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Tippet

Post By: xavierk31      Posted: 8/19/2019 9:09:25 AM     Points: 2151    
Ok so with how many flies I have still breaking off I think I discovered yesterday part of the problem was my tippet.
I've been using Rio Ultraflex nylon tippet.... just curious tho, how often do I need to switch out my tippet? Can I not leave it sit in the fly rod from one fishing trip to the next? Or do I just need to pony up and buy all flouro tippet from now on?
I had on 4x for some dries that I was throwing, but then threw on around a size 8 or 10 wooly bugger and had the line snap during a backcast because I got caught on a branch but the tippet itself just snapped right off, I know there was no issue with the knot. Is that because I should've been using 3x tippet?
Help please! This whole fly fishing world is still new to me
 Reply by: Mr. Fly Fisherman      Posted: Aug. 19, 9:45:18 AM     Points: 148    
4x is a little light for streamers. If you are hitting stuff behind you it doesn’t take much the weaken the tippet. Make sure you’re checking your line and flies after every fish, every time you get snagged, and every time you hit something behind you.
 Reply by: idlerick      Posted: Aug. 19, 10:16:13 AM     Points: 4    
You don't necessarily need to switch out the tippet unless it's getting nicked or abraded. But you do need to re-tie knots. Tension weakens them over time, and so does water.
Throwing streamers you can use nylon, but if you're fishing indicators, I'd definitely recommend flouro tippet. I've seen numerous incidents where the flouro made quite a difference in catch rate. The Trout Hunter brand is the best I've found. Rio is good, but doesn't seem to have the knot strength of TH.
Tying flouro tippet to a nylon leader can be problematic. Blood knots and dbl surgeon's tend to cut into the nylon. The one knot I've found that seems to last all day is the Orvis Tippet knot.
[log in for link]
But I STILL re-tie it after 25-30 fish, or before each trip.
The fly knot I re-tie much more often. Here's a good one for flouro. (Use 3 turns, not 2 or 4):
[log in for link]

Lastly, I use 2X leaders. Nylon. The 4X flouro ties fine to them using the above knot, and 2X is easier to find on sale at Sierra, etc. Plus, it makes for a better joint. I usually tie 3-5 ft of TH flouro 4X to the 2X leader and my top fly goes on there with a Eugene's. Then another Eugene's on 4X to the EYE of the top fly for the dropper and a non-slip mono loop knot on the bottom fly (gives the fly more freedom, but harder to tie).
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: Aug. 19, 10:35:32 AM     Points: 26993    
The way it was explained to me is that you match the tippet size to the fly size.

i.e. - small dries are on thin tippet (5x-ish)

Bigger flies - hoppers, streamers, etc thicker (2-3x)

Fluro sinks better - use for flies below the surface. Still matched to size.

Also considering the areas fishing pressure and how wise the fish are. Pickier fish would cause the use of thinner tippet to reduce line visibility.

If you think there is a chance your line has been compromised. Re-tie, check for nicks, twists, etc. Stinks to lose a prize fish because you didn't check a knot.

Relax either way... this is all part of the learning curve we all went through.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Aug. 19, 9:24:45 PM     Points: 5830    
Old line will also break more easily. If you are buying non-fluoro, it is cheap enough to replace the spools every other year. Fluoro lasts longer, but not indefinitely. If I break off two flies in a trip without any other incidents, I'll pitch the whole spool. Even fluoro has bad spools sometimes, and ya gotta throw itt away before you get more frustrated.

I think the worst thing for either line is stepping on it- creates microscopic nicks and abrasions that cause premature break-offs.

The other day I was at Spinney fishing #18 midges on 3X tippet, so I match the line size to the conditions-- lots of weeds and big fish wouldn't stand a chance with the "appropriate" line thickness of 5X!

I also replace my tippet when it starts to get bends and kinks because the "invisible" fluoro starts to show up when it isn't perfectly straight.

Xavier, At least you broke off the fly on a backcast, and not a big 'un!
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: Aug. 20, 2:10:46 PM     Points: 6121    
Fluoro vs. mono:
I recommend against using fluoro tippet. Fluoro sinks, so if you want to fish dries you have to carry a whole new set of spools just to do that. It also doesn't last as long, and I don't think the fish care much about the "invisibility" aspect. I think that's mostly marketing.

Brands:
Rio is the best in my opinion. I also like Orvis SuperStrong. Scientific Anglers makes good stuff too. TroutHunter's tippet is good but in my opinion it's overpriced and the half-sizes are a sales gimmick.

Tippet size:
A good rule of thumb is to divide the size of your fly by 3, and that is the bare minimum of tippet size you should use. Example: You tie on a sz. 8 woolly bugger. 8/3 = 2.67 -> round up 3x.
Remember this is a *bare minimum* tippet size. I will often go a size heavier.

Wear and tear:
I recommend keeping your fly gear inside. Heat and cold will stress your fly line, leader, and tippet. Tippet shouldn't be left on a spool more than about 2 years.

Knots:
Another problem could be knots. Each tippet brand can be a little temperamental to the type of knot that works best. With Rio, I use an improved clinch to attach tippet to fly. At least 7 wraps. I do not lube the knot before cinching. For tippet to leader or tippet to tippet, so long as diameters aren't that much different, I use a blood knot. A little complicated, but there are good youtube videos out there showing how to do it right every time. At least 5 wraps on each side, I again do not lube when using Rio tippet.
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: Aug. 21, 1:35:13 PM     Points: 5040    
I just use any extra spools of line I have for tippet. It gets me by just fine.😎
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: Aug. 21, 3:09:50 PM     Points: 26993    
So, you find yourself with a lot of leftover spools of 3lb test line?

I could see using some 4-6lb line for tippet chasing warm water species... But you show me threading that line through the eye of a #24 nymph, and I'll be impressed...

Buy the right line for the job.. You're likely showing up to the water with $500+ in gear.. Why skimp on a $4 spool of tippet?
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: Aug. 21, 3:11:10 PM     Points: 2151    
Lots of really good info everyone, appreciate it!!
I think the biggest thing I've learned is that I'll need to be switching out my tippet more often after I get hung up on stuff.
I guess my next question is "how important is fluoro?"
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: Aug. 21, 9:32:59 PM     Points: 5040    
Challenge accepted Ajax. Haha. I'll give it a shot.
You do make a good point though. I guess I don't need to get as technical in my neck of the woods. Lol. I know I do tend to over complicate my techniques at times and found simplicity gets a job done about same.