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Old 01-15-2014, 04:58 AM
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Default Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

Rookie here wondering if I should start with 2ft section of tippet tied to 9ft trout leader or go for 3ft. Rod is 9x5wt WF line. Will be spring time in area with high volume water with dry flies.

I'm not very sure of my casting abilities yet!! Trying to set up some basics to work off and improve.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

I personally think longer is better when it comes to tippet length. I personally usually start off with about 4' feet.

I should add perhaps I am driven as much by laziness as anything else. The long tippet lasts me a long time, I can tie on alot of flies before I have to put on a new tippet.

As long as the length of the tippet doesn't effect your casting, there is no downsize to fishing a longer tippet when using dry flies.

Again from a purely practical perspective, if you do get carried away and add to much tippet, it's much easier to clip off a couple of inches or a foot than it is to replace a tippet when you decide it's too short.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

I think that many (most?) dry fly fishers don't understand that the length of the tippet is often far more important than the diameter (X factor)
With a long tippet you can go with a stronger pound test rather than that material that you can barely see.
Depending on how well balanced your leader is four feet is often too long, but that's where you should start.
Then if it doesn't cast well, cut the tippet back a bit at a time until it does.

Subsurface... two feet is fine, but don't be lazy and let it get cut back to under 18 inches
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

Agree with Rip -- just wanted to add that it's nearly impossible to answer this kind of question because it all depends on what you're doing and the conditions.

I would just try your 3' idea and see if you get takes or not. If not, you can start to experiment .
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

3 feet sounds reaonable to me.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

2-1/2 to 3 feet. Then unless I am losing lots of flies or trying a zillion different things, it usually lasts till I need to take a break.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

The key words are "high volume of water"...Usually, under those conditions, I will go with a bit heavier set up. Like a 3x-4x, 9ft. leader ( or in some instances, even a 7 1/2 leader) with a tippet ring attached and 24"-36" of 4X or 5X tippet material attached to the ring. In the Spring, the water is higher, faster and sometimes off color and the bugs are larger... so one can often get away with a shorter leader...later on, on Spring Creeks and big stretches of slow water I go to the George Harvey type of set up...which ain't fun on a windy day...

Do what works best with thine own level of casting skills ...

Click the image to open in full size.

Tippet rings...so I am not cutting my leader back when my tippet gets under 18'...

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Old 01-15-2014, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

Tippet is all about avoiding drag and the only way to avoid drag is to have plenty of slack in your tippet.
To do that, it's best to have tippet long enough so that you can incorporate the maximum amount of slack to get the best drift.

Some people feel the need to go with 7x or lighter, but that's very often only because they need to compensate for not using enough tippet.

It's not always necessary to go with the maximum length, but in a pool where trout can see micro-drag, sometimes every inch can make a difference.
In a case like that, you need to use as much tippet as your leader will allow you to accurately cast
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

I varied my tippet length based on what I am trying to fish for.
If I am fishing for a bass-larger flies, shorter leader and shorter tippet 2ft. For trout-dry and up to #8 leech, longer leader with up to 4ft of tippet 5x.
That 4ft and 5x is my personal balance setup.

I believe, longer-lighter tippet is easier to brake than shorter-lighter tippet with the same X size.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Tippet Length / Where to Begin?

My go to leader/tippet combination for dry flies on the tailwaters I fish is a 10ft 5X Umpqua leader with a 3 to 3 1/2 foot 6X tippet. I have a lot of confidence in this set up and it has worked well for me in all types of conditions.

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