Press ESC to close

How to Get the Kinks Out of A Leader ???

In this video by Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing, Tom discusses techniques for straightening a leader and removing kinks. He emphasizes the ineffectiveness and potential harm of using a leader straightener, instead recommending the use of one’s hands. Tom explains that when a leader is taken out of the package, it often has corkscrew-like curls due to being coiled for a long time. By unwinding the leader and giving it a firm pull from the butt section to the end, it can be straightened effectively. Tom also advises checking for any knots in the leader during the process. Following his steps, anglers can have a straightened leader without the need for additional gadgets or tools.

Overall, this video provides practical guidance on achieving a straight leader, using clear instructions and cautioning against unnecessary purchases.


When it comes to fly fishing, having a straight leader is essential for achieving the best results. However, leaders often come out of the package with kinks and curls that need to be straightened before they can be used effectively. In this article, we will explore various techniques for straightening a leader and removing kinks, debunk the myth of leader straighteners, discuss the right tools for the job, and provide a step-by-step procedure for achieving a perfectly straight leader. By following these guidelines, anglers can ensure that their leaders are in optimal condition for a successful fly fishing experience.

Techniques for Straightening a Leader

Straightening a leader requires a careful approach to avoid damaging the delicate material. While some anglers resort to using gadgets like leader straighteners, these tools are not only ineffective but can also be detrimental to the leader itself. Instead, the best technique for straightening a leader involves using just two tools that are readily available to every angler – their hands. By following a step-by-step process of unwinding and pulling the leader, anglers can easily remove kinks and coils and achieve a straight and tangle-free leader ready for use.

Why Leader Straighteners are Ineffective

Leader straighteners, often made of rubber or other compounds, are commonly marketed as a solution for straightening leaders. However, these gadgets fail to deliver on their promises. Not only do they heat up the leader, which can potentially weaken the material, but they also leave a residue that can impact the leader’s performance. Additionally, leader straighteners do not effectively remove kinks and curls, often leading to frustrations for anglers. It is therefore recommended to avoid using leader straighteners and instead opt for manual techniques that rely on hands-on manipulation of the leader.

The Right Tools for Straightening a Leader

When it comes to straightening a leader, the only tools needed are the angler’s hands. These natural and easily accessible tools provide the necessary control and precision required to straighten the leader effectively. With the use of hands, anglers can achieve a gentle yet firm pull that will straighten the leader without causing any damage. By relying on these hands-on techniques, anglers can ensure that their leaders are in optimal condition without the need for any additional gadgets or tools.

Procedure for Straightening a Leader

To straighten a leader, anglers should start by taking the leader out of its package and identifying the butt section. This section, which is usually heavier and has a loop, has often been wrapped around the coil during packaging. By examining the leader, anglers can locate the area where the butt section was wrapped around the coil and unwind it carefully using their fingers. This unwinding process ensures that the entire length of the leader is free of knots and tangles.

Once the leader is unwound, anglers can proceed to straighten it by starting at the butt section and giving it a firm pull. Gradually moving down the leader, anglers should continue to give it firm pulls, extending all the way to the end. This pulling motion helps to straighten out any coils or kinks present in the leader. It also serves as an opportunity to check for any knots and ensure their proper alignment. By following this step-by-step procedure, anglers can achieve a straight leader that is ready for use.

Checking for Knots in the Leader

While straightening the leader, it is essential to check for any knots that may have formed. Knots can weaken the leader and reduce its performance during fishing. By carefully inspecting the entire length of the leader during the straightening process, anglers can identify any knots and ensure their proper alignment. It is crucial to address any knots and straighten them out before moving on to the next section of the leader. This thorough inspection helps to guarantee that the leader is in prime condition for optimal performance.

Dealing with Memory in the Butt Section

Sometimes, even after straightening the leader, a little bit of memory may remain in the heavy butt section. This memory refers to the tendency of the material to retain some of its coiled shape. While a slight curl in the butt section may not significantly impact fishing, it is still advisable to address it for a perfectly straight leader. By giving the butt section another firm pull, anglers can help to eliminate any remaining memory and ensure a straight leader from end to end.

Final Steps for A Straight Leader

After straightening the leader and addressing any knots or memory in the butt section, anglers can consider their leader ready for use. It is essential to handle the leader with care and store it properly to maintain its straightened condition. Avoiding excessive coiling or twisting of the leader during storage helps to prevent the reoccurrence of kinks and coils. By implementing these final steps, anglers can ensure that their leaders remain straight and in optimal condition for future fishing adventures.


Getting the kinks out of a leader is a crucial step in preparation for fly fishing. While leader straighteners may seem like a tempting solution, it is important to recognize their ineffectiveness and potential harm. By relying on manual techniques and using just the angler’s hands, leaders can be straightened efficiently and without any extra tools. Following a step-by-step procedure ensures that the entire length of the leader is free from knots and coils. By investing time in straightening the leader and properly inspecting it for any imperfections, anglers can achieve a perfectly straight leader that is ready for a successful fly fishing experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *