Have you used a convex leader before?

Question: Have you used a convex leader before? How do they cast? Will they work well with loop-to-loop connections? David.


Well David you nearly had me stumped, thank goodness for Google. Like most fly fishers, I’d reckon the only way I’d ever fished a convex leader would be unintentionally, adding too thick a transitional section 🙂

However I did find this reference to convex leaders from the book Drag-free Drift by Joseph A. Kissane & Steven B. Schweitzer. Or if you have a collection of back issue of Fly Fisherman magazine you might be able to find Bernard Beegle’s original piece on the topic in 1983.

Traditionally most leaders taper from thick to thin over their length whether you are buying knotless off the shelf or building your own at home according to the many recipies, or you own fancies.

Beegle, an engineer, believed that flyline design should also be applied to leaders, whereby instead of that consistent taper, a thicker transitional segment should be included between the butt section and the front sections, to aid loop shape, line speed and turnover.

Basically convex leaders are shaped like a weight forward flyline, which it seems to me, and the article suggests would make them better for longer casts, and heavier flies, rather than delicate presentation. But I hasten to add I have not fished these leaders.

I can’t see why these leaders wouldn’t work with a loop to loop setup.

On the other hand I’m also pretty simplistic compared to some in my leader setups. The only time I both with a fancy leader is tricky dry fly situations whereby I love the George Harvy drag free leader. Its a killer.

I hope this helps 



  • Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  • I hope you find the answer you’re looking for. As a follow up, I have used a convex leader but didn’t care much for the results, perhaps because I hadn’t taken the time to think about the way to cast with it. A weight foreward line tapers with a heavier front section that assists in accellerating the line speed, and the thinking seems to be that the same holds true for the convex leader. But if you’ve already acelerated the line, and the very tip f the line is moving well enough, a thinner butt secton may cause a hinge and not transfer the energy as efficiently as you need. I like loop connections for their convenience, but am not a fan of their tendency to hinge if you are not really paying attention to the casting stroke at the very end of the cast. Perhaps I’m a lazy caster, but I prefer a nail-knotted butt secton on my lines, now, and blood knot the leader to it. To each his own, though.

    Best regards,

    Joe Kissane

  • Sorry this response to the question is about a year too late, but better late than ……….

    A while ago I sent my fishing buddy Tom Chandler some time-tested “convex” leader designs. He posted them on his “Trout Underground” blog. Search for the Leader topic and you’ll uncover the details.

    All three of the tapers described there work great.

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