A few months ago, we ran a video featuring Bruce Chard that detailed his approach to tying leaders for flats fishing. If you fish on the flats, you really need to check out the video – we’ll give you another chance with a link right here.
The foundation of Bruce’s leaders is Rio’s Alloy Hard leader material. This stuff is very stiff, super abrasion-resistant nylon monofilament. Since going to school via Bruce’s video, we’ve been fishing lots of leaders made of Alloy Hard mono, and we like it a lot. If you haven’t tried it already, we think you should.
- Its stiffness (it’s much stiffer than extruded knotless leaders) allows it to turn over big flies much easier. We fish big flies at Andros South – and flimsy tippet material doesn’t turn them over so well.
- Its stiffness make the leader turn over much straighter than other saltwater leaders. This results in more accurate presentations, and less slack in the leader when the fly its the water – the time from ‘fly lands’ to ‘fly is being presented well’ is much shorter.
- Its stiffness (are you noticing a pattern here?) means that you can fish longer leaders with ease. Our very non-scientific guess is that a 12 foot Alloy Hard leader turns over about as easily as a 9 foot leader made of conventional mono. Our bonefish on South Andros are not very spooky, but if you can easily fish a longer leader, why not do it?
Check it out – we think you’ll like it.
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Brent P says
Is it stiffer then Maxima of the same size, for say throwing big foam bugs in the fresh, without the bug spinnin like mad?
Mike Leed says
Great points guys It’s a great material no doubt. Now how about getting Rio to manufacture this material in 40 and 50lb so we can build these effective leaders for 9-11wt fly lines? Say .030 & .033 diameters? I am sure there are others that would appreciate this……
Agreed Mike – great point and I’ll pass that on to the folks at Rio.
Hey Brent. Yes, it’s definitely quite a bit stiffer than Maxima Ultragreen. Give it a go!
Mike, Simon got back in touch with a reminder that Rio makes Saltwater Heavy Nylon in 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100 lbs…we should be able to cook up something that works.
Mike Leed says
Andrew thanks a lot for checking in with Simon on that. I have always used the older Rio IGFA hard Saltwater mono for years and my stocks are running low and getting old. I try to keep both the brand and type of materials in my leaders the same (except a flouro tippet) and I simpy wrote off the Saltwater Heavy Nylon because it was a marketed as a different material. I thought I was going to have to go back to Mason for my permit leaders. (I hope not!) I’ll tye some leaders up with the #50 (.28) and the #60 (.33) butt sections and see how these two materials marry up with a blood knot. I’m sure RIO and their team thought of this when they changes their hard mono offerings as they likely think about this stuff more than most us. Thanks again……..
This stuff works just like it’s billed above, and quite well with leaders at 12+ feet. My only suggestion…use heavier flies with it when it’s brand new, as I found the stiffness does hold up lighter flies’ sink rate. After a couple dozen casts it seems to soften up just enough.
How abrasion resistant, exactly? Like, could you use it as pike & toothy critter leader?
No, definitely not that abrasion resistant. Rubbing up on snags and mangroves, it does much better than ‘plain old mono’, but it wouldn’t hold up to teeth.