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Discussion Starter #1
Tried one of these to see if it would help keep a waker on top in more roily water. I hate it when the leader gets drowned and pulls my fly under.

The leaders I used were a 10-floot salmon/steelhead floating Poly leader with a 4-foot Maxima Chameleon tippet (8-lb or 10-lb), and a 14-foot leader made up entirely of Maxima Chameleon, with a 40-lb butt section and tapering to the same tippet as the other leader.

It turned out that the floating leader seemed to help keep a fly up on flat water, but that is when help is not really needed since the fly stays up pretty well anyway.

The Poly leader made things worse in roily water. I sometimes hang the waker in the slick behind large rocks that break or are near the surface. The eddies around the sides of the rock catch the leader, and drag the fly under. Because of its larger diameter, the Poly leader was more prone to get caught by the eddies than a normal mono leader. I guess I should have anticipated that, but I didn't.

As far as turnover, I think the Poly leader was slightly better. However, since I was seldom fishing runs where I could get a consistent rythm, and my spey casting is mediocre anyway, I can't be sure. Turnover wasn't my focus, anyway.

--Bill
 

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I was wondering if you tried it greased lined? I like the idea of the better turn over and it sounds like it might help with keeping your fly just under the surface. Just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did fished greased line on one or 2 runs that were conducive to it. However, I generally just change hook weight and fly style to keep my fly near the surface, and that has never been a problem. If the water is slow, I'll change to a lighter wire hook, and a fly with more hackle, perhaps a palmered or spey style fly, as I'm looking for something to maintain action in the slow water anyway.

So, I don't think the leader type will make much difference there, but I'm not too much of an expert, either, so others may have a different opinion.

--Bill
 

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I had many long exchanges with the former US distributor of AirFlo, about just what makes a floating PolyLeader, any different than just using 18" of tippet.

I never got an answer that I could understand. It seems to me that when you use them, you are basically just adding a longer front taper to your line and fishing with a very short leader.

He always raved about how great they turned a fly over.

Well, duhh. 18" of leader will turn any fly over beautifully.

I still don't get it, but am willing to admit that I may just be hard-of-understanding.
 

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The floating poly leader is also a type of clear tip. If you're a believer that clear tip lines do not scare the fish as much as colored lines, then the poly leader would be better than just 18" of tippet on a colored line.
 

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2handthesalt is not wrong to think of a PolyLeader as a flyline extension - it is because of the construction - a tapered coating on a core. The crossover to calling it a leader is that you won't find a flyline with a tip section tapered as finely, thus it serves the function of a knotless leader to which you would add your tippet. The other benefit is that you can choose the floating/sinking property to suit the fishing situation such as using the clear hover and intermediate models to drop your leader/tippet below the surface when dead drifting or skating flies - virtually no surface disturbance right back to the fly. And they do turn over better than the usual leader butt sections.
 
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