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Polyleaders for Single-handed Rods

Posted on April 15 2014

Polyleaders and Versileaders
Airflo Polyleader and RIO Versileader. Photo: Kyle Shea

Polyleaders are great tool that allow for anglers to adapt to a wide range of conditions. In fact, we’ve run several posts in the past highlighting how much we like fishing polyleaders on two handed rods. They’re a great match for lighter setups such as scandi heads or switch lines. However, polyleaders are just as useful on your single-handed rod as well!

While fishing a floating line, many anglers keep an extra spool locked and loaded with a sink tip fly line that they can ‘switch out’ if the situation calls for it. However, we’ve found that due to the time required to re-rig a new fly line, most anglers don’t end up switching it out, even if it is the right decision. A great alternative to an extra spool and fly line is a simple set of polyleaders instead! Here’s why we like using polyleaders on single-hand rods as well.

  • They’re Versatile. Polyleaders allow you the option to change from your standard weight forward floating line to a sink tip set-up extremely easily. They also come in a very wide range of lengths and sink rates to adapt to the situation at hand. Both Airflo (polyleaders) and RIO (versileaders) also offer leaders with different core strengths. Both companies offer options from lighter trout leaders in the 12 pound range, to salmon/steelhead leaders in the 24 pound range. Not enough? Airflo even offers polyleaders with a 40 pound core! Both companies also offer stiffer saltwater models for those of you chasing bonefish or tarpon. Versatility is key, and polyleaders offer a solution to almost every scenario.
  • Quick Change. As we mentioned, changing polyleaders requires nothing more than looping on a new leader to your fly line. Want to fish deep? Loop on a long fast sinking polyleader. Need to switch back to dries? Loop on a floating polyleader or a standard tapered leader! The wide range of polyleaders available allow you to change accordingly without having to completely re-rig a new spool and fly line.
  • They Cast Well. Just like a standard tapered leader, polyleaders are tapered down to the tippet section, allowing for a smooth dissipation of energy from the fly line to the fly. Therefore, they cast extremely well!
  • Less To Carry. Extra spools and flylines get heavy during a long day on the water. A couple polyleaders take up virtually no space and weigh very little!
  • They’re Inexpensive. A single polyleader costs somewhere between $8.99 and $14.99, depending on the length and strength. When compared to an extra spool and a new sink tip fly line, that’s a big savings!
  • They Last Longer Than You’d Think. Unlike a standard monofilament tapered leader, polyleaders are surprisingly durable. Simply tie a small loop in the tippet end of the polyleader and attach tippet using a loop to loop connection. That way, you never eat up your polyleader. Take good care of them and a set of polyleaders can last you a couple seasons of abuse, easy!

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