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Leader Boiling

Category: Other Fly Fishing Articles | Author: Nick Whatton

What are the reasons behind boiling the mono leaders and how to do it?


My last article mention leader boiling. I was asked why and how...

Firstly I did not invent this idea, I understand the French and other nations competition anglers have been boiling leaders for a while now.

The reason behind boiling the mono leaders is it changes the monofil making it more elastic this is more noticeable on a fresh boiled leader so I guess that the line reverts back a little over time. I started boiling the leaders to protect the very light tippets I was using when fishing my very small nymphs (down to a size 22) as I was catching some quite large fish and some research on the internet led me to thinking it would help prevent breakages on the strike.

So my techniques is as follows:

The recipe:
One large pan full of water
One sieve (to keep the line away from the hot pan side)
One stove gas or electric
Spools of different diameter Maxima line green
One fork to hook the coil out of the boiling water


Cut the monofilament line to length plus a bit to allow for the shrinkage that occurs. I use green Maxima line as I found that boiling co polymer and flurocarbon lines doesn’t work (I use these for the tippet material which I don’t boil). The leader is knotted together from various lengths of  different diameters after boiling.

Boil for up to 2 minutes for larger diameters and down to 1,5 minutes for the smaller diameters, I have been experimenting with different times to see if it makes any difference. Super glue the knots after tying and add a small length of white indicator line and a small tippet ring.

Attach to a suitable fly line, tie on the super thin tippet, your small nymphs and serve to the fishes.

I should add that I build my own rods and have found a very nice forgiving 2 weight blank made by CTS of New Zealand which I built the rod from that casts these leaders and small flies very nicely and plays big fishes very effectively. It was originally an 8ft 6” 2 weight blank which I extended to 9ft 4” by adding a carbon extension into the butt.

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