What are Greylon Copolymer Knotless Tapered Leaders?
Greys Greylon tapered leaders are single long lengths of copolymer line that taper down from a thick butt section to a narrow tip section. You tie the thick end to your fly line and you tie some tippet and a fly to the thin end. The thicker butt section transfers the energy from the tip of the fly line and sends it along the leader to turn the fly over when you cast.
Tapered leaders give you better turnover than when using a level line, so accuracy and presentation are much better. In the past, the same thing has been achieved by gradually tapering the thickness of the leader down using a series of sections of leader of decreasing diameter, but the knots add weak points to the line and increase the likelihood of tangles. Both of these issues are absent in tapered leaders.
Why use copolymer and not fluorocarbon?
Copolymer has slightly different properties to fluorocarbon, which has both advantages and disadvantages. The main benefit is that it's much cheaper than fluorocarbon. While fluorocarbon tapered leaders cost about four pounds a go, a copolymer version costs just a couple of quid.
On the downside, it's not quite as clear as fluorocarbon so is a little easier for fish to spot in the water - though it doesn't make that much difference in most situations, and there's a little cheat you can use to get the best of both worlds.
What sizes are available?
Greylon Knotless Tapered leaders are all nine feet in length and come in breaking strains from 2lb to 10lb. The breaking strain and diameter are measured from the tip end, so the butt section of the 10lb line is probably more like 30-40lb breaking strain and the equivalent diameter.
When you buy a tapered leader, you generally choose the breaking strain or diameter closest to what you'd use if you were the equivalent tippet. For my winter trout fishing when pulling lures, I'd tend to go for the 10lb leader and then attach a tippet of 8-10lb to the point. For river trout and grayling, I go with the 5lb version and fish tippet of 3-4lb.
|Breaking strain||Leader length||Tippet diameter|
|10lb / 4.5kg||9ft||0.28mm|
|7lb / 3.2kg||9ft||0.23mm|
|6lb / 2.7kg||9ft||0.20mm|
|5lb / 2.2kg||9ft||0.18mm|
|4lb / 1.8kg||9ft||0.15mm|
|3lb / 1.3kg||9ft||0.13mm|
|2lb / 0.9kg||9ft||0.10mm|
What are these tapered leaders like to use?
Greys Greylon Knotless Tapered Leaders are great to use. The butt section is quite thick so it transfers energy from the fly line along the leader very well, giving excellent fly turnover. However, it does mean you'll have a slightly bulky knot at the fly line end. Using a grinner or uni knot can help keep this bulk down a little.
When they've been left on the reel they'll have a bit of memory when you first set up your rod, however, a gentle stretch at the start of the session will get rid of this and they'll then lie relatively flat on the water.
Like most others on the market, the surface of the leader tends to be quite shiny, so I'd recommend using a Fuller's earth product like Fulling Mill Mud to take the shine off. This can really improve your catch rate.
They don't tangle too easily and they can last a long time if you use the tippet ring approach. The only downside is that they tend not to perform brilliantly with droppers. For this reason, when fishing several flies at once I always switch to a level line and attach droppers to that instead.
How long do they last?
Providing you don't throw tailing loops too often and put "wind knots" into your leader, you should get plenty of trips out of each tapered leader. You can prolong their life by attaching a tippet ring to the end and then attaching a length of tippet to the end of that.
As the tippet gets shorter with each new fly you tie on and chop off, you can simply replace it after each session. The other advantage of this technique is that you can use a cheaper copolymer tapered leader but still get the benefits of the fluorocarbon at the business end.
How much do they cost?
These are fairly cost-effective as tapered leaders go, being priced at around two pounds a leader. Given that they can last a few trips, that's actually pretty decent value for money. As they tend to knot less than knotted leaders, they probably last longer if anything.