The polarization dependent loss (PDL) of a singlemode-multimode-singlemode (SMS) fibre structure used as an edge filter is presented. Minor errors in the fabrication process for the SMS fibre structure can introduce SMS fibre core offsets. The PDL due to lateral and rotational core offsets is investigated numerically and experimentally. It is shown that small core offsets are necessary to achieve low PDL for an SMS fibre based edge filter. It is also demonstrated that when lateral core offsets are unavoidable, the PDL of a SMS edge filter can still be minimized by introducing a rotational core offset of 90°. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.