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Old 12-26-2017, 10:44 AM
Silver Creek Silver Creek is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 83
Originally Posted by Baiter View Post
I have on theee occasions tested flourocarbon v mono. 1 bait fishing with scouts 2 other times with 4 to 5 Flyfishers same flies. Same stretch of river. Fluoride won every time by a ~20 to 35 % increased catch rate. This is for sub surface flies. This was on a tail water with a high fish population

I have also done experiments while dry fly fishing having my tip it intentionally sink using flouro and sometimes using xink to assist getting it under the surface film. This has helped fool picky fish on multiple occasions.
I agree! As I stated in my original post, the extrusion process coats the mono and fluoro with a thin coating of silicone lubricant. This enhances the reflective surface

Any reflective surface draws attention. Can the fish recognize this reflection as abnormal so that it will refuse a fly based only on this? I think in some situations, over very wary in heavily fished waters, it does occur.

A leader floating on surface tension, displaces the water surface just like a person lying on a trampoline displaces the surface. Since the water surface under the leader is now tilted and not horizontal, this creates mini windows that the fish can see just like the legs of an insect dimple the water surface allowing the trout to detect them even though they are theoretically outside of the "window". Since the light pattern is disrupted, it can be seen by the fish that are looking up AND by the fish that are looking down, because the disrupted light pattern is displayed on the stream bottom as well. This is important in still waters and the clear slow waters of spring creek type fishing situations where the water surface is smooth. It also only important IF the fish are wary enough that this change in light pattern (either by the floating leader or by leader sheen) puts the fish off.

Take a look at the photo below of 3 identical tippets treated in 3 different ways. The tippet on the left that has been wiped clean, the middle one degreased and the right one treated with a floatant. If seeing is believing, which tippet is most easily seen?

The photo above shows direct visualization of the tippet. What it does not show is the effect of refraction on the bottom of the stream. When refracted light hits the stream bottom, bright flickers of light are cast on the stream bottom (see photo below). This spooks trout that are heavily fished over in clear slow moving water. During bright days you might as will toss a rock into the water. The fish immediately stop feeding.

Commercial degreasers are commonly called "mud", such as Loon Snake River Mud or "tippet degreaser" such as Airflow Tippet Degreaser.

Degreasers do three things. First they contain a cleaner (detergent) that removes any oils or residual chemicals that are on the surface of commercial tippets. These oils prevent the leader from sinking. Secondly, they contain a sinkant or surfactant (detergent) that destroys the surface tension of water molecules so the leader sinks immediately. Thirdly they contain fuller's earth compound that dulls the leader to remove the shiny surface so that the leader surface is less reflective. And finally, they contain a substance (glycerin) that keeps the degreaser from drying out.

If you look at the formula you may think that the only thing you have in your house is the detergent. However, you may already have a substitute for fuller's earth which is a special kind of bentonite clay. Bentonite is a clay material that anyone who visits Wyoming for fishing has probably walked on. It is a common material in cat litter and commercial bags of clay oil absorbent. So if you have clay cat litter or oil absorbent for your garage, you have the major ingredient for making your own degreaser.

Glycerin is used in commercial leader degreaser to keep it from drying out. If you don't have glycerin, you can get some at a drug store. It is used as an anti-constipation agent. However, it is not absolutely needed.

I make my own degreaser by crushing the clay to get the finest particles and then mix in Dawn or another dishwashing detergent to get a paste. I happen to have glycerin and so I also use it but you don't have to. I store the degreaser in a 35 mm film canister and rub it on the section of leader you want to sink.

Degreasers are different from sinkants such as Gerke's Xink. These are liquids surfactants that you put on flies that you want to sink. They are commonly used on the marabou of wooly buggers so that they sink and absorb water from the very first cast. Another use is for small flies like midge pupa so they will sink faster. You can make your own sinkant as well.

KodakPhoto Flo, a wetting agent used in photo processing, is used by fly fishers to sink flies. Photo-Flo has two compositions, one has propylene glycol and the other has ethylene glycol. Both are glycols are surfactants and wetting agents. One does not need to buy Photo-flo, however. Automotive antifreeze is composed of propylene or ethylene glycol. So automotive antifreeze will sink tippets. Ethylene and propylene glycol disrupt the hydrogen bonding of water that creates the meniscus surface film that supports flies. That is how these glycols prevent water from freezing. So try some antifreeze as a wetting agent.

That is why over in Europe where the fish are extremely heavily fished, they use leader degreasers to remove the sheen and get the leaders to sink just below the surface. I think if you can make the leader less apparent to the fish, that is a good thing and I can't think of much of a downside to lowering visibility.

They sure swear by it in Europe.

For more information, there is a discussion and video below:

Suggestions for best line degreaser? - Fly Fishing Forums

How do you degrease leaders? - Fly Fishing Forums


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