Poly leader as a tip?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Ringlee, May 3, 2009.

  1. Well it is complicated. If you were to want a versatile setup for summers I think a Skagit with Poly would be what you want. This is because you can dredge with T14 and huge leeches, which kills sometimes in the summer, or use the floating Poly and skate dries.

    But.........a Skagit line splashes a lot. In some conditions even when it lands 15' from the tip of a poly leader that is still too close. Especially for high pressure areas in low water. The fish have to be unaware of you in every way.

    So, if you want the best presentation, my experience has pretty much been narrowed down to the Elixer line. I pimp this line a lot, like no other really. I have never cast a line with such a long and amazingly smooth taper like that. It simply lands like NOTHING.

    Even if I use WAAAAY too big of a fly for this line, like a MOAL, and really pop my cast so it unrolls properly, the fly splashes and the Elixer will melt into the water. It is just delicate as all hell and I really love it for this.

    Big draw back to the Elixer though is a good breeze. Works better on medium to small rivers. I was wasting a lot of energy and deduced it was not worth it trying to use it on a breezy day on the Skagit.

    If I were you I would get both. That is what I did.
  2. How do you pimp it out?? Do you cut it back? I have the line but can't quite load it like I think it needs to be loaded using a poly leader. I am just wondering if I should cut it and use regular sink tips. I remember reading that this is an effective way to change the line. What do you think?
  3. Try to use your bottom hand more Doc, and see if it works better. That is the ticket for scandi styles for me.

    I think Jason is just saying he recommends the line to a lot of people.

    You can throw a heavy fly with a scandi set up. I have found if you aerialize the entire line and leader and only have the fly dragging across the surface of the water once your D loop is formed it goes a long ways and looks smooth. The light end of the tip doesn't have the power like a skagit for ripping the fly/tip out of the water.
  4. Poly leader Alternative

    My local shop does not carry any poly leaders. They make and sell furled leaders. Not cheap but last a long time. Nice to cast with great turnover. It is like having a built in shock absorber in your leader. Just another option to consider.
  5. Jeremy is right. When I say pimp it out, I mean highly recommend it for what it does. If I were going to swing soft hackles in low summertime conditions, I would rather have the Elixir than anything I have personally used which isn't every option out there BTW.

    If I were going to be hiking a river all day and may need to dredge some runs, as well as fish some soft hackles, I would use a Skagit with a floating poly.

    I wouldn't use a floating poly leader with the Elixir. Just get the right grain one to use with a normal tapered leader. I have a Beulah Switch 7/8 so I just got the one made for the rod. It handles a sinking poly and light tips fine but it is incredible effortless with a tapered leader to a soft hackle; very easy to over power.
  6. This thread is confusing me because their are so many different opinions. I guess anybody can make whatever setup work, but if someone is trying to optimize their setup, here is what I would do:

    Skagit heads use the appropriate tips ranging from 100-200 grains, floater included. A floating poly is too light.

    Scandi heads use leaders, Rio versi leaders, Airflow poly leaders, or mono leaders. Tips are too heavy.

    An Elixer is a scandi head, and is designed to use a leader. An 15' Airflow floating poly is 40 grains. A straight 15' mono salmon leader is 25 grains. Why would you use sinking poly's, light tips, and straight mono, but not a floating poly? To me, the floating poly on that line and rod is bread and butter.
  7. those are good observations willj

    I differ slightly- I prefer about a 12' mono leader when fishing my elixir, and 7-10' intermediate or poly sinkers. Boy, do I ever like that taper!
  8. I will try the bottom hand more - thanks for the tip.
    As far as the pimp thing - I get it now!!!
    Now - to the real issue - how do you anchor the D Loop if the entire line is aerialized? I am having trouble visualizing how that would look. I have noticed that it won't rip line out of the water as you have stated - the whole cast just seems to go to shit in a hurry!
    thanks in advance-
  9. After lining up your anchor and at the end stage of forming a D loop for whichever cast you are most comfy with fly should be coming towards you dragging across the water behind the leader, or a poly leader and leader. As you start your forward motion and the line rolls over the top of the fly, everything except for the fly and a few inches of leader are completely out of the water until the snap happens (10 oclock stop). This uses a much bigger D loop for me than with a light fly.

    I also keep 3-5 feet of the head inside the rod tip if I have on the heavy polyleader or it overloads my rod (Echo 7wt Scandi) and causes the tip to collapse when I power into it. For me this helps to manage a combination of very rapidly sinking leader and low mass at the end of the line.
    With a light fly I keep several feet of the head on the water (plus polyleader/leader or just leader)until I snap the rod at the stop of my forward movement (10 oclock stop again). If I dont the lightly weighted fly (anchor) will pull. Then bad things happen.

    I feel like I aim a bit higher with the heavy fly vs a light one. Like about 10-12 feet in the air above where I am casting. Feels like the D loop holds its energy better this way for long casts. Also the distance the anchor is away from me when it changes direction decreases with the weight of the fly with a Scandi far more than a Skagit.

    Hope this helps as it is damn hard to describe to another person exactly what these things are doing without standing in the water next to you to actually show you.

    If you are still working on this the next time I head over the to Puget Sound area I would love to help you out.
  10. Yeah - It is difficult to visualize but probably easy to understand in person. Well - if you are back up in Arlington - let me know - would love to meet you!
  11. I was practicing last night again with my Skagit floater on my 11' 6" 6wt switch, and the casts were really finally clicking with me, but I was wondering exactly where should I set my anchor in relation to my body when I'm lining up to cast straight across river from the end of my swing?
  12. If you want to cast straight across the river, 90 degrees from the end of your swing, your body should be facing in the direction your are going to cast. This will mean that your anchor should be parallel to the direction your body is facing regardless of where you will be casting. If you get away from that you will almost assuredly end up breaking the 180 degree rule at some point and the line will crash in to itself.

    A energy wave can only travel in one direction, in this case opposite what ever direction your D loop is facing, and if you change the direction of the line riding that wave after the wave has been "generated" the energy wave and the line will crash in to each other.

    What I'm trying to explain is Simon Gawesworth's rail track analogy. the tip of the rod forms the the left rail and the line being cast forms the right rail (assuming a right handed caster). The direction your body is facing will in 90% of all cases dictate the direction of your left rail track. You can imagine what kind of havoc would be created on a train track if the rails eventually met at some point the same happens to a fly line only no one gets hurt when the fly line crashes :D.

  13. Thanks Ian, that analogy clicked.
  14. Miles,

    To answer your question, there are two solutions to me. First, the spookier the fish, the smaller the fly, the lighter the flyline I use (on the same rod). This principle works out very well for me. Especially two handed rod naturally has big window of suitable line weights. Second, casting style is the major effect in determining the disturbance than line figure. I think you still can cast skagit line well in single spey cast which will make less disturbance on the surface. Third, you might want to try different leaders with different length and types... just like single handed rod, the longer the leader the softer the presentation, and of course, the smaller (lighter) the fly it will deliver. To me, one rod, many lines and leaders will give you a lot of combination and versatility than the opposite. Hope this help... Mark

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