Today I got out to do some steelhead fishing on the Grand River in Ohio. The bite was excellent but I only managed to land 1 of 7 solid hook-ups. On 4 of those lost fish, the reason was broken tippet - with three breaks occurring right at the eye of the hook. When I would examine the broken line, my clinch knot would still be in tact...but the knot would be broken right where the line loops through the eye of the fly - almost like the eye of the hook cut through the line.
It was especially frustrating because the water color allowed for pretty hefty line and I was supposedly using good stuff - Rio Powerflex 3x (8.2lb). Anyone else experience this problem or have any explanation for it?
I have been using a clinch knot since I was a child and never had problems with it but I have read that it is not the strongest knot. I am sort of reluctant to believe that my tippet was bad. I have owned it for maybe a year and it stays in my fishing vest, in my closet (out of the sun and always at room temperature). Plus, it does not appear to be cracked or brittle.
I need to solve this problem. At the very least, I think I will be shopping for new tippet and looking for a new, stronger knot to attach my fly. In the mean time, here is a picture of the one fish I did land: