Review: Umpqua Trout Taper Leaders

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Umpqua Trout Taper LeadersPutting Umpqua’s Trout Taper Leaders through some use and abuse.

I’ve been using the Trout Taper Leaders from Umpqua for a little while now, and thought it might be cool to post up a quick review about them.

Normally, I wouldn’t even think about using anything that didn’t come from Rio when it comes to leaders and tippet, but I decided to test out the Umpqua offerings, just to see what I may or may not be missing.


Via Umpqua’s website:

Umpqua’s nylon tapers are precision extruded from the same co-polymers as Umpqua Nylon Tippet and are manufactured in the most technologically advanced factories in the world with the most stringent quality controls. Olive-tinted for low visibility, these taper designs are unique and exclusive to Umpqua.

Whether dead-drifting small dries or splashing big hoppers at the bank, Umpqua has just the perfect leader for the task. All leaders are knotless and include looped butt sections.

Sizes & lengths

Umpqua trout leader sizing chartThe Umpqua Trout Taper Leaders are available in all of your standard sizes and lengths, but interestingly come in a 10 foot length, instead of the normal 12 foot length from other brands.

  • 7.5′ Leaders: 0x – 6x
  • 9′ Leaders: 2x – 7x
  • 10′ Leaders: 0x – 7x

Pound rating is also comparable to most other brands of leader. I always use 9′ leaders unless I specifically choose to go with a shorter 7.5′ leader for really tight, small stream situations.

My honest impression

“A solid nylon leader that performs quite well.”

The Umpqua leaders are solid and well made. I’ve tested out both 5x and 6x versions of the trout taper leaders, and I’ve been impressed. These leaders are right in line with the Rio Powerflex series of leaders that I normally use.

The olive green tint is a nice touch, and while I didn’t think it would make much difference, it did. I absolutely believe that the olive tint makes the leader less visible in the water.


As for the performance, I’ve been pleased with the overall performance and durability of these leaders. I’ve fished both small (14-18) dry flies on these, as well as bigger hopper patterns with no difference in performance. These leaders turn over well and performed extremely well on a couple of windy, rainy days.

Knot strength & abrasion

The knot strength on these leaders is excellent. Really easy to tie strong knots, and I put those knots to the test on several occasions (I sling flies in trees quite often.) Abrasion resistance is also really good on these leaders, but again, not anything heads and above another brand.


The Umpqua Trout Taper Leaders seem to have slightly less memory in them, compared to the Rio Powerflex leaders that I am used to. Not a big enough difference to choose one over the other, but enough that I seemed to notice it.

Give them a try

I think you’ll dig these leaders, and you certainly can’t go wrong with them over another brand you may be used to. These are comparable to many others, and often comes down to just personal preference. If you need a solid, nylon leader, these are certainly worth checking out.

AvidMax actually has these leaders on special right now, so pick up a few and try them out!

*Product or gear reviews are my opinion and not endorsed or solicited by any parties or companies mentioned in this post. Please read my disclosure for more info on gear reviews and affiliate links on this blog.

Cory Perry
I'm a husband, father and fly fishing geek living in Greenville, SC. I'm down with slinging flies, tying flies and spending every minute I can enjoying the vast outdoors with my family and friends.

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