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weight below the nymph?

2007/10/17 8:48
Posts: 24
New here, but been lurking.

Just curious who runs weight below the nymph? Say in a tandem nymph rig, you tie another section of tippet off the bend of the bottom fly. In the end of that tippet, you tie a knot, then apply shot just above the knot.

Not traditional, but, it keeps the tension between your strike indicator (or not) and your flies direct. In other words, your nymphs can't swing up in the current on you while your shot stays down, thus missing early strikes because your flies aren't in tension with the rest of your leader. It also (when fished in the traditional up stream cast) makes sure that the trout see your flies first, not your shot. I have theories about that too. LOL.

Most people think I'm nuts. Maybe I am... Just wanted to see if anyone else fishes this way.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 16:29

Re: weight below the nymph?

2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13541
I've seen it done and it can be effective. I don't nymph that much so I usually don't go to the effort. But its a good method.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 16:41

Re: weight below the nymph?

2006/9/12 21:16
From Suburban Pittsburgh
Posts: 1180
If I'm using a tandem rig, my terminal fly is generally either weighted or a beadhead, but I guess this really is the same concept. You bring a good point to the table IMHO. I have done this a few times, but prefer the terminal fly to be weighted rather than use a split shot.

Oh and welcome to the board

Posted on: 2007/10/18 16:49

Re: weight below the nymph?
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9644

I rig that way, mostly in the faster deeper water without a strike indicator. I put enough weight on the tag end to feel it tick along the bottom. The fly rides ahead of the shot inches from the bottom. Also you seldom get hung up since it is the split shot that rides on the bottom, not the fly. When you do get hung up often you lose only the shot, and not your fly. I usually use two flies with the rig. It works well under the right conditions.

Another benefit is that when the fish takes your fly, there is no weight between your line and the fly (the weight is behind the fly), thus strikes are easier to detect, and the fish may hold it longer because of not feeling any weight.

One other thing, I tie the dropper from the eye of the hook, not the bend. I feel I hook more fish, and with this rig, the weight attached to the bend of hook makes the fly drift unnaturally.

You're not nuts (or maybe we both are). It works well for me. Good luck.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 20:03

Re: weight below the nymph?
Welcome to the boards, Highsticker!
Good, post, as there are always "new ways, to do old tricks".
However, I'm with Jaybo....... my terminus fly is always weighted.
As hard as it IS to believe, I actually know a fly angler OLDER than me, who gave me a very interesting point on this very topic.....
"Use a weighted terminal fly, instead of shot. The second fly, doubles your chances and the fish WILL HEAR the "odd ticking sound" a shot makes along the bottom of a stream, even if it's soft lead!"

Posted on: 2007/10/18 20:09

Re: weight below the nymph?
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9644

Good point. I tie most of my flies weighted. But, in faster deeper water, where shot is still needed to get it down to the bottom, the shot string on the tag end works well. Less hang ups, and the shot picks up all the moss and weeds, not the fly.

Flybinder, I doubt that the fish can hear the shot tick against the bottom. Even if they can, who says that’s a bad thing. Many spin fisherman use rattles in their lures to attract the fish. To replicate that, I’ve seen flies that are tied with loose beads to make a clicking sound to attract fish.

I’ve been using this rig since I began to fly fish a long time ago. I started out fishing bait (like most of us did) and this method, by using feel instead of sight, is essentially like bait fishin’ with a fly. The rig was actually a modification of my carp and sucker rig I used in the Susky! When I started to fish that way I didn’t know any better at the time, I was just a dumb kid, and the phrase “thinking outside of the box” didn’t exist.

Give it a try sometime. As with any different type of fly or rig I just let fish decide – that’s the “bottom line.”

Posted on: 2007/10/19 7:21

Re: weight below the nymph?

2007/10/17 8:48
Posts: 24
Good, I'm not nuts :)

I should qualify the original post by adding that I typically fish tailwaters with a good amount of flow, and that I often fish a HUGE amount of shot. Last weekend on a popular tailwater my buddy was making fun of me because I had 7 #BB water gremlins on dredging the deep trenches.

On smaller streams, I typically fish my weighted nymphs with no shot and force the nymphs down with my cast.

Where it applies, using the weight below the last fly seems to produce better strike detection as stated. The "snag factor" too is important to me since I'm usually down deep and in rocky water. As Afishanado said, when you do snag up on the bottom and have to do the old "point and pull" to get it out, you usually just break off the split shot tippet. I've actually made it a habit to use 7x on that last tippet and shot connection and to make the knot a little less robust so that it's easier to break off. Shot is cheap, flies take a long time to tie. I'd rather loose 30 shot a day than 30 flies!

Afishanao, I tie my tandem rig off the hook eyes too! IMO, when a fish takes the top fly, theres less chance of a bad CF when the 2nd fly is tied off the hook eye, vs. the hook bend. I've encountered less CF's with that method too.

Pray for rain....

Posted on: 2007/10/19 8:46

Re: weight below the nymph?

2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19464
For salmon and steelhead, I left about a 4 inch tag end on my final blood knot to my tippet. A simple overhand knot at the end, and I had an instant shot dropper. It saved me probably 8 or 9 flies... clutch.

Posted on: 2007/10/19 10:14

Re: weight below the nymph?

2007/4/25 10:02
From Island Park, ID
Posts: 5951
Guess it depends on depth and speed of water etc..

But I have been using this setup lately in bigger water. Weight about 6-8' of above and below the first fly. I think I will try the weight on the bottom rig next time out and see how it goes.

I have a buddy who never uses weight, just weighted flies and uses the tag end of the last blood for the first fly.

Posted on: 2007/10/23 12:07

Re: weight below the nymph?

2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5818
I've done it, In the BASSIN world its called drop shot....Used to fish for steel back in the 80's that way great..same as checz nymphing....

Posted on: 2007/10/23 19:37

So many Fish, So little time !!!
from the outer edge of nowhere
fly tying and fishing ghillie..

Re: weight below the nymph?

2007/8/20 19:46
Posts: 71
You weren't fishing a large tailwater with a fellow named Scott last weekend by any chance? He said he hails from Ohiopyle. He fished with 7 BB's on a 7wt. with a fighting butt. Somehow, it just doesn't feel like flyfishing. Though, he says it was very effective.

Posted on: 2007/10/30 8:48

Re: weight below the nymph?

2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
Posts: 247
The way i was taught.

Attach file:

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1275_47973b9dcf858.jpg X px

Posted on: 2008/1/23 8:05

Re: weight below the nymph?

2008/2/18 10:20
Posts: 1262
When I fish a tandem rig I like to cut a piece of tippet extra long for my last fly and have a long tag end after I tie my knot for the last fly. I then tie a figure eight knot and attach my split shot. I like this way better than doing it on your blood knot b/c I do a lot of roll casting when I am nymphing and through experience after a while the tag end on the blood knot with shot wraps around your leader and can make a mess. doing it on your last fly has produced better for me.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 18:59

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