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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8868
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I'm sorry some members took offense to my post above about using light tippets, but I've posted many times over the years on the subject of using really light tippets. I do my best to discourage it, especially with the warmer water this time of year.

I really hate when new anglers are told that light tippets are a shortcut to catching more fish. I always discourage anyone, especially inexperienced anglers, from using tippets so light that they stand a good chance of breaking off and leaving the fly and tippet hanging from the fishes mouth and/or overplaying a fish to exhaustion.

For many years, I've subscribed to the George Harvey theory and writings on the subject, that trout are not really leader shy and can see all diameter tippets. A few thousandths of an inch in diameter makes little difference at all in the visibility of line. It DOES make a big difference in the strength of the line.

George Harvey did an experiment by attaching heavy tippet to naturals and watching fish take them without hesitation. This proved that it wasn't the sight of the tippet itself, but drag caused by the tippet that put fish off. He came up with leader formulas using longer sections of soft leader materials for the front taper and tippet to reduce drag. Increasing the length of a tippet will have the same effect as reducing the diameter of a tippet. It works! I, and many other anglers have fished successfully using these type leaders.

Even if using light tippets resulted in a few more fish (which it really doesn't, IMO), I wouldn't risk killing a few more fish to catch a few more fish.

Those are my beliefs, and I've expressed them on here for an awful long time.

Again, I'm sorry if my beliefs run contrary to the opinion of others, but that will happen on any open forum. Good intentioned people will disagree.

Okay now, toss that 9x tippet and fish like man (or woman)!

Good fishin’

Posted on: 2012/8/3 11:50

Edited by afishinado on 2012/8/4 5:21:38


Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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Good post Tom.

Before this thread goes away with some folks thinking this was just an argument between some old timers and Fox, there's some information I'd like to share that may help clarify things further. Bear with me, this post will fall squarely in the tl;dr category.

This “argument” about ultra thin tippet material, especially Varivas Midge tippet, goes back a long way.

Tom and myself have posted here for a long time – our actual join dates are even older than listed. At some point, this board was given a makeover, and members had to re-sign up to post. In other words, we've both been around here since the late 1990's or early 2000's – my guess.

We've seen the arguments, both pro and con on Varivas Midge tippet, both here early on, and on the old Flyfisher's Paradise board back when it wasn't comatose. Back when that Varivas stuff first came out, one of the only, if not THE only place you could even buy it was at the Little Lehigh Fly Shop. Rod, the owner, used to really promote that stuff! His saying was “The difference between fish and no fish is 7X. The difference between fish and lots of fish is 8X.”

Yup, Rod used to really promote that stuff. I suspected there was more to the story than just tippet diameter, and I dug deeper to find the truth. Knowing the story about George Harvey gluing pieces of tippet to beetles, and observing the fish's reaction to them, I decided to confront Rod on the subject. After much “discussion”, and I use that term here very lightly ;) , I finally got Rod to admit that the thin tippets he was advocating weren't the answer – they were just a “crutch” that people could use to help them get a better drag free drift. Leader design (ie Harvey style leaders), casting technique, and just using a longer length of heavier tippet on your existing leader accomplished the same thing.

Rod also had almost a monopoly on Varivas, at least around here. Even back then, a single spool of Super Midge tippet cost $10-$11 to buy. “Regular” tippet was around $3 a spool. The money making advantages for him should be obvious. There was actually a performance advantage to the stuff back then too. That Varivas was one of the earliest copolymer tippet materials available. It was very supple compared to the common brands of mono tippet available back then. This helped reduce micro drag more so than the diameter, IMO. In my first post in this thread, when I made the “experience” remark, I was referring to a comparison of Rio Powerflex 8X, and Varivas 9X. The Rio is actually thinner, about the same strength, just as supple (it's also copolymer material) and it costs around $4, versus the $12 or so for 9X Varivas. Why pay 3 times as much for comparable stuff?

The Varivas 9X – 12X “myth” also has more information available – information that Varivas doesn't talk about. They don't follow the “X” rating system. If they did, 12X couldn't even exist. In the “X” system, 0X is .011 diameter. To find the diameter of other sizes of tippet, just subtract the X size from 11. For example, let's use 5X. Take 11 minus 5, and you get 6. That's .006” in actual inch size. This should explain why true 12X can't even exist. Varivas's 10X is actually equivalent to 8.5X in size, and the 9X is actually between 7X and 8X in actual diameter.

So in the end, Varivas Midge tippet is really just a gimmick. It's performance advantage over other modern tippet material is largely gone. The other tippet manufacturers have caught up, and they don't have to market material under 8X in size, because it's just not necessary. There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to reducing drag. Good technique, good leader design, and using common sense are the answer.

Hopefully, sharing this bit of history and knowledge help clarify this argument. FWIW, Fox and I aren't mad at each other at all. I look forward to working with him on future newbie events, and I REALLY look forward to busting his chops – because that's what good friends and fishing buddies sometimes do. I respect his knowledge and skills (which are considerable). I honestly believe he was just trying to pass on something that worked for him, based on a recommendation that myself, and others find questionable for several reasons.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

H.A.

Posted on: 2012/8/3 14:46
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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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Didn't really see it as an argument so much as a good healthy debate. It's good see things from all points of view with few exceptions. And it's been an education too on tippet sizes et al.

At the end of the day as I said previously you are all good guys, and bring a wealth of knowledge to the Newbie (and Intermediates) Jam.

Posted on: 2012/8/3 16:15


Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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Both AFish and H-A are spot on with their posts. The only time you should drop below 6x tippet is if fishing flies smaller than size 24. If you use a big eye type hook, you can probably even get away with 6x down to size 28.

Several years ago I bought a spool of the 12x stuff to experiment with and fished the ditch at Big Spring. I rigged up 2 rods – one with 12x tippet and the other with 6x tippet, each of the same length, and rigged each rod with identical flies including various midges, cressbug, scuds, etc. Trying to control the experiment as much as possible, I would locate a feeding fish and cast the 6x tippet fly and see what happened and then the 12x tippet fly and see what happened. Without all the details, sometimes I would change flies and then show the new fly on the 12x tippet first or find a new feeding fish and offer the 12x tippet first. Overall the experiment was about as standard and non-biased as I could get it.

After 2 hours of fishing the results of both rods were just about the same as far as takes, inspection/rejection and flat out no interest but the lands on the 12x tippet were one fish compared to probably about 8-10 on the 6x tippet. And these were not large fish, probably a mixtures of bows and brooks in the 6-10 inch range.

Posted on: 2012/8/3 16:30


Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

Joined:
2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
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Quote:

Heritage-Angler wrote:
Good post Tom.

Hopefully, sharing this bit of history and knowledge help clarify this argument. FWIW, Fox and I aren't mad at each other at all. I look forward to working with him on future newbie events, and I REALLY look forward to busting his chops – because that's what good friends and fishing buddies sometimes do. I respect his knowledge and skills (which are considerable). I honestly believe he was just trying to pass on something that worked for him, based on a recommendation that myself, and others find questionable for several reasons.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

H.A.


First let me thank both Afish and H-A for their handling of this "misunderstanding" privately and now publicly. For my part, I ENJOY working with the newbies and I should have known better than to take a public stand on this issue. First, I have used both 8X and 9X. Do I like using it, HELL NO. I don't even like going down to 7X. The one thing the three of us (and others) agree on is you must combat drag. I have not spent anywhere near the amount of time these two guys have researching this so I will defer to their experience.

For the newbies, drag is the ultimate enemy and you need to work on reducing it. What these guys have said is that you can catch the same fish using small flies and 6X tippet if you manage drag. Not only are they correct, but imagine how effective a fisherman you will be on 4X and 5X with size 14 to 20 flies if you master the 24's on 6X.

Learn something else from this post, don't make a mountain out of a mole hill, as I did, by taking comments not meant to be personal, personal! Oh yeah, here's another one, never get your fingers near H-A's mouth while he's eating Carolyn's Chocolate Chip cookies!

A wise man once said "Throw the 9X away and fish like a man!". Words to live by!

Fox

Posted on: 2012/8/3 17:11


Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
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Posted on: 2012/8/4 8:19
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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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2012/3/19 7:54
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Ok, now I want some chocolate chip cookies dammit! Good to see everything is ok in the domestic partnership.

Posted on: 2012/8/4 8:57


Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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For the record: the bald guy loks like Fox and the short guy with the hat must be Heritage Ed. The Guy in the middled *does* resemble joseywales...

Posted on: 2012/8/4 15:36
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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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....and if Monica was in the photo that would be JT.

Posted on: 2012/8/5 22:00


Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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Ouch.

Posted on: 2012/8/6 5:21
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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

Joined:
2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
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When I said JT gave me a rod, that's not what I meant!

Posted on: 2012/8/6 6:43
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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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LOL...good thing I'm secure in my manhoood...go go ahead Ed..bust on my car..thats tame compared to these guys.


Posted on: 2012/8/6 7:24
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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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2011/4/20 8:08
From Phoenixville Pa
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I'm guessing this thread may already exist but I'd like to see something on leader building. I've seen some stuff on line but I've come to trust the guys on this forum. If the thread already exists perhaps you could point us to it. If not maybe you could give us your wisdom.

I fish 7x in very specific situations namely small flies to spooky wild browns. What's the ideal leader hear and how do I build it? I know it's different for each rod wieght and I know there are formulas to figure it out.

What are the trick and tips to leader building? I've read that some guys will start with a 3x or 4x tapered leader and build from there etc.

Posted on: 2012/8/6 8:32


Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

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2012/6/19 23:17
From MONTCO
Posts: 214
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It's a shame you didn't make the Fish n' Chips last week. I'm sure there are others here who are knowledgeable, but DeltaDog brought his leader kit and gave a good explanation of what's involved in building leaders.

To be honest, while making good leaders and tweaking them is an art, it does not appear to be very complicated. Customizing them to fit your needs is the trial an error part, but the basics and then some, appears to require simply the time to sit and do it. I'll let Delta and others guide you on the process. My point is simply, don't be intimidated by it. At some point, I'll probably give it a whirl. Just too much going on right now. Good luck

Posted on: 2012/8/6 8:40
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Re: My Problem of Hooking Trout

Joined:
2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
Posts: 2122
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Quote:

paparise wrote:
I'm guessing this thread may already exist but I'd like to see something on leader building. I've seen some stuff on line but I've come to trust the guys on this forum. If the thread already exists perhaps you could point us to it. If not maybe you could give us your wisdom.

I fish 7x in very specific situations namely small flies to spooky wild browns. What's the ideal leader hear and how do I build it? I know it's different for each rod wieght and I know there are formulas to figure it out.

What are the trick and tips to leader building? I've read that some guys will start with a 3x or 4x tapered leader and build from there etc.


Here's a thread I found from last year.

http://www.paflyfish.com/forums/open- ... lding-a-few-leaders---/21,17734,249474.html#forumpost249474

You may need to type this in because for some reason the last part isn't highlighted so I assume I did something wrong loading it.

Posted on: 2012/8/6 8:41



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