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Optimizing my tight line rig

Joined:
2010/10/18 11:25
From se pa
Posts: 11
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Hi all - I did some searching on the forum and while there were related topics, I couldn't find any that directly address my question. Please let me know if something already exists.

Last year I went out with a guide on Penns and was introduced to tight line nymphing. I enjoyed the technique enough to where I invested in an 11 ft Douglas 4wt rod and a Hardy reel that balances things out quite nicely. I've been having success with the technique, landing about twice as many fish than using an indicator.

I'm using the following setup for my rig:

- 10 ft 0 X attached to fly line
- 3-4 ft of bi color sighter
- 3-5 ft of 4x flouro tippet with a surgeons knot at the end and my heavy fly (usually a stonefly)
- 2 more ft of flouro with another surgeons knot at the end and my second, lighter fly off one of the tag ends
- 3-4 in of the other tag end with a overhand knot to hold my weight

I end up going through a lot of 4x tippet with snags & running out of tag end due to changing/losing flies. I ended up pre-tying the setup and storing them in my pack so I don't have retie the entire things on the river.

Is this a good setup? Can it be optimized? Is it correct to have my heavier fly on top or should it be the bottom fly?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Posted on: 5/30 19:35

Edited by dwa111 on 2019/5/30 20:01:38


Re: Optimizing my tight line rig

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 696
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Quote:

dwa111 wrote:
- 3-4 in of the other tag end with a overhand knot to hold my weight

This sounds like you are drop shotting. If so you can have far more distance between your bottom dropper and the weight. I often have 10" or longer tag end for my weight. You can really dial in where in the water column you want your flies by doing this, just as you would change the position of your top dropper to adjust where it fishes.

Quote:

I end up going through a lot of 4x tippet with snags & running out of tag end due to changing/losing flies. I ended up pre-tying the setup and storing them in my pack so I don't have retie the entire things on the river.


There are several ways to reduce the need for complete rebuilds of the bottom of your leader. Tippet rings, dropper loops, and tying sliding droppers to the main line above the existing dropper knots are all ways to add droppers without totally re-rigging. Also the droppers should be one size smaller of material than your main line so that when they do snag, they break off first and you don't lose the risk losing the rest of your rig.


Quote:

Is this a good setup? Can it be optimized? Is it correct to have my heavier fly on top or should it be the bottom fly?


You almost always want your heaviest fly as the bottom or point fly, even in a drop shot set up. Especially if you have a long distance between the flies. (You mention 2') Doing it that way still gets strikes, no doubt, but you reintroduce the strike detection shortcomings of conventional shot/indicator rigs by having a lighter fly trailing behind. Putting a significantly heavier fly up higher than than the lighter fly will make it harder to stay in contact with the bottom fly unless the additional split shot outweighs both. Even then it can be problematic.

IMO, if you are doing a drop shot set up, the shot should make up the bulk of the weight on your rig. At least it should be more than either of the flies. It just makes for an easier rig to cast and fish. Additionally, with this set up, you can always make light flies sink less or more by adjusting weight.

Posted on: 5/31 7:32


Re: Optimizing my tight line rig
Moderator
Joined:
2016/1/24 14:30
From Gettysburg
Posts: 3336
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A good answer from Pennkev. ^

I use a slightly lighter weight line for the drop shot section. This way, if the shot snags or tangles, I can break it off and retain my flies.

Take some time - next time you're out on a sunny day with clear water - to fish your rig in shallow water where you can observe the sink rate and drift position of your flies in various current speeds. This will give you a good idea of what's happening at the end of your line when fishing.

Posted on: 5/31 8:21


Re: Optimizing my tight line rig

Joined:
2007/4/26 22:07
From West Chester/Morgantown 304
Posts: 61
Offline
If your looking for a euro leader for what you are doing 12’ 15lb chameleon, 2 1/2’ 10lb amnesia, tippet ring. Ditch the split shot, euro nymphing in all aspects is designed to use heavily weighted nymphs.

As far as fly placement it depends on what I’m fishing, water conditions, and what they are taking. In some cases I’ll have even weights between my point and dropper to obtain even sink rate, if I’m fishing and they are slightly higher in the water column I’ll put a heavy fly on point while I’ll keep a smaller mm fly on the dropper. Squirmies I will always keep on point and a heavy 3.8-4.0mm fly on the dropper to pull everything down.

The idea of keeping your heaviest fly on point is directly related to Czech style, euro nymphing encompasses all parts of the different European styles. But try jig head, barbless, slotted euro nymphs.

Posted on: 6/2 22:39
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Re: Optimizing my tight line rig

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1887
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I think he's just tight lining, don't see anything about euro.

Posted on: 6/3 14:42


Re: Optimizing my tight line rig

Joined:
2014/5/7 14:23
From Pittsburgh/Brookville
Posts: 212
Online
Good points above about heavier fly on bottom, idea is to eliminate any hinge points in the system. Drop-shotting, which it sounds like you are doing, is best done with unweighted or lightly weighted flies as stated above.

As far as tippet loss, some of that is just part of the game. When your tags get too short, just clip the tag off leaving the knot and tie a clinch knot around the line above it, tighten it down and it will slide down and the old knot will stop it from sliding any further. Same for your drop-shot end, triple surgeon an extender piece on when it breaks and use 5x instead of 4x.

Posted on: 6/3 15:14


Re: Optimizing my tight line rig

Joined:
2007/4/26 22:07
From West Chester/Morgantown 304
Posts: 61
Offline
Tight lining and euro nymphing are very similar concepts. Euro nymphing just took tight lining techniques and optimized them. So yes he may not be asking for specific help on Euro Nymphing, but everything he can do to optimize his rig towards a euro nymphing setup will yield better strike detection, less snags, and more fish. But glad you can point this out Ryan, with offering zero suggestions to the OP. A drop shot rig, will look eerily similar to a Czech style rig... while a French style will be much different. But conceptually very similar. Guides will use drop shot rigs to obtain similar results as euro nymphing, but much easier to cast and implement for people not used to the techniques.

When I was guiding, professionally. I would never try euro nymphing with a client unless they where familiar or wanted to try it. While a drop shot rig they could cast with ease, but also obtaining similar results as straight euro nymphing through the same beat.

Posted on: 6/5 6:33
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