2012 Fly Fishing Leaders & Tippet

RIO Powerflex Leader

2012 RIO Powerflex Leader

HOW MUCH “INNOVATION” do you really need with the monofilament (or fluorocarbon) you use as leaders and tippet? Well, maybe not that much. Then again, this is where the vital connections between anglers, lines, and fish all come to fruition. And a handful of companies have actually poured some savvy thinking into new leader and tippet concepts for 2012 that make really good sense.

RIO is in that mix with a new line of “Powerflex” leaders, made from new generation copolymers that create exact tapers and diameters that cast and present flies crisply, and deliver maximum knot and tensile strengths. They’re available in a variety of sizes that will handle everything from tiny dry flies to heavy streamers.

A couple of companies have also tuned into the notion that some anglers find straight-up “bobber ball” nymph fishing boring—and fishing without a bulky indicator may, in fact, enhance an angler’s effectiveness with a nymph rig.

For example, Umpqua is out with a “High-Vis Midsection Indicator” leader that, as the name implies, has a fairly obvious two-foot red section between a milky butt section and clear presentation tip. They’re 10 feet long, and range in diameter from 3X to 6X.

The new “Drifter Strike Indicator” leader from BlueSky melds a furled nylon butt section with a fluorocarbon (sinking) tip section, which helps get flies in the fish feeding “zone” quickly and efficiently. Meanwhile ASG is introducing a “Varivas Master Spec” leader.

Apparently, as fly line designs gravitate more and more to species- and technique-specific applications, that thinking isn’t stopping at the nail knot—and at least some anglers will consider that a good thing.