for a couple days for some cutthroat and bully fishing, if the weather cooperates.



    Scotty MacFly

    The drag free drift is what had me go to furled leaders in the first place, and even the nylon furled leaders did that pretty well if you put an “S” curve in the line before hitting the water.

    I don’t plan on dragging them across boulders, but the fish may have other plans though. Guess I’ll just have to find that out myself. I’m sure as tightly weaved as they are, they’d be fine.

    The guy’s at my local fly shop sell the Trout Hunter leaders and that’s the brand they choose to use personally. I haven’t really looked at them, and I can see the use for 14ft. leaders on lakes and such, but I’m not much of a lake person, so I like fast freestone rivers and streams where a 7.5 or nine foot works well. I can just imagine how nicely a 9ft leader will turn over if a 14ftr is a breeze.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Scotty MacFly.


    Just saw this thread about Zen furled leaders. Since they’re all I use when dry fly fishing, and there are a LOT of rocks in the Sierra streams, I can tell you to carry an extra with you.
    They can, not always but just sometimes, suffer some abrasion issues when a hooked fish puts you in a bad spot. I’ve only actually had this happen once. But, I was surprised to inspect one after quite a vigorous “rocking” to find no damage at all.
    Fortunately the price is very reasonable IMHO for what you gain by using them. Just go ahead and carry a spare.

    The silk ones are more delicate, and the maker warned me of that.

    Outstanding product.


    Scotty MacFly

    Thanks jwh. I’ll inspect mine a little more often, but so far they have been a pleasure to fish with. I need to get shorter ones for my creek rods.

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