World Class Copolymer, from Fulling Mill
Reviewed by Jeremy Lucas
I have been using this leader material for almost three years now, having had it for a year before it was released for sale during a test phase. This copolymer is absolutely at the top of the leader material development gradient. It is supple and has reliable knot strength (see below), while having a thin diameter for the corresponding breaking strain.
I have used 4X to 7X, in different circumstances, with the 5X and 6X easily the most used, mostly on rivers. The 4X has been very reliable for still water dry fly. It is noticeable that the World Class material does not have the shine associated with other copolymers and this is a great bonus for me while fishing dry fly. The 5X is now standard for me during winter and spring nymph and dry fly sessions, changing to 6X in the thin waters of summer and early autumn when the fish become more wary.
I employ the 7X for ultra-spooky trout and grayling, in low water conditions during the autumn, particularly when the fish become pre-occupied on aphids. This is very close quarters fishing, typically the six metre range, at which you can put the hook home with minimum shock and anticipate the first, hazardous lunge and run of a hooked fish.
All pre-stretched monofilaments and copolymers float in thin diameters, and even thin fluorocarbon is very difficult to sink in calm conditions. The mass of these leaders is simply too low to break the surface tension of calm, flat water. World Class is no exception here and I would simply recommend liberal use of clinging Fullers Earth/detergent mixes, especially in the mid-leader region. Alternatively, try placing a tiny weighted nymph, New Zealand style, about a metre up-leader from your dry fly on point. This effectively sinks the leader, and rapidly. It also has the bonus of taking fish.
World Class is such a supple copolymer that you must be careful with the knots. Whereas a two turn Turle knot, or a four turn Half Blood knot is suitable for some materials, I always use three turns for a Turle with any copolymer, and also put a tuck into a Half Blood, irrespective of leader diameter. Three turn water knots for joining two pieces of similar, or the same, diameter, or for putting in droppers, are completely reliable. If you adhere to these knots you will find World Class not only comparable in knot strength to other available copolymers, but superior in some important ways, particularly in terms of the absence of fish-scaring shine.
World Class Copolymer is available in 0X (0.281mm, 6.72kg) down to 7X (0.101mm and 1.00kg). For general river use I thoroughly recommend the 5X and 6X, which offer, in my view, the best presentation for dry fly and small nymphs possible with copolymer material. Perhaps I should add that the manufacturer's recommended price of £3.65 for a spool of 50 metres, represents excellent value for such an upmarket product which actually outperforms Rio Powerflex and even Hardy Copolymer, which I consider to be the market leader; while the horribly shiny Orvis Superstrong does not even come close. In actual fact, I think the best choices that exist in the commonly used 4X to 6X range (trout and grayling) are the Hardy and the World Class. The Hardy is slightly less demanding of careful knotting, while the World Class is less shiny, and cheaper.
The spools are slim and neatly clip together, allowing the angler to have a dispensing system for several different leader diameters. The spools also have a polymer clip to secure the material and also a ribbed circumference which helps prevent them rolling on smooth surfaces.
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