Gardener, Malcom - is it true that interchangeable sinktips looped onto half of a floating head is rarely used in the UK?
Juro, on the question of tips etc I think this is an area where you are ahead of us. This arises, I suspect, from the different traditions we have. Even 10 years ago sink tip lines were not very widely used over here, and had the reputation of being unbalanced and difficult to cast nicely. Full sinking lines were very much the order of the day, and probably still are for many people. We have, of course, always tended to use double-handed rods for our salmon fishing, which make the use of a full sinking line and heavy fly possible in a way that it is not with a single-hander.
By contrast, I believe the use (or renaissance in use) of the long rod for steelhead is a relatively recent thing over there. You therefore come to it without the historical baggage that encumbers so many of us in this country. I suspect also, (and maybe you will confirm this), that the use of tips was always fairly widespread with single-handed rods where a full sinker was not a practical option. So not only did you approach the ‘quest for depth’ from a different tradition, but also with perhaps a more open mind about how best to achieve it.
An ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude means that many UK based fishermen continue to use double taper lines and full sinkers, just as they have always done and their fathers did before them, and there is a disinclination to innovate. This may also be exacerbated by the exorbitant prices we have to pay for our tackle - a regular gripe of mine - which no doubt encourages us to buy things that are familiar, rather than risk trying something new. So, in answer to your question, I think the use both of tips and of modern line profiles with double handed rods is indeed much less prevalent here than there, though certainly it is on the increase and I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say they are rarely used.