Re: Landing a Fish 101
Firstly, what rod are you using? That can have a definite impact on the type of answer that will solve your problem best.
My general advice is step up to a 3x tippet, or even a 2x fluorocarbon tippet. 5x and finer tippets are VERY overrated and more often than not result in what you've experienced: lost fish. I've caught enough fish on a 2x fluoro tippet, even a big 24" brown trout, that I rarely go finer than 4x. It does depend on water clarity, however, and certain extremely clear streams at certain times of the day do call for very fine tippets to guarantee that a large, intelligent trout will not be spooked by your leader. Most of the time, I haven't found that to be the case, however.
My second piece of advice is, whether you're using a 5x tippet or a 2x tippet, whenever tying any knot with mono, you need to lubricate the knot to prevent that minor bit of overheating due to friction that happens when the knot seats itself. Most people do this with saliva, but a splash of water will work if you don't want to lick your leader. If you seat the knot dry, it will overheat (on a very small scale), and the plastic can weaken and eventually result in a snapped tipped right at the knot if overstressed.
It is important to be able to fight fish from the reel, and use your reel's drag (if it has one) to let large fish take controlled runs. However, unless you're using something like a 1 weight full flex fly rod, you should be able to just strip in line to land trout less than 12 inches long without having to worry about playing them from the reel or breaking your tippet.
The other flies, n., pl.
1. dry flies, nymphs, emergers, terrestrials, streamers, etc.
2. What I use when a black #10 woolly bugger isn't catching.