Shortly after I started furling my own thread leaders just over seven years ago, I pretty much settled on Danville 210 Flymaster Plus for my all around leader for fishing dry flies with line weights 3-5. I've experimented with several other materials - mono, fluoro, Uni - but always came back to the Danville 210 with a strong preference.
Last week, I got out the 3 wt that I hadn't fished in quite a while. On it was a Uni leader that Joni gave me several years ago. I fished with that leader a couple days last week and really liked the way it presented / turned over the fly and thought the drift was just dandy. I liked that it had a slimmer, lighter profile than the leaders I've been using. But it seemed to me that the Uni leader wanted to sink the dry flies I fished with it, drag them under, after a fairly short drift, at least compared to the drift I get with the Danville leaders I've been using.
That went along with my recollection of prior experiences with Uni leaders - that they don't just submerge, but they sink and want to sink a dry fly. That probably is of no concern for people who treat their leaders with something to keep them floating, but since I like to fish with the leader submerged, it is a major problem for me.
Back to Danville. This time to Danville's 70 Denier Flymaster 6/0 Waxed.
I decided to use the same proportions that I use on the Danville 210 leaders - 40% butt section, 30% mid section, and 30% tip section. But I upped the configuration from a 10-8-6 to a 16-14-12 by adding three strands per side before starting the 10-8-6 layout. Not something I've tried before, but it seemed like it should work. As usual, I incorporated a tip ring before starting the twisting / furling.
With the much lighter thread, even with quite a few more strands, it took about 10% more twists to develop what looked like an appropriate twist and account for the usual reduction of about 18%. It took a similiar increase in the number of countertwists for the power furling.
Off to the creek ...
... with the 3 wt and a fresh Duck's Green Drake, which is an extended body fly tied on a size 14 2X short dry fly hook but is pretty much a size 10 fly in conventional hook size terms. Basically a parachute style fly with a few of my own twists. Fished it off about 4' of 4X tippet. The fly properly displayed ...
... and with another fishy just to be sure it wasn't a fluke ...
Got lucky on the configuration. It has pretty much the profile of the Uni leader Joni gave me and presents / turns over the fly almost as nicely, and does it better with more line out. It is a bit more supple which improves the drift. But more importantly, for me, while the leader submerges, as expected, it does not sink the fly even over a long drift. And it handled all the casts I've developed over the years as well as the Danville 210 and the Uni do.
I fished a couple other flies for the field test. An FEB ClackaCaddis dry about the same size as the drake and an FEB Hopper, which is a much larger, heavier, wind resistant fly. The hopper was fishable with the new leader, but it was a bit much. Did catch a couple fishies with it. But for that big a fly a beefier leader would be preferable. Thinking a 20-16-12 configuration, or something in that range might do the trick for the bigger flies.
Anyway, since this turned out to be a successful experiment with a thread that has some advantages over Uni, depending on your priorities, I decided to report the field test.