Understanding the difference between PolyLeaders and Sinktips - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Understanding the difference between PolyLeaders and Sinktips

Another basic video intended for the Spey newcomer. The video breaks down the basic differences between a PolyLeader and a sinktip, what lines they work best on, and how they're fished.

https://youtu.be/HKp-7bu9iU0

Peter Charles
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 12:18 AM
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polyleaders and sink tips

Thank you Peter, nice simple explanation. Is there ever a situation where both a poly and sink tip are used together to solve a problem. Thanks slack
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Peter, nice simple explanation. Is there ever a situation where both a poly and sink tip are used together to solve a problem. Thanks slack
Only one. We've dropped all of our sinktips in the river and the intermediate was the only one we were able to save. We stick a PolyLeader on the end of it to try to get our fly a bit deeper and salvage our day.

Adding a PolyLeader to a sinktip just complicates our casting and can leave our fly out of position.

The fishing problems: Polyleaders are not density compensated and the fastest sinking varieties sink slower than the densest sinktips. That T18 FLO tip shown in the video sinks at about ten inches per second. The butt of the fastest Polyleader sinks at six inches per second, while its tip only sinks at around two inches per second.

So visualize how that will sink through the water column. The T18 FLO tip will be heading down fast with the tip of the PolyLeader still up near the top. Our fly will be out of position for much of the arc of the swing until the force of the current finally drags it and the PolyLeader down to the level of the T18 tip.

Then there's the casting . . . In Skagit terms, we've effectively extended our sinktip from 10' to 20'. It won't be pretty. With touch and go type casts, putting a PolyLeader on the end of a tapered 15' sinktip will just produce a rig that won't lift out of the water cleanly and will get all hingy on us in the D-Loop.

I've known people who have tried this, especially with sinking and sinktip shooting heads. The results weren't pretty.

PolyLeaders work well off of the end of our floating lines and aren't bad on the end of intermediates. I'd stick to using them this way.

Peter Charles
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:29 AM
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Great Video

Thanks Peter

I think I fish, in part, because itís an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution. ĖJohn Gierach

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 09:37 AM
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understanding the difference sink tips and poly leaders

Peter thanks for that answer.Just one last question about skagit heads? I know there is a relationship between tip length,rod length and head length. Whats the relationship between grain weight and what the tip can weigh when comparing all the above. I hope I made that clear. Is their a loose or general rule,or do I just keep adding on till it won't work assuming I want to go deep. Again thanks slack
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Peter thanks for that answer.Just one last question about skagit heads? I know there is a relationship between tip length,rod length and head length. Whats the relationship between grain weight and what the tip can weigh when comparing all the above. I hope I made that clear. Is their a loose or general rule,or do I just keep adding on till it won't work assuming I want to go deep. Again thanks slack
That's an excellent question and a point that's often overlooked. Light Skagit heads will struggle with heavy sinktips. This problem can be mitigated somewhat by casting experience so it's hard to put a rule on it and have it apply across the board. The amount of taper in the Skagit head will impact things as well as the blunter the head, the more it can handle.

Here's what I'd go by for Skagit heads in the 25' range. Shorter switch rod heads can be a bit different.

Heads up to 400 - up to T8
400 to 500 - up to T10
500 to 600 - up to T14
600 and above - up to T18

Keep in mind that an experienced Skagit caster could manage T14 or T18 on a light head just by knowing how to make the necessary adjustments. This chart is just a general guide for those starting out.

Peter Charles
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 11:03 AM
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matching Skagit heads to sink tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by slack View Post
Peter thanks for that answer.Just one last question about skagit heads? I know there is a relationship between tip length,rod length and head length. Whats the relationship between grain weight and what the tip can weigh when comparing all the above. I hope I made that clear. Is their a loose or general rule,or do I just keep adding on till it won't work assuming I want to go deep. Again thanks slack
Very well done Peter. I hope you don't mind me jumping in on this one.

There was a time I theorized tip length should be 1X rod length & Head length (especially Skagit) should be 2X rod length, the sum of which would be the desired 3X rod length which used to be the go to standard for Skagit setups. I was wrong on that. I now use whatever it takes to do the job. Within reason, that is.

The secret to matching sink tips to lines is a little understood term called "mass density" which means weight/length, in our case grains/foot. Since fly lines are tapered, you can not simply divide the weight of the line (head) by the length. And, for the purpose of this discussion, we are only concerned with the weight of the last foot or so of the line. Remember, we are speaking of density here,, not just diameter. Trying to compare diameters of floating line and sinking line (tips) is like apples & oranges.

Although there are complex mathematical formulas for figuring out all of this, we don't have to go through all the headaches. It's already been done and charted for us. And it's laid out in common sense format in Al Buhr's book on How to Design Fly Lines. Although I could copy & paste a couple lines of that book here, I won't. Buy the book. It's only $20. It'll save you that amount many times over, not to mention the hours of frustration it will eliminate.

FWIW: I am not associated with Al, or his book in any way. I just feel it unjust to step on his toes by posting copyrighted material.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.

Last edited by JDJones; 04-21-2015 at 11:17 AM. Reason: Disclaimer
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 03:01 PM
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Good video

Good video as always. Thanks Peter.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 04:50 PM
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Really helpful. Thanks a lot for posting
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 09:11 PM
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Holy $hit! - that was great! Thank you for posting.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 10:32 PM
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Another informative and well done video, Peter. Thanks for all your work on these.

Tom
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