When you consider that flyfishermen once had no choice but to construct their own tapered leaders by knotting together sections of monofilament, today’s knotless tapered leaders are miracles of convenience. They are almost hassle-free. Almost. The one problem comes in unraveling a new, coiled leader without turning it into a rat’s nest. Here’s an easy solution:

(1) Start by unwrapping the butt (or thick) end four or five times.

(2) With one hand, touch the tips of your fingers and thumb together, and place them into the middle of the coil. Then spread your fingertips so that the coiled leader is held in place, wrapped around the outside of your fingers and thumb.

(3) Grab the butt end with your other hand and pull. The leader will unravel cleanly and peel away from your fingertips like line off an openface spinning reel.

(4) If it doesn’t, unwrap the butt section one or two more times and try again.