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Tippet size; it's your thing!

Joined:
2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
Posts: 437
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I mentioned using 6x tippet on another thread re playing and landing big fish, and it turned into a major discussion on tippets and size. Ultimately like a lot of things in life, you should use what works for you and not worry about what anyone else thinks. Personally, I use a lot of 5x flouro, and tend to go 6x on the dropper so I won't lose two flies if fishing down. Also I like to fish small, light flies on the drop, and the lighter tippet allows for more movement. I'm going heavier on big or really muddy water, or if say I was just fishing streamers. If you can present the fly the way you want and the fish are responding don't sweat it.

Posted on: 2013/4/27 16:13


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
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Lol. Since my thread spawned this one, I figure I may as well chime in again.

I don't claim to know what I'm doing, but my default tippet size is 5x. Most of my dry fly fishing is done with 5x,(except for very small flies, or difficult drifts, or when I'm just in the mood to use 6x) and the only fluorocarbon spool I have is 5x, which I use for nymphing.

I usually use 3x for streamers.

If I'm fishing a dry-dropper rig, I would ideally like to use 4x to the dry, then 5x to the dropper.

Of course, if I were routinely catching 14+ inch fish, my default tippet size would probably shift to 4x, and everything would adjust from there. In most of the places I fish, though, a 14 inch fish would be pretty rare.

Posted on: 2013/4/27 16:33


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1915
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Yeah, use what you like and you feel confident in. There's a balance to find between getting strikes, and having strong enough tippet to confidently land the fish you hook. I tend to fall on the side of preferring to have slightly heavier tippet, even if it means losing out on a few strikes to presentation/drag/etc.

For Trout I carry 3x - 6x. I use the 3x for streamers on bigger water. I usually fish Brookie streams with 4x, even if I go subsurface. Most of the other dry fly fishing I do is with 4x or 5x, depending on the size of the fly. For a dropper rig I usually run 4x to the dry, and then 5x to the dropper. Most nymphing situations I use 5x. I rarely use the 6x...Tricos, or early season BWO's...but even then I usually feel I can get away with 5x.

For Bass/WW, I just carry a small spool of 10lb mono.

Posted on: 2013/4/27 16:40


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
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I use 4x to 6x.

I did use to use 7x on technical tailwaters with small flies 22/24 etc but I lost too many fish and it tangles like a biatch so now I use 6x.

General fishing is 5x, 4 for weighted streamers in heavy current or deepwater nymphing.

I think that really if my presentation was better I could get away with just 4x.




Posted on: 2013/4/27 22:38
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Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2011/3/2 13:43
From Gamehendge
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5x an 6x Fluro that is all. If you can fool trout on the Delaware with 5x Fluro you can fool um anywhere.

Posted on: 2013/4/27 22:41
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Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!
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The best tippet diameter to fish is a function of the size and wind resistance of fly, the stiffness of the tippet material, as well as the length of the tippet, the fish, and the stream conditions.

A formula to use as a starting point is fly size / 4 + 1

Examples:

Size 12: 12 / 4 = 3 + 1 = 4x
Size 16: 16 / 4 = 4 + 1 = 5x
Size 20: 20 / 4 = 5 + 1 = 6x
Size 24: 24 / 4 = 6 + 1 = 7x

You can go up and down sizes from the above depending on the fly, stiffness and length of you tippet as well as the stream conditions (low clear / murky, complex currents, etc ) and the fish (size of fish, spookiness, etc.).

Experiment to see what works best under the conditions.







Posted on: 2013/4/28 7:13


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2009/7/28 19:49
From Shrewsbury, PA
Posts: 200
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Right now at my age, I enjoy fishing with very small nymphs and midges when water conditions dictate. I frequently use a 2 fly rig. I know one day, I will not be able to effectively tie the small stuff as well as attach them to tippet.

I use very light tippet, mostly fluorocarbon. Several months ago, I purchased 250 yards of light fluorocarbon fishing line for a fraction of the cost of commercially available fluoro tippet material. I did so for several reasons: fluoro tippet is expensive and having large spools of fluoro fishing line allows me to change tippet material as frequent as I need. Personally, I have not found any negative difference between commercially sold fluoro tippet and light fluoro fishing line

I lose very few fish to a breaking of the tippet when fishing small stuff. I am constantly checking the tippet to the lead fly and between the lead and point fly looking for fraying or if the are nicks.

I know many on this board don't believe in using fine tippet and small flies but each to his own. I enjoy the challenge.

Posted on: 2013/4/28 11:16


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2006/9/11 11:30
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The traditional formula is a great starting place. In April the flies I use are mostly 12 and 14 so 4X gets the nod. In sulphur season the bugs are mostly a size 16 so I go 5x. I use 6x for size 22 and below and have chucked 7x altogether. When larger wild trout are common - upper Delaware system, western rivers etc - I generally use 4x and go 3x after dark when the real pigs are cruising.

Playing a fish quickly has been discussed, but a tippet that is too light wouldn't turn over a fly properly and you lose accuracy. For example, a 6x tippet with a size 12 Catskill dry fly just wouldn't turn it over properly. Any bit of wind, and wind is generally an issue on larger streams, a light tippet will allow the fly to get blown all other the place.

Posted on: 2013/4/28 11:23


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2011/9/24 16:37
From Clearfield
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but there are also times when I don't want my fly to turn over properly....I know I can do a slack leader cast in these situations but sometimes its easier to use a lighter tippet than necessary and allow it to pile on its own

works good for pocket water with many different currents, especially when you can only get a drift of a few feet anyways

I usually taper to 5x but will use 6x once in a while

Posted on: 2013/4/28 13:31


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
The best tippet diameter to fish is a function of the size and wind resistance of fly, the stiffness of the tippet material, as well as the length of the tippet, the fish, and the stream conditions.

A formula to use as a starting point is fly size / 4 + 1

Examples:

Size 12: 12 / 4 = 3 + 1 = 4x
Size 16: 16 / 4 = 4 + 1 = 5x
Size 20: 20 / 4 = 5 + 1 = 6x
Size 24: 24 / 4 = 6 + 1 = 7x


This is a good starting point. Some other things to consider:

For normal streamer fishing, do not go lighter than 3x. Fish hit streamers harder than nymphs and dries. Decent sized brown trout frequently break 4x tippet when streamer fishing. But with 3x they rarely break it.

(An exception to this might be when fishing very small streamers. A friend of mine ties "streamers" on size 12 standard hooks, that look more like wet flies. And on streams where you're sure there are only brookies, no browns, you might use 4x instead of 3x.)

There is a difference between fishing a big open stretch of water, like the upper Delaware, where there is room to let a big fish run, and a smaller stream where there are a lot of tree roots and downed trees, logjams, etc.

On streams with a lot of obstructions, trout will often go hard and fast right towards the nearest obstruction, and break you off in about 2 seconds after being hooked. So, adjust your tippet size accordingly. Even a medium sized trout can make a strong first run. Where there is a lot of "woodwork" adjust towards heavier tippet, so you can turn the fish right away.

Posted on: 2013/4/29 8:02


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2012/2/15 16:35
From Butler, Pa
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I'd like to add as well that when you find fish very aggressively feeding fish, say actually jumping and splashing to snag flies, then you at minimum use 5x, last year my friend and I found a pocket of very aggressive fish, the fish came smashed the caddis and dove straight down just as he set the hook. . . snap. Just a lesson I sort of took note of

Posted on: 2013/4/29 12:49


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I pretty much use Afish's formula. Except on the small side, I almost never go below 6x. Even when using size 24's and 26's, I just add length to the 6x, or go to softer materials, before resorting to 7x.

Streamers (sometimes) - 2x
Streamers (sometimes), and sizes 8-10 - 3x
Sizes 10-14 - 4x
Sizes 14-18 - 5x
Sizes 18-26 - 6x
Sizes 28+ - I've never used!

Notice a little overlap there, there is some choice remaining in the tweener sizes, which is a variable to consider in addition to water conditions, "persnickityness" of the fish, tippet material and length, leader construction, etc.

Posted on: 2013/4/29 13:14


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2010/11/24 13:19
From Perkasie PA
Posts: 955
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As for trout.....I learned to fish dries on the LL using 7x and 8x to picky fish, so I'm very comfortable and just plain used to using smaller tippet for dries. I don't think I've ever fished 5x for dry flies. 4x-5x for regular nymphing, 6-7x when nymphing midges.

Streamers are usually 3x.

I know a lot of people think 7x and 8x arent necessary but yesterday when there were no visible hatches and fish werent taking anything I tossed even though there were consistent rises, it took me going down to 8x after a few fly changes to start picking them up on Al's rats. They wouldn't touch one on 7x. As soon as the tiny tippet when on, they came to hand one after another.

But then again, these were very pressured fish.

For bass, steelhead, carp, etc, I go much heavier.

Posted on: 2013/4/29 13:22
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Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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dub, the fundamental question is whether those fish are tippet shy, or drag shy. Nobody doubts that they're "something" shy.

If it's truly seeing the tippet that spooks them, then your only recourse is to try to make the tippet invisible, by going smaller, or switching to fluoro, etc.

But if they are drag shy, then going smaller in tippet will absolutely help with drag issues. So will increasing the tippet length. So will going to a softer tippet material. So will adjusting the leader construction. So will adjusting the mechanics of the cast, as well as the angle of the cast. And many would prefer to do any of the latter before resorting to 7x and 8x tippets.

Posted on: 2013/4/29 13:44


Re: Tippet size; it's your thing!

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2010/11/24 13:19
From Perkasie PA
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This was a slow, frogwater, gin clear stretch of a stocked stream that gets hammered on the regular and the fish have wised up pretty quick. Drag wasn't a problem at all. Not enough current to get bellies in your line, etc. As long as you cast with your fly out ahead and just downstream of the leader, you were getting a dead even drift. I definitely think they were line shy. At the end of the day, I figured out what works and had some fun and thats all that mattered :)

Posted on: 2013/4/29 14:41
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