Monday, April 13, 2009

Does Tippet Size Matter?

What Size Tippet To Use and Why?

I fish for it all, Saltwater species, Carp, Bass, Pike, Stillwater and what tippets should I use? Well that depends but for River fishing this should help~

Fly Selection and Presentation - These are by far the reason you catch a ton of fish or very few fish. Tippet size is rarely the reason.

Tippet Size - I have three basic sizes of tippet in my bag for River Trout: 3x,4x,5x all are RIO Fluoroflex Plus. I use 3x mostly when streamer fishing but 2x is also a popular size as well. I will also use it if I am fishing large nymphs like girdle bugs. 3x can be used all summer long in most places I go except for trips to Wyoming where 2x can work better.When fishing large dry flies like stoneflies and Chernobyl ants, I use nothing else but 4x. I will then tie off a dropper from the big dry with 3x. When fish are rising on small dries, I will use 5x for the dry and often tie a dropper off using 4x. Sizing down for the dropper can save you flies. If the bottom fly gets caught on a rock or tree, you will usually only lose the dropper if you size down your tippet.

Health of Fish - We are all concerned about the health of the fish. What better way to care for them than getting them in and off the hook as fast as possible. When you use heavier tippet you really help the fish. They recover quickly and are back in the water fast.

Catch More Fish - Larger tippet sizes mean you lose less fish. Losing less fish means you lose less flies. Better for the fish and better for you. Save Money - You will save money on flies using a heavier tippet. You can put that savings toward the purchase of your more expensive tippet material.

Use the biggest tippet you can get away with. The fish will thank you.
Other Popular Articles to Read:

Knots and Leaders
Understanding Leaders

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Ken Morrow said...

when if fish western waters i fish heavier tippets, too...generally nothing smaller than 5x. the water is usually running faster due to steeper gradients and we're tossing bigger flies. the exception would be the still, clear beaver ponds in high altitude meadows where i have found i often need 6 or even 7x.

but when fishing with tiny flies in places with slower-moving clear waters in sunny conditions (especially in heavily fished waters for trout) your formula simply would not work. you could fish the exact same pattern the exact same way in the exact same place with 5x and spook fish, but switch to 6x or 7x and catch them.

i agree with the thesis of your message, though: fish with the heaviest tippet and leader you can get by with. the general principle is to divide the fly size by 3 and then adjust for conditions to select tippet size, bcuz tippet size effects the action of a fly as well.

Troutdawg said...

Good point and great input thanks!

Big Hoss said...

according to Enzyte it is all about the size.