What am I doing wrong?
Okay Ladies and Gentlemen. I started furling thread leaders about a year ago. For simplicity, I'm just going to give an example of my general process, so don't get hung up on anything specific. Just consider the general process:
I have an 8 foot furling board (jig) with "leg stations" along both "sides", a "tip-end station" placed in the center of one end, and at the other end I have a wood block with three removable hooks. (One for each leg, and another in the middle.)
I tie the thread to the hook corresponding to the "leg" I'm starting with, and take it down to the first station of that "leg". I go around this station and then back up to the hook and go around it. I repeat this based upon the formula I'm using and the number of "loops" it calls for. Once the number of "loops" for station one have been made, the thread passes station one and continues on down to station two, wrapping it and coming back to station one, where-in the thread is passed through the loops created there, and then brought back down to station two again. Thus utilizing stations 1 and 2 to create the second set of loops. This process is repeated until the number of loops for station two are complete, and then the thread is passed on to station three where the process is repeated utilizing stations 2 and 3 to form the loops. This continues until all stations down one "leg" are completed and the "tip end" station (which is common to both legs) is being utilized. Once the number of loops for the first leg of the tip station are completed, the thread passes around the "tip station" and "reverses" itself going up the other "leg" of the board, and the entire process is repeated (except in reverse order) finally completing with the thread being tied to its' corresponding hook. From there I clamp the end of the "tip end" loop. Once done I begin the furling of each leg by twisting them (independently but the same amount) in the same direction. Once that is done, while retaining even tension on each leg, I transfer them to the same hook, unclamp the "tip end", and with the tip end "heavily" weighted, I let the two legs "spin" together. Once the leader is done spinning, I put a shorb loop in the end and it's ready to fish.
Now there may be a better way to do all this, and perhaps that is where my real question lies. Because I am not unhappy with my results. But there is NO WAY I can make a nice leader in ten minutes, let alone in five. It takes me longer than that just to get the thread on the jig. For me a good leader is at least a 15 minute venture, and more like 20-30 minutes. Also, I can't tell you how many times I've broken thread at the "tip-end" when furling a leg. (Generally because I'm trying for a tighter "furl", or trying to "hurry" the process.)
I can make a Singapore Twist (furling without jigs...) using mono pretty quickly, but even that takes me a good five minutes to make a "nice" one. So how is it that I so often read about someone making furled thread leaders in five minutes or so? What am I doing wrong? Is there some other technique that everyone is using that I'm ignorant of?
Thanks for the help/insight.
At the expense of being 'shot at' by the local sharpshooters, I personally find it hard to believe that anyone can make a decent furled leader in five minutes---from starting the layout to completing booth Shorb loops; or even using a tippet ring in lieu of one Shorb loop.
I use a powered (motorized) board, which twists and furls at the same time; drastically reducing the time required for these processes. I am using the standard 'rope laying' technique. To use the typical leader furling methodology, which you have done an excellent job of describing, you can only speed the process up by going to a motorized system, as far as I know. With such a system, you would twist both legs at the same time, and then switch the butt loops to a third hook, which spins in reverse to the other two, at which time you would 'furl' the two together. Once this is accomplished, you would hang the leader to, in the words of Skip Shorb, my mentor, "let it relax". Doing it this way eliminates having to "...unclamp the '"tip end"' [and] let the two '"legs"' spin together."; which could save a little time.
Beyond this, I have no idea how you can improve both the 'speed' with which you make one, or it's overall quality.
Motorizing is a simple, and inexpensive thing to do. Many of us use a sewing machine motor as the 'driver'. You need three gears, one of which is the driving gear, and the other two are planetary gears. Each will require a hook, the two planetary gears are for twisting, and the 'driver 'gear for the furling hook.
There are many here who canhelp with the specifics, if you are interested; including myself.
I have a jig that makes a bit simpler leader but had the same problem. The spinning (furling) process takes longer than laying up the leader as it takes quite a while for the weight to come to a stop!
I have several cup hooks in a ceiling beam and hang the leaders from them to furl while I lay up and twist another one. I'll do 5 or 6 and then sit down and do the Shorb Loops.
What thread are you using?
Go to the bottom of this page and check out the furling board that will furl while you twist.
I use a set formula for the number of twists rather than go by a % reduction as most seem to do. The formula results in about an 18% reduction, pretty consistently.
Since you do not go by % reduction, how do you determine how much length to add to the layout to allow for reduction? It seems to me that reduction has to figure into your process at some point. Admittedly, once that length is established, you can use it repeatedly without having to re-determine it for the same leader; but, that first determination seems to me to be mandatory.
Here is a picture of the basic layout that I use...
I believe it is the same, or nearly the same that John Scott uses.
I use a powered furling board for all of my furling. The leader is layed up as shown in the drawing, then the tip end is attached to a weighted hook that hangs over the far end of the board. After the tip is hung on the hook, the rest of the leader is removed from the layout pegs. the leader is then twisted/furled using the motorized end hooks. After twisting/furling, I capture the end loops with a nit-picker and remove the leader from the board. At this point the leader needs to relax before installing the Shorb loops. I usually hold the leader in one hand and "massage" the remaining twists out with the other hand. When the leader is fully relaxed, I go ahead and install the Shorb loops in the ends, starting with the butt end. At this point, I hang the leader over a bar hung in the rafters of my basement and start another leader.
Using this method, I can make and package about a dozen leaders an hour....that is if there are no distractions and everything is going good. The routine is to furl the leaders, sit down and fill out the inserts for the bags, place the inserts in the bags, and then place the leaders in the bags.
When I first started, there was no way I could get that many done in an hour, but after making a few hundred, and doing the same movements over and over you get into a routine. Jack Hise claims he can make and package 6-8 per hour using his manual board similar to the one you describe. When he tries to make them on my rig, he is lucky to finish 5 an hour. I think it just comes down to making your process easily repeatable and getting used to your equipment.
Good luck and welcome to The Dark Side!!
Ummm ... John? Stand on the other side of the board! It'll help perspective!
Originally Posted by JohnScott
It's also the same pattern I use. Time has never been a major factor in the process, and unless you are selling them (time factor) or fishing gar (breakage), how much is time of a factor? If it takes me 15 minutes to furl a leader ... and sometimes it will due to the shaking hands, and inability to focus my eyes ... so what?! I've got a great leader that will fish for months, maybe longer. I did it myself, on a board I built, to fish on a rod I built, with flies I tied. I find no need to rush any of the processes. Take your time ... enjoy the feeling.
Amen and good for you Betty *S*
I'm with you Betty. The time doesn't bother me. I just wondered if I was really that slow compared to the claims I seem to keep reading.
Thanks all for the responses.