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The term PolyLeader was first used by the Airflo Company of UK, to describe a new leader system they had developed to enhance leader performance. A leader forms the essential link between the fly line and the fly. A leader must retain just the right amount of energy during the cast to place the fly perfectly on target. Fly fishing leaders are tapered to retain just the right amount of energy to turn the fly over and then lose that energy so that leader comes straight and then settles to the water. Most leaders of this period are made by tapering nylon monofilament strands. Nylon leaders are inexpensive and are fairly trouble free. However, some times the flow of energy doesn't transfer smoothly where a nylon leader joins a fly line because the line and leader are each made from materials that bend differently. Poly leaders are constructed by using a level core and tapering a coating much the same way fly lines are made. They become an extension of the fly line itself. There is also an added advantage for being able vary the coating to float or sink. Rio VersiLeaders are a nearly exact copy of Airflo PolyLeaders. They are made in USA and actually cost less.
Airflo developed the PolyLeader so that the kinetic energy created by the fly line could be carried further, for longer, smoother, more accurate casts. PolyLeaders may be the ultimate fly fishing leaders. These tapered leaders are literally an extension of the fly line. They allow for much better turnover, provide an easy and interchangeable system for adjusting sink densities, and allow you to use greater lengths of level tippet for line-shy fish. PolyLeaders have a high-strength level monofilament core surrounded by supple, tapered polymer. This unique combination provides the fly fisher with a leaders that almost turns over by themselves! Available in a choice of seven densities, Polyleaders extend your tactics to a degree unrivalled by traditional mono leaders. The level monocore is exposed at the tip, allowing you to simply add your favorite tippet material and create extraordinary leader lengths. Floating PolyLeaders are clear with positive buoyancy so that they ride over ripples and not through them. Sinking leaders come in a wide range of sink rates that give you the latitude to adjust to changing water depths, water speeds and retrieve rates.