I first reached out to Appalachian Furled Leader Co. in June of 2017. Coming from fly-fishing the mountains of Colorado I love furled leaders, so much in fact that I refuse to fish anything else. I found this small North Carolina Company on Facebook, so I sent a message, and EJ responded. I told him that I was setting out on an editorial project to showcase American Craftsmen delivering quality products to the American Angling Market. And did they ever deliver!
I have set out to write this article on at least 4 separate occasions. Each time I do, I end up running back out to the pond in my backyard to see if there was something I missed, some flawÖnope; in fact, I am still fishing the very first leader that I tied on; talk about impressive! I have cast everything from Wooley buggers in the pond to larger topwater popping flies to reds out on the flats.
When I get out and cast these leaders, they would have you believe that I know how to lay out a fly line like Lefty himself, may he rest in peace. Far from it, Iím a lazy fly caster with less than perfect form, but these really do fill the performance gap! As I spent the last year fishing this leader I have tried to kill it...numerous times. Iíve caught bowfin, bass, and tilapia on it. No luck in the salt yet, but that has more to do with me packing it up early in the salt due to the wind always picking up on me! The Tilapia in the photo is the catch that I am most proud of using this leader. Tilapia are notoriously difficult to catch on a fly and this 5lber was a blast on the whippy rod!
They offer a wide variety of different leaders to suit your application, from micro nymphing to monster streamers. The quality control I have seen is impeccable, there is no fraying upon arrival, no drastic step downs between sections of the leader; in fact, I had to search to even find the transition points. They are incredibly smooth. As every angler can attest, getting the best bang for your buck is essential especially when we often throw $20 lures or large pike flies that take hours to tie snag and never be seen again.
This is a true blue American company, EJ, and his partners produce each of the leaders by hand and throw out any that donít pass muster. With dedication and quality control like this, itís easy to see why I havenít been able to kill one of their leaders; again, Iíve tried hard!
My Colorado brethren will love how delicate these leaders are. I have been able to lay out some very small number 22 ants for panfish with little more than the indentation of the fly on the surface of the water. From Brookies in the mountains to monster Pike at the mile, these leaders will certainly allow you to throw a fly with a much better presentation than any of the competitor products I have used. EJ, you guys are certainly at the top of your game!
Appalachian Furled Leader Co Facebook page and website: