Hi Jim -

Little bit late to the party on this thread. My computer got confused and unremembered some information required to log in. Thankfully, Neil, Ron, and Charlane got it sorted out for me.

Anyway, I'm not really qualified to speak to the question of bass leaders for big deer hair deceivers and other "wind resistant" bass flies.

Having said that, I've used two materials other than thread, mono or fluoro that just might do what you want - Rio extreme tippet and kevlar tying thread, if you can call it that.

The Rio extreme tippet is incredibly strong but does lack memory and is somewhat stiffer than the thread typically used in furled leaders. Take some 4 or 5x tippet, furl it up and lift a VW, or two if you use 3 or 2x. Seriously, it is harder to work with - just cutting it will make you think twice - and you could conceivably break off your fly line trying to unsnag the leader from a really heavy object. Kevlar is also very strong, and probably more flexible than the Rio tippet. But be careful when you furl it because it doesn't seem to stand up to stress when being twisted. Kevlar is the only material I've used that actually broke while I was furling it, admittedly under rather extreme stress.

Here is the upshot, from my experience with furled leaders. The chief advantage of a thread furled leader is suppleness. That is especially important when fishing moving water, not so important when fishing stillwater. For the advantages of suppleness, you lose every little bit of "wind resistance". That is not to say that thread furled leaders will not cast large flies in benign ( windless ) conditions well - with good turnover, accuracy, and a soft landing. I can't compare the larger flies I use to the bass flies you have in mind, but I can describe them for you to make some comparison, favorable or otherwise.

The fly that I fish most often is an FEB Salmonfly, aka JC's Salmonfly. It is tied on a 3x long size 4 hook. With the extended body, the overall length of the fly is about the same as a regular fly tied on an 3x long size ought hook. While the extended body is slim, the main body of the fly is foam, and the wing is a rather large bunch of elk rump hair, which is quite a bit thicker and coarser, and flares more than regular elk or deer hair.

It occurs to me that Rick Z had some very favorable results when fishing a smaller version of this fly, an FEB Hopper aka LF's Golden Stone, for warmwater species in his neck of the woods. He might chime in with his thoughts on how the much larger FEB Salmonfly compares to the bass bugs you are talking about. Or, you could PM him to get his thoughts.

One last thought - if you want to stick with thread, think about how you configure the leader rather than the size of the thread. While my typical leaders have been Danville 210 Flymaster plus thread with 10 strands in the butt section, 8 strands in the mid section, and 6 strands in the tip section, I have experimented with a 14-12-10 configuration in the same thread which retains the suppleness and does perform somewhat better in breezy conditions.

Hope you are doing well and enjoying Maine.

All the best.