Tips & Tricks

Polyleaders vs. sink-tips

Nowadays, it’s simple to grow to be overwhelmed by the massive number of gear in the marketplace and the nuanced worlds of the two-handed fly fisher and streamer angler are not any exception. Right here we’ll place polyleaders and sink-tips beneath the microscope that can assist you higher perceive the alternatives obtainable and the correct time to make use of every.

What’s a Polyleader?

A polyleader (additionally known as a versileader by some corporations) serves two major functions for spey casting. First, it helps anchor your line to the water when performing a spey solid. All meaning is that they grip the water higher than a standard nylon chief, which helps you load the rod extra effectively. Second, as a result of polyleaders have extra mass than a standard chief, they assist flip flies over, particularly in windy circumstances — which may also be a profit for anglers fishing large, tough-to-turn-over flies on single-hand rods. Exterior of those major functions, a sinking polyleader may also be used as an alternative of a sink-tip in sure fishing conditions — extra on that in a minute.

Like a standard chief, a polyleader has a taper. Nonetheless, they’ve a mono core (nylon) and a polyurethane coating. On the enterprise finish of the chief (the fly finish) you can find an 8” part of the mono core uncovered. Most anglers tie a perfection loop into this butt part, which permits them to create a loop-to-loop reference to their 3’ to five’ part of tippet.

Polyleader Sizes

Polyeaders can be found in a variety of each size and breaking energy. Normally, the ten’ leaders with a 24 lb core energy are the most well-liked for each steelhead and trout fishing. Leaders with a 40 lb core are helpful when casting #8, #9 and #10 weight Spey rods or when utilizing them along with skagit type strains starting from #5 weight or heavier.

Polyleader Sink Fee (Density)

Polyeaders can be found in quite a lot of densities starting from “floating” to “additional tremendous quick sink.” Floating and intermediate densities are helpful when fishing on or close to the floor. As a facet be aware, I personally use the intermediate when skating dry flies for steelhead or when fishing mouse patterns for trout with skagit heads just like the Airflo Rage Compact. When it’s time to go subsurface, I escape the sinking densities.

Sink Suggestions

Sink suggestions carry alongside all the advantages of a polyleader, with the additional benefit of a degree or flat development. Which means that, not like polyleaders, sink suggestions don’t have any taper and are the identical diameter on the enterprise finish (the fly finish) as they’re within the again finish. The result’s significantly extra mass. Because of this, sink suggestions will get down within the water column a lot quicker than a polyleader coated with materials with the identical sink price. Alongside these identical strains, different mass-related advantages — anchoring your line, loading your rod, turning over flies — are additionally extra pronounced with sink suggestions.

When To Use a Sinking Polyleader vs. a Sink-Tip

Though polyleaders are available in sinking densities, as famous they don’t have as a lot mass as a degree “T” sink-tip (for instance: T-10). Consequently, they work nice for small to medium measurement flies which might be un-weighted or evenly weighted. That being stated, their taper permits them to land on the water with extra stealth than a heavy sink-tip making them good for robust fishing conditions. Ultimately, you’ll need to depend on sink-tips like T-7, T-10 and T-14 for dredging giant, heavy flies and reserve your polyleaders for these instances when the fish are shallow and spooky.


As an streamer fisherman or spey angler for each steelhead or trout, polyleaders ought to be in your arsenal of instruments and you must take care to notice that they’re supply nice advantages even when casting lighter flies. If it’s essential to go subsurface, sinking polyleaders are nice for stealth however you will need to make the most of your sink-tips when fishing bigger, heavier flies in deeper water.

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