They make 5’ poly leaders that you could attach a few feet of mono to if you like experimenting.
I understand that concept but if you happen to swing past a fish wont they see that big old sink tip and possibly the fly line itself fly past them?To me this seems an example of paralysis by analysis. There is but one absolute in determining leader length. At no time should the length of your leader be shorter than the distance between the tip of the fly line and the eye of the fly.
Years ago on a well known River, in a notorious hole, I felt I was being low holed by an angler on the far bank. My younger aggressive side kicked in, and I began firing casts at his feet. He decided to return the favor and sent something resembling a double spey at me. His, I don't know, but say Rio windcutter, landed in a heap, not far from where I stood. Smack dab in the middle of the pile of line, lay a hideously dressed purple skunk thing. Shortly after that pile had landed, long before there was any tension of a swing, a steelhead nosed it's way through the heap of line and ate the skunk in the surface film. A half hour or so later he and his his "high-fivin" buddy released that wild b-run.Fixed it for you. I know many successful steelhead anglers that tie their offering right to their terminal tackle using braid...yes braid, like 50 lb test.
I think there are conditions under which steelhead are spooked or put off by the presence of fly lines and also leaders and flies. Those conditions are likely to be low clear water and heavily pressured fish. Undisturbed fish aren't bothered, and as mentioned above, will eat a fly tied directly to the sink tip with no leader at all. To think what you think ignores the many thousands of instances where steelhead take flies even though they also see lines and leaders. Steelhead are trout and are sight feeders. They can see fly lines and leaders, even fine leaders. They just aren't bothered by them under favorable fishing conditions.The reason I'm thinking of a long leader and a weighted fly instead of a sink tip and a short leader is because the idea of a large thick sink tip swinging past a steelhead must scare the stuffing out of them. I feel I sink tip should not be seen at all cost.
That makes sense if your talking about a unweighted fly. For unweighted I would keep my leader at 3 ft. For a weighted fly I was hoping to try 6ft this next weekend and see how it does... I'm probably not going to enjoy it much but will learn from it.Because tips sink faster than unweighted flies.
Rob, that's a great way to look at it. My problem is I like to over think stuff. its my way of learning and its fun.I think this is a needlessly over- complicated
Issue that overlooks the fundamentals of steelhead fly fishing.
We are looking for the most aggressive fish.
12 feet of t 11 is pretty much the only tip you need. Everything else can be adjusted for by casting angles and fly weight and to a small extent leader length.
My advise is to not overthink it and cover as much water as you can then be happy with whatever the river gives you.