Gear Review Update - Streamside Leaders

One of the more popular gear reviews I've written to date was for Streamside Leaders furled tenkara lines.  How do I know it's popular (besides that little widget in the sidebar to the right that says it is)?  Over the weekend I received a nice email over the weekend from Mike (the owner) saying that "about 5 or 6 people commented that they found me thru your blog."  Nice.  The power of the internet at work.

Now I don't know Mike from the next guy, and he isn't giving me anything for writing this, but I figured that since my original review got more than a few page views, it would be worth noting that Streamside Leaders has since come out with 2 new versions of tenkara lines besides the original monofilament furled line I reviewed.

Descriptions pulled straight from his website, (he's fond of writing in ALL CAPS):

Mystic Creek Tenkara Line ($15.99)

Mystic Creek Green Hopper

MYSTIC CREEK LEADERS ARE STREAMSIDE'S HIGHEST QUALITY LEADER AND QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST FURLED LEADER ON THE MARKET. MYSTIC CREEK OFFERS THE SUPPLENESS OF SILK AND THE CONSISTENCY OF A SYNTHETIC. OUR UNIQUE MONOFILAMENT FADE PROVIDES THE BEST SHOCK ABSORPTION AND TIPPET PROTECTION AROUND.

MYSTIC CREEK LEADERS ARE MADE FROM A HIGHER QUALITY POLYESTER AND PREMIUM MONOFILAMENT THAN OUR UNI-BLEND LEADERS THE POLYESTER AND MONOFILAMENT USED IN MYSTIC CREEK LEADERS IS APPROXIMATELY HALF THE DIAMETER OF THE MATERIALS USED IN OUR UNI-BLEND LEADERS. THE LEADERS USE ABOUT TWICE THE THREAD THAT OUR UNI-BLEND LEADERS USE AND HAVE ABOUT 30 PERCENT MORE TWIST IN THEM.

THE MYSTIC CREEK POLYESTER IS MORE OF A CONTINUOUS BONDED FIBER THAN A LONG FIBER WHICH RESULTS IN A SHARPER LESS FUZZY LEADER. ONE OF MY PRODUCT TESTERS SWORE THAT THEY WERE MADE FROM SILK AND COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY PERFORMED BETTER THAN MY UNI-BLEND LEADERS WHICH HE HAS BEEN USING FOR YEARS.

Bi-Filament Tenkara Line ($13.99)

Bi-Filament Psycho Wolff

BI-FILAMENT LEADERS ARE A COMBINATION OF UNI-THREAD AND PREMIUM MONOFILAMENT JUST LIKE OUR UNI-BLEND LEADERS. THE DIFFERENCE IS IN THE CONSTRUCTION. THE BI-FILAMENT LEADERS ARE A 50/50 COMBINATION OF UNI-THREAD AND MONOFILAMENT IN THE BUTT AND MID SECTIONS WITH A FADE TO CLEAR AT THE TIPPET END. THEY ARE A BIT STIFFER AND WILL THROW A HEAVIER BUG A BIT BETTER. THEY SHOULD ALSO PERFORM IN THE WIND BETTER AS WELL.

Now I haven't fished either of these, so I can't vouch for their effectiveness. I did just order a Mystic Creek line in "Green Hopper" and will let you all know how it performs upon arrival.  At prices half of what you'd find elsewhere for a furled tenkara line, experimenting with different styles (& colors) can be almost addicting.

Comments

  1. Are these leaders attached to the line, or are they the line itself?

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  2. So in tenkara, the line is the leader. These "leaders" are typically the same length of your rod and attach at the tip. You then tie on a length of tippet (usually 2-3) feet at the end.

    The term leader in tenkara circles is kinda confusing. Most people called these furled lines leaders because that's what they accustomed to seeing in western fly fishing. In actuality, this product is the line.

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  3. I've talked with him via email too and he seems like a really nice guy.

    I didn't know enough at the time to ask him, but I want a tenkara line that won't "telephone up" on you. I tried the Orvis braided line in the yard ( 9 ft with bimini tippet) but it was almost too light to cast, since the actual leader part is only about 4-5 ft. long and the bimini tippet weights next to nothing. Do the ones you have curl up like the tenkarausa one's, Mike?
    thanks
    owl

    ReplyDelete
  4. Owl - I honestly don't have the curling issue (if I'm interpreting you right) unless I get caught in a tree or on a rock and have to pull the line free. Then yes, it does get tangled like a phone cord.

    I'm pretty sure that's a characteristic of furled lines/leaders in general. Luckily, with these I just run my fingers through the line once and do one or two false casts and I'm as good as new - takes all of 30 seconds. They don't seem to have any memory, which is a good thing.

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  5. I think you'll be pleased with the Streamside Products... I tested a couple of his leaders last summer and found they really turn over nicely. As to Owl's curling problem, any of the furled leaders or lines will give you that telephone cord effect if you pop off a fly from a snag or sometimes when you have a fish spit the hook while under tight tension. The first trick is to apply a little floatant to the leader when you first rig up. That helps lubricate the leader and makes running your fingers down the line to straighten the line a bit easier. You can also do this by straightening the line under the surface. I've had a couple of leaders that birdnested badly and it takes a minute or two to coax them back into shape, then a couple of backcasts to straighten them out completely.

    Just ordered a Tenkara line from him so I can fish the T-USA line side by side for a comparision. If his Tenkara lines are as good as his leaders, I won't have to look any further.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is there a major difference between a "furled" leader and a braided one? They look about the same to me, but then I'm not very nit-picky when it comes to how something is designed. The reason I ask is that I've been using Orvis' floating braided leaders for about 6 or 7 years now, and they do not curl up no matter what you do to them. However, they aren't mono....and seem to be lighter than a mono leader, even.

    If I never got caught on a rock or a tree, it wouldn't be a big deal. Even if I only got caught occasionally. As you can see from the video last time though, trees and I go way back. ;) lol

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never used a braided leader, so I can't say I can comment.

    FYI, I get caught in my fair share of trees too...if you're not, your not fishing where the fish are in a smallish stream...untangling is really not that difficult.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just ordered a mystic creek leader as well for my Iwana and, are you ready, my new caddis 330 that I ordered as backup if I am taking tenkara newbies out. I also found a few new bags at big W and as soon as I will be able to get out I will post some reviews. Should be fun, I am getting cabin fever (that's the time I keep buying fishing stuff instead of going fishing). Tight Lines, -K

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  9. I know K. Spring can't come soon enough...at least that's what my credit card bill's telling me!

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  10. Owl... There's a big difference in braided and furled. The furled will float higher for you,they pick up a little less water and are not quite so prone to cast mist on the first couple of false casts if your fishing dries. I fished braided offand on for years and have also fished furled and for my money the furled cast better and let you fish a little longer, more delicate leader. The downside is that furled wiil "sprong" on you if you have to pull down hard to snap a tippetin a snag. A lot of that can be stopped if you grab the furl and hold it under water as you break the tippet. That cushions the pop, but if you hang the fly in a tree.... you're going o have to straighten a leader afterward!

    ReplyDelete

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