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Old 07-27-2011, 03:08 PM
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Default Need Help!

Twice in the past two days I had a good sized fish on and the tippet broke and the fish got away. Both of them were beginning to put up a strong fight too! The tippet broke below the knot where i added tippet material. I think I had added some 6X to the 5X leader. Both times it broke in the same spot, right below the knot. Am I doing something wrong? I usually leave around 1/8" tippet on the ends when I cut them. I haven't had this problem before and I'm always adding tippet material when needed.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Need Help!

Check your knots,check if your tippet bobin isn't too old,don't mix a fluoro tippet with a normal leader,be sure there's no floatant on you fingers when you tie your knot,try a loop to loop connection or another knot,adjust your drag...
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Need Help!

Since it's not breaking in the knot, then sounds like you're tying it correctly. However, I'm betting your using a blood knot. You're likely damaging the tippet when you pull the knot tight, even though you may be lubricating it & it may look fine.

Although I can't prove it, I've had similar issues with blood knots & light tippets. It's breaking on the lighter side (6X) not the 5X side. I think I actually over stretch the tippet some when pulling it tight, and it binds right at the knot causing damage & weakening it. I've even pulled them tight underwater, but don't have this problem with heavier tippets. Now, I only use a double surgeons knot.

Try using a different knot, perhaps a loop to loop with perfection knots or a double surgeons knot. Just be sure you wet them good for lubrication.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Need Help!

Make sure you we your knots before tightening them....and be sure you're not nipping the tippet when you nip off the tag.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Need Help!

One of the challenges is in using 6x. If you use that light of tippet material then you have to fight the fish with this in mind. 6x is very light and requires finesse when trying to land a good fish. I don't use 6x very often any more with 5x being my go-to tippet size, even for smaller flies down to 20's. I use an Orvis non-slip loop to attach the fly with those smaller sizes and it works great.

The other problem could be either with the type of knot you're using to attach the tippet, or how you are tying the knot. To add tippet to my leader I use a double surgeon's knot, but you must make sure to lubricate the knot before pulling tight (I use saliva). Same thing if you're using a blood knot, still requires good lubrication. The problem with mono is that it generates a huge amount of heat due to friction when tightening and if you don't lube the knot first the heat actually damages the material causing it to fail. This goes for all knots we tie in fishing. Based on what information you've provided us with as to where the knot is breaking I would have to say it is probably due to damage from friction and heat when you attach the tippet to your leader. Also, if you tie the knot correctly then you can trim the tag ends tight to the knot without them causing a failure.

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Need Help!

I agree with the above.

The fact that it broke at the knot means that it was either the knot that was used or how it was tied. Ask you self why it didn't break at the hook knot which should be the weakest knot since this knot is has much more stress and motion with slippage around the metal hook eye, and abrasion during the fight. The tippet knot has only longitudinal stress. It should hold when tied correctly.

Lubrication is the key. But I also think technology can help with these knots on thin tippets. UV Knot Sense is suggested. It will reinforce the knot and prevent slippage, which I think is what caused your failures. I think it is a good possibility that the knot was not completely "set".

The other thing I would say is that good 6X tippet is pretty strong at 3 lbs. Try lifting 2 lbs of dead weight with your rod and it is difficult. 3 lbs is stronger than the strongest tippet when I started fishing. 5X Nylorfi was about 2.5 lbs.

I think there was a sudden jerk on the leader, the knot slipped and broke. The best way to prevent this is with a softer tip fly rod. Failing that, "shock gum", basically a high tech rubber band between the fly line and leader will help.

Finally, do a "shock test" on the knot after you tie it. Give it a tug and see if it breaks. Better to have to retie than to lose a fish.

1. Use a good knot.
2. Lubricate and pull the knot tight so that it sets.
3. Use UV knot sense.
4. Test the knot after tying.
5. Use Shock gum or a softer tip fly rod.

You didn't say what knot you used. I'm curious to know.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Need Help!

Thanks everyone for all your help. Based on your information I have identified what I hope has been the problem. First, I have always used saliva for tying my flies to the leader but have not used wetness when tying tippet material on to the leader. Just never thought of that for some reason. Have got away with it for awhile but finally caught up to me. Second, when I take tippet off the spool it is under the band that keeps the tippet material on. I have been pulling that off and probably stretching it due to the pressure it takes to pull it off. I will take the band off from now on and just unroll it off. Hopefull that will help. I will also look into that Loon product for the knots as well.
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