Flygrain, you've made some very good points! Especially about Clousers! Great flies, but not the best in heavy cover. I primarily fish with big flies in the 1/0 to 3/0 range so the wire is ideal, but again not always 100% effective against all snagging. If it was, it would be 100% fishless too I think! I don't like constantly messing with straightening weed guards, but they do require some adjustments sometimes!
Rip, I too like the bendback style, but as you say in pads, particularly Spadderdock, everything seems to snag at some point & it's not always the hook point.
I generally use 20 lb test tippets in that heavy stuff, and a 10 wt rod. I check tippet often too for cuts & abrasions!
Silver, you're input is always excellent! I've done that too with plastics, but again as Flygrain has said, that's not a good method for real heavy cover. I've done it with panfish jigs in heavy cover, but it works better for close quarter vertical jigging. Not so good for horizontally pulling thru heavy stuff. The plastic is too soft for that & tends to stretch too much or tear too easily. I even tried the Elastec type of plastic, (Strike King or ZMan products) which is very durable, but still too soft, except for vertical presentation.
As said, time & place for all of these, but none will prevent all snagging. Even jigs with the heavy fiber weed guards will snag sometimes!
One thing not yet mentioned is the "feel" you need to learn. I've learned that a gentle pull on snagged flies is often better than a hard rip because sometimes it's not the hook point that's snagged. If I yanked hard every time I got hung, I would end up burying the hook in another snag 8 out of 10 times when the fly popped free from the first snag. So, there is a "feel" to getting flies thru snags as well & knowing when to yank hard & when not to.
Changing rod angles helps too very often. Otherwise, ripping the hook free is something that may be needed, particularly when the fly is way back in the snags & can't be gotten to by wading or by boat. That's the primary case for using heavy gear like a 10 wt!