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  1. #21

    Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    In these discussions about sunken vs a "crack in the mirror" floating leader, there are sometime claims made as if all trout respond identically. Again, I must state individual trout in trout populations do NOT behave identically. I believe that a floating leader will spook some trout but not others; and the proportion of trout that will be spooked depends on the calmness of the water surface and the overall fishing pressure on those fish.

    So in some fisheries, I do believe that sinking the leader especially in heavily pressured still waters will result in more takes. In other waters, as one poster stated, especially riffle waters; it does not matter if the leader is floating or not.

    We tend to refer to our own experience, but if our experience does not include fisheries where a sunken leader catches more fish; we tend to discount that a sunken leader is important. Similarly, if we don't often fish waters where a sunken leader results in little or no advantage; we tend to believe that a sunken leader is always best.

    In the photo below, the leader that is least visible is the sunken leader in the center. It has been treated with fullers earth sinkant to dull the surface to reduce reflectivity and to sink. The leader on the left was wiped clean and the leader on the right has floatant. The difference is clearly visible in the example below. Some fish will shy away from the reflective floating leader in spring creek and still water situations. This is not applicable in all or even most situations but it is common in some fisheries.



    I discuss degreasing leaders and how fish come to avoid leaders in the post below:

    Giving up on mono tippet? - Page 2

    In Europe where the fish are extremely heavily fished, they use leader degreasers to remove the sheen and get the leaders to sink just below the surface. I think if you can make the leader less apparent to the fish, that is a good thing and I can't think of much of a downside to lowering visibility.

    They sure swear by it in Europe.

    For more information, there is a discussion and video below:

    Suggestions for best line degreaser? - Fly Fishing Forums

    How do you degrease leaders? - Fly Fishing Forums

    degreasing your leader?
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Boise, Idaho
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    Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    Silver Creek,
    I have been watching this thread and have purposely stayed out of it. But your bringing up the “sunken vs a "crack in the mirror" floating leader” topic got me interested. I have been at this leader game long enough to know that no one product is going to work for all fly fishers. Some seasoned fishers love them some seasoned fly fishers hate them…

    The idea of the sunken vs crack in the mirror idea is one I have been trying to show via video but is very difficult to capture on film. A few years back, a well known fishing guide from Idaho called me to discuss our leaders. He started using them the year before and said he would never go back to tapered nylon, but his reason was different than most. His take, the fact that the leader was opaque and did not reflect sunlight was the most important characteristic. The Southfork of the Snake has many bright sunny days during the dry fly season. In nature, there are no reflective items floating on the water surface. But there are tons of debris, grass, sticks, etc. He felt that he could fish better on pressured fisheries using the thread leaders for that reason. When I first started Cutthroat Leaders, I recommended long lengths of tippet because I had concerns of the fish being leader shy… Over the years, the length of tippet I use has gone down significantly.

    I am a big believer in degreasing or removing shine from the tippet. My thoughts, only doing so to the last couple of feet of tippet is required. But doing this, removes any of that un-natural shine that can occur with nylon. I have been on many trips with fishing buddies whom do not rub down (remove shine) on their tippet… Same fly, same leader, drastically different fish count numbers.

    On a similar note that I never expected to hear… The San Juan River. We have Many returning customers that fish the San Juan. I have yet to fish it myself, but hear that it typically involves small flies, big fish and to be successful, you need to get the fly into the correct feeding lane.

    Similar story to above. A customer / part time fishing guide called me years ago to inform me how he uses our leaders on the San Juan. He uses only 12” of tippet off our Dry Fly Indicator. This leader has a bright orange indicator tip… Again, I previously made the recommendation of using longer tippet in trying to keep the indicator away from fish… I have been informed this is not at all necessary. By keeping his tippet length at 12”, he can see the indicator tip but not his tiny size 28 fly, yet he knows exactly where the fly is. Using the shorter tippet, the fly fisher can get his fly in the exact feeding lane that he sees fish rising in. The exact same discussion came up… the leaders do not reflect sunlight.

    Short story, no matter what leader system you use, spend the extra 30 seconds to remove the sheen/shine of your tippet. It will make a big difference.

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  5. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    I use threaded furled leader all the time, and don't much like the nylon style very much. I have also noticed that not all threaded furled leaders perform quite the same. I have my favorites and I use them.

    I have also noticed that fish don't seem to be as spooked by a furled leader passing overhead as they are with a nylon leader whether its a sunny day or not. But I will say, and I stand by this, that I have noticed a dramatic positive in degreasing my tippet to about a few short inches to the fly, about two to three inches.

    Fish see things like sticks and leaves and other items floating downstream all day, and they don't give off a reflective sheen like nylon / mono does. A threaded furled leader doesn't give it off either, so therefor looking like a natural item or object floating by.

    Yes, furled leaders are big in G.B., because generally their rivers run low until it rains. So in low water, a threaded furled leader is an advantage for them. Try it in the Fall when the water levels go down, you will see a difference.

    Mike and Silver, you both make great comments. A threaded furled leader with the tippet degreased is a win win situation in my opinion.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

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  7. #24
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    Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    I, too, went back to nylon leaders when presenting dry flies because they float better and probably less visible to fish. Nonetheless furled leaders have some advantages. They sink faster so very effective when casting streamers. For salt water fishing it's very important to have the fly sink fast. I use fluorocarbon furled leaders when fly fishing salt water because they sink fast and are less visible. And, of course, I like low line memories.

  8. Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by CutThroat Leaders View Post
    I am a big believer in degreasing or removing shine from the tippet. My thoughts, only doing so to the last couple of feet of tippet is required. But doing this, removes any of that un-natural shine that can occur with nylon. I have been on many trips with fishing buddies whom do not rub down (remove shine) on their tippet… Same fly, same leader, drastically different fish count numbers.
    Does removing the shine reduce the floatability of the tippet? I mostly fish moving water and the two biggest factors for me are a high floating fly with no drag. I would think a sunken leader or tippet will increase drag and lessen floatability.

  9. Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    I'd like to know what size tippet was used for this. I'm assuming the thicker the tippet the more degreasing makes a difference. It's possible that with 4X is makes a big difference but not with 6X.

  10. #27
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    Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by madison320 View Post
    Does removing the shine reduce the floatability of the tippet? I mostly fish moving water and the two biggest factors for me are a high floating fly with no drag. I would think a sunken leader or tippet will increase drag and lessen floatability.
    No. No it doesn't. When applying a treatment like Fillers Earth or Loon Snake Mud, all you are doing is ( in a short ) eliminating the sheen that happens when light shines through the mono or nylon. You are in a light sense roughing it up just a little bit, and if anything, it may sit more in the surface film. But it does not have any negative effects on the fly.
    I even took a black Sharpe and colored my tippet one time. And I still caught fish.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

  11. Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty macfly View Post
    No. No it doesn't. When applying a treatment like Fillers Earth or Loon Snake Mud, all you are doing is ( in a short ) eliminating the sheen that happens when light shines through the mono or nylon. You are in a light sense roughing it up just a little bit, and if anything, it may sit more in the surface film. But it does not have any negative effects on the fly.
    I even took a black Sharpe and colored my tippet one time. And I still caught fish.
    Do they sell tinted tippet, like green colored? I wonder if that would eliminate the shine.

  12. #29

    Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by madison320 View Post
    Do they sell tinted tippet, like green colored? I wonder if that would eliminate the shine.
    Cortland used to make Climax, a favorite of mine, and that had a green tint to it. They now make precision, which I haven't actually seen, but is said to have a "low glare" finish, whatever that means.

    There's always maxima ultragreen. It's great stuff in higher breaking strengths (many steelheader's top choice), but it's stiff and thick for its breaking strength so it's not anything I'd ever use in 5X.

  13. #30

    Default Re: Tried furled and polyleaders again, but came back to nylon.

    I'm supposed to be fishing today but climatic conditions spoiled our outing plans. So, I read this thread instead. Clearly there is not one right leader for all conditions, angling styles or individual preferences but one thing is certain; the leader is what shows fish our fly and is crucial to our angling success.

    Most of us are fortunate enough to have begun our fly fishing after 1939...that was the year Nylon was introduced at the NY Worlds Fair (The "NY" in Nylon's name stems from the place of its introduction). Nylon makes modern fishing as we all know it feasible; find and play around with an antique gut leader and you'll develop a whole new appreciations for what we enjoy now.

    My earliest leaders I built from a collection of varied size spools of material and I still hand knot both Nylon and Fluorocarbon leaders to this day. Mostly not for dry flies though except for real big ones on my 6-weight but even there I have mostly switched to Cutthroat All-Nylon Furls. I use them and Orvis Braided Butts too on my dry fly #4 and 5-weight outfits. Both are devoid of coiling memory and, assuming they are optimally mass matched to the line in use, provide hinge-free impeccable energy transfer from the cast line down through the taper of the leader. I abhor a leader that collapses either due to a too thin butt or too soft material...they ruin my accuracy and drift control. Yes, I regularly want current defying amplitudes and mended shapes in my leader but I want to induce them on purpose not via coils resulting from uncontrolled collapse. This can be achieved with a well tapered Blood Knotted leader but the memory in the thicker upper sections can be problematic. Braids and Nylon Furls are more adroit.

    From the terminus of the Braid or Furl I build down as I would conventionally starting with around 1X Nail Knotted on, down to the desired tippet size, such leader design can turn over as long as tippet as you might like and I favor long, around 5' of 5X.

    Predominantly my dry fly fishing is on spring creeks and tail waters slick current rivers harboring large, wild and pressured trout. It is my intent to never allow these fish to see my leader or tippet. They are to see the fly first with any tippet upstream of the offering. Control of the leader in air and on water including all necessary adjustments is my job to execute, the fish is supposed to see something just like what he is feeding on come into his lie.

    We go through considerable craftsmanship to fine tune our leaders both pre-trip and in camp and the kind of leader I'm describing basically lasts the life of the fly line with frequent refurbishing and re-tapering depending on circumstances. During the off-season I have time to investigate and experiment with the highest performing rods, the optimal matching line and a well balancing appropriate reel. But when fishing, they fade into an extension of my angling being and only fly selection and leader performance are at the forefront. I'm re-scheduled for next week now.

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