What is the point of a floating Polyleader?

viggysmalls

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I asked someone to pick me up a couple of tapered leaders the other day and for some reason he decided to go with a 10' floating polyleader from airflo. Not sure why he picked that, as they are at least three times more expensive than a regular mono leader.

Now I am wondering what to use it for. I use sinking leaders quite a lot for swinging streamers. I assume the floating variety might have some use in dry fly fishing, but it just seems so much thicker, and likely much less delicate, than a mono leader, so I am struggling to see a use for it. Does anyone use floating polyleaders? Any suggestions on how to put it to use?
 

Ard

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This is one of those things I've wondered myself and honestly the reason I've wondered is that ..... I don't know. My best guess is that they are not meant for dry fly applications. Maybe, and I mean maybe the idea is that they (being way heavier than mono) serve to extend the tip providing additional taper with the intent being to help turn over streamers and salmon flies better than mono? That's pure guess because I never bought one although I do have 4 of the Clear Sinking variety.

What I can tell you about the sinking type is that they work well with either unweighted or very lightly weighted flies, in my case light tube flies. I use them for both salmon and rainbow / steelhead trout fishing here and have landed fish up to ten pounds so they are good to ten provided you use a 0X tippet on the end.

Have I fallen for a gimmick? I honestly don't know. I found that if you add a weighted fly to the sinking type the turn over is affected in direct relationship to the extent of weight built into the fly. Perhaps someone knows the actual intended benefit and will post? I got them about ten years ago because I'm often guilty of not keeping pace with new technology.
 

fishrite86

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I know the new zeeland anglers use them with leader off the end of the poly leader. It provides added stealth and flexibility with the application.
 

trev

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My guess is to make up a complete set of XBrand connections so I don't get confused by trying to think for myself. Kinda like having any specialized tool, it shifts the results from skill and knowledge to purchasing.
from advertisements-
These are floating "butt sections" to which you simply add tippet, or a transition piece and then tippet.
The floating PolyLeader can be used to help turn over big dry flies in the wind, or as a butt section on a killer nymphing leader setup.
From what I've read I take it these are level? so it replaces the 20# mono in my hand tied leader in the same way the sinking polyleaders replace the 3' of lead core we once used.
 

LOC

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I asked someone to pick me up a couple of tapered leaders the other day and for some reason he decided to go with a 10' floating polyleader from airflo. Not sure why he picked that, as they are at least three times more expensive than a regular mono leader.

Now I am wondering what to use it for. I use sinking leaders quite a lot for swinging streamers. I assume the floating variety might have some use in dry fly fishing, but it just seems so much thicker, and likely much less delicate, than a mono leader, so I am struggling to see a use for it. Does anyone use floating polyleaders? Any suggestions on how to put it to use?
Yeah to me this would be overkill for a standard single handed weight forward line but for a Scandi line it would have some benefits.
I use a scandi line on my switch rod and I have tried it both with just a mono leader attached and also with polyleader and with the poly leader it does cast better, anchor better, elongate and smooth out the loop. I typically then add a tippet to the poly leader but shorter than what I would use straight to a Scandi line.

Long story short they are more useful for spey rod setups.
 
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trev

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Hi Trev,

They are definitely tapered with a tiny loop at the end for tippet, as I said I use 0X on mine.
Hi Ard, when I reread that it said "level core", I'm not always the sharpest. 0X would be the third step down in most of my leaders.
 
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coug

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I have the same experience as LOC in that I use them on two-handed rods. They seem to stabilize the loop and provide a much better anchor than straight mono on scandi lines. I am far from knowledgeable about line design, but if you consider the poly as part of the line then you increase the line weight by extending the front taper by whatever length of poly you are using. Kind of like the long front taper on "trout" versions of lines from SA and Rio. They even work for short belly lines. I was using a 55' fall favorite on a rod and someone with much more experience than I told me to put a poly on the end because those lines like poly's, and it really made a big difference by extending the front taper and help with loop control at distance.

I will add, that the weight of the poly's I have are all fairly close for floating and intermediate, and slightly heavier for slow sink, so it adds some versatility without changing the weight.
 

viggysmalls

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Thanks all! Very useful replies, even though it sounds like their uses may be somewhat niche.

I do use a spey rod with a short scandi line in certain fishing situations. I had not considered using the floating poly as a sort of line extension. I'll have to experiment a bit with it. Interesting.

I had originally thought maybe it would have some use in "waking" flies, which is a popular technique, especially for Atlantic Salmon in some rivers I fish, but even then, there are techniques that work well for that without needed the floating poly.
 

coug

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Hi Coug,

I have one hitched to the front of a 56 foot (I think) ballistic Vector and with light flies it's just sweet.
I have the same experience with fall favorites. I keep the floater on for the summer runs on the Clearwater, but will switch to the intermediate when following someone through a run.
 

mtboiler

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I asked someone to pick me up a couple of tapered leaders the other day and for some reason he decided to go with a 10' floating polyleader from airflo. Not sure why he picked that, as they are at least three times more expensive than a regular mono leader.

Now I am wondering what to use it for. I use sinking leaders quite a lot for swinging streamers. I assume the floating variety might have some use in dry fly fishing, but it just seems so much thicker, and likely much less delicate, than a mono leader, so I am struggling to see a use for it. Does anyone use floating polyleaders? Any suggestions on how to put it to use?
The floating variety is simply just a general purpose leader. You could dry or nymph or throw streamers with it. The leader purpose is to give people that use a new leader every time they go out an alternative. The newest version comes with a tippet ring that allows you to just add whatever length of tippet you want to the end. I have a 6.5 ft one that I have played with. They are more durable and less likely to kink or wade up like a normal leader. Plus, for guys that buy a new leader every time they go fishing because they don't know how to lengthen leaders this makes the cost significantly less.
Ok, that is the rep presentation....my opinion is that you will get more life out of the leader and they are great for people that fish the same size leader all the time with one fly. You just cut at the tippet ring, tie on new tippet and a fly and you are good to go. They are $18 retail a think, so three and a half times more than the standard $5 SA or Rio leaders.
If you are someone that cannot tie but one knot and you want to have little or no hassle the leader does a pretty good jot. Far more durable but far less flexible than the old fashion leaders.
 

MCHammer

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I've always thought they were exclusively for use on Scandi lines and two-handed rods. I have a bunch of them, floating, slow sink, faster sink, etc. The 10 footers are best for shorter switch-type rods. I use them with enough tippet to get a leader that's 1 1/2 times the length of the rod. Having that long of a leader prevents a lot of blown anchors, which I used to get often until I figured out that I needed longer tippet.

A floating polyleader is what I would use for summer steelhead that I hope will come to the surface for a fly. I've caught them that way, but I'm not trying to keep the fly on the surface. It's still a streamer-type fly and it will ride just below the surface on the swing.
 

flytie09

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Floating polyleaders / versileaders are used for skating/waking surface flies for Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon with 2 handers. Think Haig Brown's Steelhead Bee, Bombers, Hirano's Wangs, muddlers, skating caddis and those sort. You could even toss some beefy mouse patterns. You don't see much of it done along the Great Lakes.....it is done by a small subset of folks for Summer Run steelhead on the West Coast.
 

duker

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Floating polyleaders / versileaders are used for skating/waking surface flies for Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon with 2 handers. Think Haig Brown's Steelhead Bee, Bombers, Hirano's Wangs, muddlers, skating caddis and those sort. You could even toss some beefy mouse patterns. You don't see much of it done along the Great Lakes.....it is done by a small subset of folks for Summer Run steelhead on the West Coast.
+1.
 

flav

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I think floating poly leaders are the least useful variety of poly. I have a floater that I bought for fishing wakers for summer steelhead with a scandi head on a two hander. However, I think a mono leader does a better job, so the floating poly doesn't see much use.
I also have used a floating poly off a regular WF line while dry fly fishing for trout. They don't cast that nicely and hinge a lot with a standard WF line, they're heavy so they don't turn over very well, and they tend to land pretty heavily. If you're fishing big dries, like salmonflies, they're ok, but beyond that I'd never choose one over a mono leader.
 

tcorfey

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I use them with my Trout Spey rod to swing wet flies, small streamers and soft hackles during the late summer or early fall in shallow ( 2'-4' deep) water but a clear intermediate poly leader works well also. If I am picking up leaves and such or getting hung up on the bottom with an intermediate than I switch to a floater. I add 4-10' of straight mono tippet to the poly leader.
 
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