Stillwater is a little different. The indicator is to SUSPEND the fly off the bottom, not to indicate hits although it does do that, or PROMPTS the hits.
Even Phil Rowley and Chan now use and sell the break away indicators. They use to deep nymph by using fast sinking line. Drop it straight down then slowly retrieve usually prompting hits on the up with an occasional on the way down.
But now they use the same style I have been using for years. I use to use a regular indicator but when fishing depths over 10' you had to release the indicator to get the fish close enough to net. With barbless hooks I lost allot.
Then I read about Rowley's and Chan's breakaways and bought some. Soon allot of people were using them so Dennis Brakke found a place to make them for him and he sold them
(note: to all that knew Dennis and his shop "the Fly Desk", I would just like to say, it will be open for business very soon)
There is no way this could damage your leader as I am a concerned that it will slide right over the fly. It is not that small of a hole, unless you clamp the line. I am thinking more of clamping the fly and lowering it. Put the indicator a foot down from water mark, and maybe a foot higher on windy days to allow for drift.
Nothing like hooking a PIG straight down on a #18 Chironomid.
I don't dredge, but I might troll to find the fish. Once found I stay in one spot and deep nymph.
I prefer Depth Charge Line for that TROLLING thing though.
Some things are better left alone, Even though, some feel they know better.