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Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
Posts: 5477
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When you have clipped enough tippet away, Do you cut it off the leader and put more on?

How long should my leader be and how long should my tippet be?

What knot should I use?

///I think I may have tapered leader but not sure

Posted on: 2012/5/22 23:03


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2010/1/28 14:17
From Abington
Posts: 606
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Depends. (Don't you love that answer?) If you're fishing the type of rigs we were using on the LL probably you'll want a leader around 9-10ish feet. Its a good all around length.

If you're using a tapered leader (I think you are) as you trim the tippet section you'll feel where the taper starts (depends on the leader) But I think 2-3 feet of tippet sounds about right. Unfortunately I learned the hard way that if you cut too much into the taper before adding tippet, it doesn't cast right.

As far as knots, I use a triple surgeons knot on my tippet, because my clumsy sausages just cant make a blood knot on the smaller stuff. But the blood knot would be more traditional...

Posted on: 2012/5/23 5:36
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Re: Leader and Tippet

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2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
Posts: 5477
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Believe me .. I'm nervous b/ I only know one knot!
I think I am tapered as well.

So I am not replacing the entire tapered leader?

If the answer is no, do trim now to where the taper starts just add tippet?

OR

Can I add tippet to the tippet I have currently have without trimming?

Posted on: 2012/5/23 7:07
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Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3317
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Stagger - Hate to do this to you, but there's another tool I'd recommend for you. This one.

The Heritage shop at the LL has 'em. It'll take the guesswork out of leader building/rebuilding. Easy to use, and very accurate. No matter where you have to add on to your leader, this gadget lets you know precisely.

I actually carry two of these whenever I fish, just in case I lose one.

We gotta fix that knot issue, too - next time we get together, it's Knot Tying 101 for you....

H.A.

Posted on: 2012/5/23 8:26
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Re: Leader and Tippet

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Yes, you can replace the tippet. That's standard operating procedure.

And by snipping it off, and tying a new tippet on, you're eating away an inch or so of your taper. In time that takes a toll and requires replacing the leader, or at least a more in depth repair.

How long should it be? As was said, that depends. My leaders range anywhere from 5 ft to 12 ft. Shorter means tighter loops, better turnover, more control, and better accuracy. So good for tight streams, streamers, and the like. Longer typically means more slack and a more drag free drift. Most situations are some sort of balance between the two.

I think for your average, medium sized stream, mixed dries and nymphs, a 9 ft leader is probably about typical. And that means the butt and taper are 6-7 ft, and a 2-3 ft tippet.

Posted on: 2012/5/23 8:30


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2009/6/5 14:47
From SW PA/Tioga
Posts: 196
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>> When you have clipped enough tippet away, Do you cut it off the
>> leader and put more on?
Yes

>> How long should my leader be
Depends, on the application. In general, the longer the better, but longer is not better if it impairs your ability to make the presentation.
9' is average.

>>and how long should my tippet be?
1' to 3' or more. Short for tight condition and bushy flys, long for more S curves to buffer against drag.

>> What knot should I use?
What ever works for you. I use a nail knot to attach backing to line, a needle knot to attach leader to line, and a blood knot to attach each section of leader including tippet.

>> So I am not replacing the entire tapered leader?
Depends on how much money you want to throw away. I build my own leaders. I attach the butt with a needle knot and the butt and the next couple of sections can stay untouched for the life of the line.

>> If the answer is no, do trim now to where the taper starts just
>> add tippet?
Yes or maybe. Yes, if you are happy with all other aspects of your leaders performance and the end of your leader is still within one or two sizes of your tippet. Otherwise you may want to replace a section of the leader. In the course of a day the bottom half of my leader may change dramatically.

>> Can I add tippet to the tippet I have currently have without trimming?
Yes, you can. But it may be unwise if the tippet is nicked up as well as too short.

Posted on: 2012/5/23 9:46


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
Posts: 5477
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So this is my problem. With all the mechanics of actually fishing, I’m all f’ed up on the technicalities of the other dimensions of fishing, knots, taking care of issues like this, choosing bugs, etc .. Just when you feel you are making progress in ur casting, hooking, etc and get a lil confidence from the last time I went out and actually caught fish .. I get all confused with this. That said, I love all this info and it will only help me in the future and that is much appreciated.

I’m a lil confused b/ if I understand what you both wrote .. PCray says not to clip the tippet but shortrod says to clip it away.

Also @ Pcray – You gave me all your number and/or what length I should be. From what I read those lengths include leader & tippet total or each exclusively?

I’m not sure but I guess I am tapered and that means it is just one line not a leader + tippet .. got that right?

I have approx 8 feet left (total) from the fly line, is that OK for now?

Problem is there is a decent size knot 7 feet from the fly line that looks like it was done when my father first purchased the rod so that makes me feel maybe it isn’t tapered. Oy Vey!

@ Heritage – yes .. my fingers are not brittle and looks like I will need a knot tying 101 course to get a couple more under my belt & get comfortable. Per that gadget .. did a lil research (very limited), what exactly does that do for me? I’m a sucka for gadgets. Need one that ties knots for me and I’m ready to roll!

Posted on: 2012/5/23 13:49


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3317
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Hi Stagger - That tippet gauge will tell you what the diameter of the tippet is that is at the end of your leader.

When you add tippet material, you want to add the same size, or smaller to what you have left on your leader. This will maintain a taper (larger to smaller) that will enable your leader to turn over properly.

Different situations dictate how much tippet, and what size to add, but generally, a reduction of no more than 2 "X" sizes is common, per section added.

For example, if you're left with 2X as the remaining tippet on your leader after a breakoff, and your originally 9' leader is now 6', you might want to add 3 feet of tippet to bring it back to length. For nymphing, I'd add 3' of 4X. For dry flies, I'd add 1 1/2' of 4X, and 1 1/2' of 5X, or 6X for tiny flies. The possibilities are endless, and depend on how you want the leader to perform.

You can also deviate a bit from that 2 "X" size jump by using knots that allow this. That 2 "X" rule of thumb was developed for the blood knot - this allows the knot to form and hold properly.

Without that tippet gauge, you have to "eyeball" the remaining tippet - matching it to what you carry in tippet spools. There's slots in the outer edge of the gauge, and you just slide your tippet into the slots until it won't fit into the next slot. The last slot it fits in is the size of your tippet.

There's too much info to cover on this subject to do it here - we need to sit down and spend some time with this.

If you can get out this weekend, I'll likely be fishing Sat, Sun, and Mon. Let me know if you'd like to meet up and cover this (and fish).

H.A.

Posted on: 2012/5/23 16:22
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Re: Leader and Tippet

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4469
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PCray and HA give u the words right outta my mouth good advice for u there SLee. Especially the part about stressing constant , well njot constant but aggresively in ordeer to not have to start from scratch , although it doesn't hurt to be prepared i have and old tackle box with a leader kit in it complete with tape and leader envelopes only 20 $ or so can catch you the whole assortment you'll need to DIY and dont forget a pair of clippers and a tape (i carrly a tailors tape to reduce space needed) from 1lb test spool to 25 lb test spool and some zap-a-gap for nail knots and i like the braided connectors better , built in shock absorber and holds floatant. GOOD LUK N HAVE FUN.

Posted on: 2012/5/23 16:48


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2008/3/11 9:40
From Lambertville
Posts: 1271
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Quote:

Stagger_Lee wrote:
So this is my problem. With all the mechanics of actually fishing, I’m all f’ed up on the technicalities of the other dimensions of fishing, knots, taking care of issues like this, choosing bugs, etc .. Just when you feel you are making progress in ur casting, hooking, etc and get a lil confidence from the last time I went out and actually caught fish .. I get all confused with this. ...



"I hear ya" Stagger. Monday night on the stream I got a little frustrated trying to tie tippet onto my leader so I just put on a new leader instead. When I got home I tried practicing tying leader to tippet and got more frustrated and gave up. I ordered more leaders from LL Bean. For me, tying tippet to leader is probably the most difficult part of this quest.


Posted on: 2012/5/23 18:23


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2008/3/11 9:40
From Lambertville
Posts: 1271
Offline
I have a knot tying tool with instructions that I never used. It looks like it may help. Here's the link:

Cabela's knot tying tool

Cabela's sells them for $11.99 but I'm not sure how effective they are.

Orvis has a tool with a dvd for $23.95. Here is the link

Orvis knot tyer

Posted on: 2012/5/23 18:32


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2010/1/28 14:17
From Abington
Posts: 606
Offline
God bless You Tube...

Triple surgeons knot

Blood knot

FrequentTyer also gave out a great handout on leaders at the newbie jam...I'll see if I can remember to copy it for yaz.

Maybe we should have a beer drinkin and knot tying night...

Posted on: 2012/5/23 18:35
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Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13423
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Most of us make our own leaders. It gives us more leeway to adjust things away from the "norm" to fit specific conditions. I constantly adjust my leaders, take out a section here, add a section there, etc.

But for a beginner, there's nothing wrong with buying em till you get the basics down and understand what you're trying to do with a leader.

I generally follow the rule of 3rds. Generally, a third of the leader should be fairly flat, thick butt section. The middle third a more aggressive taper, and the final third is a fairly flat tippet. A 9' leader is about typical for your medium sized streams throwin normal sized nymphs and dries. Yes that includes tippet, so 3 ft butt, 3 ft taper, 3 ft tippet. So if you buy a 9 ft 5x leader, it should have everything already there, and the tippet is 5x. Tie it on and use it without adding anything, yet.

Now you've fished a while, changed your fly several times, broke one off while nymphing, etc. And you notice your tippet has shortened, right? Well, replace it. If you're just adding more 5x, it doesn't much matter whether you clip back first or not, just remember you want about 3 ft of tippet. If that end is frayed up, yeah, clip it back first. If it looks good, just add how much you lost.

As HA said, where you have to clip back is if you want to add heavier tippet. Say you're gonna use a big honkin drake, 5x is too fine a tippet to turn over big flies like that. You're gonna want 3x or 4x. But you don't want to add that after the 5x that's already there, that'd be going from thin to thick. It'll ruin the turnover, and if you break the line, you're gonna lose a lot of it! So you clip the leader back, at least as far as the diameter of tippet your going to add. Then you add the new, larger tippet.

And as was said, you should be adjusting tippet. Big flies like drakes, you want 3x or 4x on the end. Small flies like tricos and midges, you probably want 6x. If you're getting great drifts but can't hold accuracy and it's flopping everywhere, shorten the tippet. If you're being plenty accurate but struggling with drag, lengthen the tippet.

These adjustments are what the sport is all about. I use like 5-6 ft leaders, including tippet, on tight, thick brookie streams as well as when throwin streamers and buggers. Then when I'm fishing tricos on a smooth surfaced spring creek, I might have a 12 ft leader on! But if I had to pick a single length and stick with it for all situations, it'd probably be a 9 footer.

Posted on: 2012/5/23 22:23


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2012/3/3 23:53
From Near Wilkes-Barre, PA
Posts: 11
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Stagger, you must be my twin from another dimension! I was just telling a friend of mine about how technical all of this seems. I think the best approach is to try to learn all this stuff gradually. I am a technical/engineer type who reloads for shooting and records a lot of data, as an example. Sometimes I try to over analyze things an this sport of fly fishing has me doing this too. I now plan on approaching this all slowly and by basics first.
If my leader or tippet is too short/ or too long, I guess I'll figure it out sooner or later. This stuff is confusing me too. I'm still trying to figure out the difference between tippet and leader and if I really need both. Sometimes you see guys just using one of the two.
I missed out on the Jam and the Fox mini Jam and am sure those would have surely helped Maybe we should meet up with Heritage some time! I was kinda thinkin about stoppin by the shop sometime anyway.

Posted on: 2012/5/24 3:03


Re: Leader and Tippet

Joined:
2010/4/29 6:47
From Hummelstown, PA
Posts: 15
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I don’t know if this will help but i got tired of tying new tippet and replacing leaders, and with being new to fly fishing I’m changing flies a lot. I bought Orvis’s breaded leaders with Bimini tippet so the leader has hoops at both ends and i can just put on new tippet and not have to replace leader till it gets too worn which i just started using this two weeks ago so leader is still fresh. I’m sure the other guys have more experience and knowledge on this topic. Hope it helps though and good luck

Posted on: 2012/5/24 5:08



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