Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by james.jimenez, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. james.jimenez

    james.jimenez Active Member

    Jan 2, 2012
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    I'm looking at purchasing the SA SONAR LEADERS, but everyone I speak to uses AIRFLOW POLY LEADERS.

    The SA SONAR LEADERS weigh 50 grains. I cannot find the weight of the AIRFLOW POLY LEADERS.

    What are you thoughts when it comes to choosing between the two?
  2. Idaho steel

    Idaho steel Active Member

    Aug 26, 2011
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    The most obvious difference is the Airflo poly leaders change weight depending on sink rate. As far as the SA leaders go, I personally can't see the point of a 50 grain floater (or hover, or intermediate...)

    In the sinking leaders at least, I would guess that SA uses different density materials, whereas Airflo uses different amounts of the same stuff.

    The Sa leader looks as though it has a long, level butt section with a fairly short front taper. I've never put a mic on an Airflo leader, but they feel like a continuous taper.

    I guess it all depends on what you plan to use 'em for...

    Poppy at the Red Shed has the weights and sink rates for the Airflo leaders listed on his website.
  3. the_grube

    the_grube Active Member

    Nov 6, 2016
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    Have not tried the SA leaders. My guess is that they're doing the 50gr weight regardless of sink rate to make the casting consistent across the lineup. Like Idaho Steel said, the taper does appear to be 'non-linear', like it's designed for a powerful rollout rather than a light touch-down. That actually makes sense for a lot of the fishing I do with sinking leaders; I don't care about presentation cuz I want to sink and swing. https://www.scientificanglers.com/product/sonar-leaders/

    I've fished the airflo poly and rio versileaders. I honestly think the versileader is a bit more robust/well-built, but I haven't put enough time in with both brands to say for sure. I have a couple polys that are losing their tungsten coating already. I hate the bags that poly leaders com in.... a silly thing except that I'm color blind and I need a well marked bag to identify sink rates -- I use the black magic marker on fly tying material bags. If you wind up buying them let us know what you think.
  4. golfman44

    golfman44 5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year

    Jul 8, 2012
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    I haven't fished the SA ones, but have used both the airflo and rio. I feel that I get more positive turnover with the airflo ones, and positive turnover is probably the most underrated aspect of steelheading w/ a spray rod in my opinion.

    Here are Airflo polyleader weights:

    Fast Sink=20
    Super Fast Sink=28
    X Super Fast=38

    Slow Sink=30
    Fast Sink=32
    Super Fast Sink=56
    X Super Fast Sink=76

    Super Fast Sink=50
    X Super Fast=98
  5. Brian St

    Brian St Member

    Nov 22, 2003
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    I think it really depends on what your trying to achieve with the poly leader. Being able to turn it over on the cast should be #1. Sink rate falls into the #2 or 3 category since you could use a slightly weighted fly to help with sink rate and not use a heavy poly leader. Different strokes for different folks.

    I tend to like the continuous taper sinking poly leaders by airflow. For one they tend to anchor up lighter with the continous taper. Because we should all be trying to avoid line stick unless your skagit casting. They complement the front of a scandi head perfectly because of the continuous taper. The leader is actually a continuation of the front taper with Scandi type heads and you create it to your liking for a given scenario.

    One other thing to consider is the fact you can actually fish the fast sinking version fairly deep. Because of the taper of the main line the leader will actually pull part of it down with it on the sink. You dont have the bobber effect you have with skagit floating body heads. You can actually fish the Scandi slower on the swing which is a good thing. This is also similar to the mid head line with sinktips. Sinking poly tips in the 10ft range are pretty manageable even for begginners once you get to the 14ft tips things change and you need to play with different angles of lift and the initial start of the cast changes quite a bit. With multi density Scandi with a sinking poly its a whole different show and the challenge is to get the tip to the surface so it can be cast. Slow controlled creativity comes into play.
    golfman44 likes this.