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Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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2006/9/12 12:26
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Hey guys, I have had this problem a few times and I was wondering what you guys use in the way of tippet/leader for smallmouth. I use my leader down to 4X when fishing for smallmouth and on many occasions I have had the teeth of the fish sever my line. Should I only go down to maybe 2X or 3X? Does anybody somehow use a steel leader attachment? I don't know if that is convetional due to weight restrictions, but I thought I would ask.

BJ

Posted on: 2007/5/22 12:14


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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2007/5/10 14:53
From Carlisle
Posts: 632
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I personally use 2X and 3X for smallmouths. I've never had a smallmouth get through the line, but I've had a couple snap me off. I think the key to avoiding the line breaking is to check the tippet for wear after almost every fish especially if the line was coming into direct contact with the fishes teeth. I've never fished with a steel leader attachment, but I really don't think you need one for smallies. Hope this helps some.

Posted on: 2007/5/22 12:29


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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Thanks for the reply. I think I will go down no further than 3X from now on. Most likely I will stick to 2X.

BJ

Posted on: 2007/5/22 12:33
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Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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2006/9/10 11:16
From Harrisburg PA
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I use Orvis Abrasion Resistant - either 8 or 12 lb and have never had a problem. If you decide to fish for toothy critters I would recommend a short(3 or 4") section of a tiable(???) wire leader. I use a brand called Tyger Wire and it can be tied into the leader, no special attachments required.

Posted on: 2007/5/22 13:00


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2013
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The only thing extra I could add is Dave Wolf took me on the Susky last year for the white flies and had me use green tippett if that applies to your waters. He caught one 19" with it.

Posted on: 2007/5/22 13:00
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Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
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Hi all,
Since we are on the topic of smallmouth, I was wondering if anyone knows if the smallmouth are still spawning. I'm heading to the Delaware Water Gap this weekend and I don't really want to fish for them if they are still spawning. I think they are pretty much done, but I want to make sure. Thanks!

Troy

Posted on: 2007/5/22 14:17


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

Joined:
2006/9/13 8:36
From SEPA
Posts: 815
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bjkaledas,

In my experience the smallies are not leader shy. When fishing streamers I use 12 lb test line. Helps turn the fly over and keep the bigguns from breaking off.

beeber

Posted on: 2007/5/22 14:44


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9117
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Tippet size is more a function of the types of flies you fish than the fish. To turn over more wind resistant flies like a bass bug or bunny leach you need heavier tippet. I carry and use tippet from 0x - 3x. Bass aren't toothy fish, and line abraison is likely caused by the fish taking into the rocks and cover - those devils! Even 3x (10-12lb test) should hold any smallmouth we would catch in PA. Bass aren't line shy like trout, so a heavier tippet shouldn't hurt. Fluorocabon is more abraision resistant than mono, but I could never bring myself to pay so much more money for a bass tippet. Check for line abraison and test your knot after every fish. Can't wait to fish for smallies this summer.

My guess is that the smallies are still spawning in the Delaware. I never fish for them before Memorial Day.

Posted on: 2007/5/22 14:48


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 875
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I'll pretty sign on to what the last 2 posters said. I did most of my smallmouth fishing in French Creek or the Conewango near Warren, both in NWPA and the lower end of some the bigger trout streams in the region, like Tionesta. Oil, Conneaut and others. In French Creek, which runs a little soupy by nature, I fished poppers on 1X and subsurface (mostly Murray Strymphs and all-black or dark brown fur leeches) on 2X. In cleaer flows like lower Oil or lower Brokenstraw or Tionesta Creek, I might drop down a size lighter. But that was mostly because I thought I should more than anything the fish were doing...

Posted on: 2007/5/22 15:13


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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2006/9/12 12:26
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Hey guys, with your advice I recaught the same fish tonight and I took pictures! 2X tippet! Didn't have a tape measure, but he was pushing 20 inches.

Thanks!

Attach file:



jpg  smallmouth1.jpg (63.07 KB)
93_4653877715d0c.jpg 434X326 px

jpg  smallmouth3.jpg (33.78 KB)
93_4653878eb1abc.jpg 434X326 px

jpg  smallmouth4.jpg (34.95 KB)
93_465387a99b42e.jpg 434X326 px

Posted on: 2007/5/22 20:16


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3498
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Nice fish what did you catch him on ?

Posted on: 2007/5/22 20:31


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7118
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Here is what I do...when my trout leader gets to about 4 feet, I make it a bass leader. I put about 4-5ft of 8# or 6# mono on the end and waa-laa...a bass leader is born.

Bass are not line shy like trout. And it takes a stiff butt to fling the fly out...since most bass flies are retrieved, line piling up isn't a problem. I even use it for the white fly.

Lesson #28
Maurice's cheap bastich seminar

Posted on: 2007/5/22 20:35
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Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

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Yesterday I hooked him on a bright red wooly bugger that I tied. Today I caught him on a chartreuse clouser minnow that I skipped on the bottom/twitched. He was a lot of fun!

BJ

Posted on: 2007/5/22 21:29


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2198
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Dear bj,

Looks like you figured it out, nice bass dude!

In the future you only need to remember two words for bass fishing tippet, MAXIMA CHAMELEON!

It's the most abrasion resistant tippet known to man except for perhaps wire rope bridge cable. I never fly fish with tippet testing less than 6 lbs, which for Maxima is about 2X-3X, I'd tell you exactly but all my gear is in the truck right now.

I'm serious about Maxima Chameleon, it's the brown stuff and way better than the Ultra-Green Maxima.

And on a side note. I have read glorious reports of copious quantities of smallmouth bass being caught in the Susquehanna River between Clark's Ferry and Harrisburg the past few weeks. Many people caught good numbers of good sized fish more than 16-18 inches long. I can't wait to hear them complain when they can't buy a fish come July.

To those above who said they won't fish for spawning bass my hat is off to you. I'm a child of PA who lived for 11 years in upstate NY, they close the Susky to fishing from March to mid May up there to protect spawning walleye but it does wonders for the smallmouth too. It's a shame the average smallie angler doesn't have your good sense and realize that the stretch of river I'm speaking of is the major spawning ground for much of the lower Juniata River and about 30 miles of the Susky.

They'll learn the error of their ways soon enough when all those big spawners die and there are no fish left. The fish they are catching are 8 years old and we haven't had either a good spawn or a good summer that insured survival of fry since 1999.

The day is coming and it won't be pretty.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/5/22 22:41


Re: Tippet for Fly Fishing for Smallmouth
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9117
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I agree with Tim about not fishing for bass in the spring. The fisherman that are yanking the spawning bass off their beds in the rivers, streams, and lakes right now will be the same fisherman complaining about the poor fishing in July and August.

This also applies for LMs on lakes. I live less than 10 minutes from Marsh Creek Lake in Chester County. For the past few years it was touted by the PFBC as one of the best big bass lakes in the State - and it was. The past few seasons the fishing for bass has declined in both number and size. This is based on the catch of everyday anglers as well as results from the many bass tournaments held there both weekdays and weekends. I don’t know the reason for the decline, but as we speak, there are bass boats hammering the beds throughout the Lake. I know fish populations go in cycles, but fishing for spawning bass coupled with an endless amount of bass tournaments during the season cannot be good for the fishery.

I know the allure of catching big bass off their beds is great, but wait a few weeks before breaking out the 8wt. (or bait casting outfit).

Posted on: 2007/5/23 8:59



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