Pete, the follower bass aren't biting because of the wire leaders. I've had smallmouth take very large pike flies when I'm using fluoro material, and on the same day seen similar fish not commit when using the wire. If this happened just once in a while I'd brush it off as coincidence, but since they do commit to the flies often enough without the wire leaders I think that there is a correlation here.
I don't use small flies when chasing bass. I think that there are many notions out there regarding flies for smallmouth, and one of them is that the flies need to be on the small size (under size 2 or 1/0). When I want to catch smallies, I regularly use flies that are 2/0 or 3/0 and up to 6 inches long.
We'll just have to test some of these leader systems later this year, if ya know what I mean.