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Fly fishing FAQs Find answers to the some frequently asked fly fishing questions...

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Old 01-25-2008, 11:18 AM
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Default What size tippet do I use?

The size and weight of the fly determines what size tippet works best with that fly. A 3wt rod is for smaller flies and the leader will have a lighter tippet. If you were fishing a size 16 fly a 5X tippet would be used. If you were fishing an 8wt rod with a size 6 fly, a size 2X tippet would be called for. The companies making the leaders size the butt of the leader to match a group of fly lines it might be used on. All you have to worry about is what size tippet you will be using for a particular sized fly.

Tippet DiameterTippet SizePound TestFly Size
.0038x1.224-26-28
.0047x220-22-24-26
.0056x316-18-20-22
.0065x414-16-18
.0074x512-14-16
.0083x610-12-14
.0092x76-8-10
.0101x8.52-4-6
.0110x101/0-2-4
.012x1122/0-1/0-2
.013x2143/0-2/0-1/0-2
.014x3165/0-4/0-3/0-2/0
.015x4186/0-5/0-4/0-3/0

NOTE: Leader diameters and strengths vary from manufacture to manufacture and with different materials or processes.


Here is a quick way to calculate the best size tippet to use on the water. You take the fly size and divide it by 4 and then add 1. For example, take a size 6 hook, divide 6 by 4 and you get one. Add one to that and you get 2. So for a size 6 hook use a 2X leader. You will note that the chart says 1X or 2X will work. The formula is a guide to get you close to the proper sized tippet on the water. In this case you use the leader that is most appropriate for the size of the fish.
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Last edited by Frank Whiton; 07-12-2010 at 12:05 PM.
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