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Poly leader for dry fly

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Bendix
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:23 pm
Location: Denmark

Poly leader for dry fly

#1

Post by Bendix » Wed May 12, 2021 8:21 pm

Hi All

I am in the process of preparing my tackle for the coming Mayfly season. My main rod is a 9ft 5wt, with a floating WF and a recently acquired floating DT that are both true to AFFTA standards. For leader I use 9 foot tapered nylon, which I lengthen with around 6-7 feet of tapered nylon. This has worked quite well over the years, but I must admit that my curiosity has been awakened recently, as I have been watching some YouTube videos from New Zealand, where some seemingly experienced and talented people are recommending that you use an 8-10 foot long floating poly leader, that you lengthen with around 6-8 feet of tapered nylon. They claim that this helps a lot in regards of turnover with large dry flies (such as the Mayflies that I use).

So my question is, has anyone here tried using floating poly leaders for dry flies, and if so, what did you think of it?

Or would I be better off just using the leaders I have used so far, and am familiar with?

The waters I fish are smallish Danish streams, with both open spaces, and areas with lots of trees, where casting space is relatively limited.

/Bendix

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Paul Arden
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Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Thu May 13, 2021 6:13 am

Hi Bendix,

there is certainly a lot more weight to a polyleader. Me personally I don't like them. There is simply too much energy left in the leader as it unrolls. Another problem I have with them is that they land harder and, finally, I don't like the loop to loop connection :D

But certainly try them. I know Chris uses them down there and is a big fan.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Viking Lars
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:45 am

Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#3

Post by Viking Lars » Thu May 13, 2021 9:18 am

A poly leader is simply a lengthening of the fly line and in my opinion actually reduces the length of the leader. They're often transparent etc., so it might not have the same "impact" is simply putting a shorter leader on the line. But - I find them completely useless for dry fly. A properly dimensioned leader is more than capable of turning over even the large Danica-imitations.

I would suggest that instead of using a 9' leaders that you extend, simply get a 15' leader that has the tippet diameter you're after and use than straight out of the packet. Only tie on extra tippet when you've used up the first foot or so. This works extremely well for large flies.

Lars

Bendix
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:23 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#4

Post by Bendix » Thu May 13, 2021 4:16 pm

Hi Paul and Lars

Thanks for your replies!

It seems you both verified my suspicion... And so I think I will just stick with the leaders I already use, as they have done the job well for many seasons now.

And maybe I will consider getting my hands on some 12 or 15 foot leaders when I get the chance, and see how they work...

Thanks again!

/Bendix

tomo
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Location: Otago, New Zealand.
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Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#5

Post by tomo » Fri May 14, 2021 8:43 pm

Hi Bendix.
Poly leaders are not the norm in NZ, but (experienced) guys do use them - primarily to make casting a 18-22ft leader (inc poly leader) 'easier' into a howling NW South Island wind. Horses for courses. Ive never had a problem turning over a standard tapered leader with a long mid and tippet section, so have never bothered with them. I don't always want a perfect turnover anyway :) Like Paul, I don't use loop to loop and they definitively land harder on the water. Your leader at the moment sounds like its working well so keep it on!

cheers, Tom.

Bendix
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:23 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#6

Post by Bendix » Sat May 15, 2021 6:23 am

Hi Tom

Thanks for your reply.

You also confirmed my suspicion... And yeah, loop to loop sucks when it comes to long dry fly leaders (and other long leaders). For many years now, I’ve made it a habit of tying my leaders to the fly line loop with a clinch knot (I think that’s the English name for the knot?), and this way it runs very smoothly through the guides. And if I change my leader, it simply cut the knot off, and tie a new knot with the new leader. This works well for me at least.

So like I said earlier, I’ll just stick with the leaders I use already.

/Bendix

tomo
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Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#7

Post by tomo » Sat May 15, 2021 7:45 am

That's a much smoother connection for sure, although I have had on fail on me - must have created a weak point at the end of the fly line loop. Admittedly, the leader had been on for a very long time, and must have been under a fair bit of stress. I just got into the habit of nail knotting after that.

Cheers!

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Carol
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Location: Summit County, Colorado

Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#8

Post by Carol » Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:39 pm

What do you like poly leaders for? I would assume they are best for nymph rigs, but not having tried one, I really don't know.
Carol
Because it's painful getting flies out of spruce trees.

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Paul Arden
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Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:40 pm

I have a mate who uses them for dry fly in NZ, Carol. He’s actually one of my best mates. I think he likes the positive turnover. He’s an outstanding caster, not just a guide. Without doubt one of the best in NZ. Having said that I don’t get it because I use the leader to get rid of energy not try to keep it and I’m using longer leaders. But to each his own!!

Where it would have a use for me would be to act as a sink tip while streamer fishing. I can imagine situations where the other option (lead/tungsten) doesn’t roll cast well. You could get around this problem with a sink tip polyleader. But in all of my life I haven’t ever felt that I’ve had to do this and can (usually) make it happen some other way.

However as a Spey casting sinktip I certainly see a use. For Nymphing, with what I know nowadays, I would get rid of the entire flyline.

Cheers!
Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Hornbeam
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:12 pm

Re: Poly leader for dry fly

#10

Post by Hornbeam » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:03 pm

Bendix wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 8:21 pm
Hi All

I am in the process of preparing my tackle for the coming Mayfly season. My main rod is a 9ft 5wt, with a floating WF and a recently acquired floating DT that are both true to AFFTA standards. For leader I use 9 foot tapered nylon, which I lengthen with around 6-7 feet of tapered nylon. This has worked quite well over the years, but I must admit that my curiosity has been awakened recently, as I have been watching some YouTube videos from New Zealand, where some seemingly experienced and talented people are recommending that you use an 8-10 foot long floating poly leader, that you lengthen with around 6-8 feet of tapered nylon. They claim that this helps a lot in regards of turnover with large dry flies (such as the Mayflies that I use).

So my question is, has anyone here tried using floating poly leaders for dry flies, and if so, what did you think of it?

Or would I be better off just using the leaders I have used so far, and am familiar with?

The waters I fish are smallish Danish streams, with both open spaces, and areas with lots of trees, where casting space is relatively limited.

/Bendix
What do you mean by "lengthen with 6-7 feet of tapered nylon"? Unless it's tapered leader material you're using to do that, the only way of tapering a leader/tippet is by knotting together successively narrower gauges of monofilamment. Or do you really mean lengthen with 6-7 feet of level tippet?

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