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Old 07-30-2012, 01:50 PM
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Default FFM "Tippet Shoot-Out"

Having been away fishing over the past month I am behind on my reading and posting. However, I got to read James Anderson's "FFM Tippet Shoot-Out" over the weekend. He seems to like a fluoro tippet knotted to a mono leader and prefers a stiffer tippet... Just goes to show there is no last word on this important terminal tackle topic. All we can do is personally experiment and see what seems to work best for our style of fishing and share our opinions.

I use fluorocarbon almost exclusively in salt water flats fishing where its lower visibility sub-surface, greater abrasion resistance relative to nylon and difficulty in seating knots properly characteristics are resolvable by virtue of using larger diameter material that I can bear down on. The non-slip loop knot is strong and ideal for crustacean imitations. As a dry fly trout fisherman I much prefer the modern co-polymer nylon materials. They float better (higher) makinag less of an impression in the surface miniscus, by virtue of being porous, compress better in seating knots, are more supple for superior presentation and trimmings won't lay in our rivers for the next thousand seasons. When choosing mono for tippets, I ignore "pound test" which I suspect are sometimes made up numbers anyway and look for suppleness, lack of excessive sheen and the ability to tighten knots without generating heat deformation - squiggles - in the material. Avoid knotting mono to fluoro as the low stretch solid fluoro might bite into the stretchy compressible mono disadvantageously. Nymph fishers and especially salmon/steelheaders may find advantages in fluoro similar to saltwater anglers but for the surface oriented fly fisher, nylon, I believe, is superior. Make sure, of course, that the big boy sees the floating fly first with any coils of tippet laying upstream of it.

If you are curious, I like SA Mastery monofilament from 3X down. It knots well, is not shiny and has just the right degree of suppleness. It's rated pound test is less than some others but I break off very few trout on it. I like RIO too and use it in heavier portions of my leaders, however, I find it too shiny for the thin stuff. I brought 100's of $ worth of Stroft back from Germany a few years ago but did not like the stuffs knotting character. Perhaps I should try it again since it is apparently stronger than I need it to be. I did try the new and popular "Trouthunters" mono this season and it too is shiny and more easily abraided than others I have tried. For knots I use a 6 -7 turn blood knot for the 5' tippet section and the through-the-eye-twice Trileen to attach a dry fly.

[This is a combo-repeat from the Flurocarbon thread under General Discussions, however, I thought the Tackle Specialists deserved a direct crack at this important subject. S+S]
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: FFM "Tippet Shoot-Out"

In an effort to be open-minded, I tried James Anderson's recomended "J" knot. Using equal length strands of fresh Orvis Super Strong 4X, I tied the "J" knot at one end and my usual 6 turn blood knot at the other forming a loop. Pulling uniformly and slowly and, ultimately, harder than one would pull against a waterborne trout...my blood knot failed first, 3 times. Not scientific and no scale was involved but I will be practicing this "J" knot (a straighter and stronger variation on the surgeons knot) for on-stream application. Note that, despite the size and power of Missouri R. fish, I did not have a single blood knot fail this season. Of the two trout I did bust one was going to break my rod if not for the tippet being thinner, so violent was its take and the other, I must have not cinched my Trileen correctly for it slipped, a very unusual occurrence.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: FFM "Tippet Shoot-Out"

Can you share a link to some visuals on tying the 'J' knot. Is it a different name for a 3 turn Surgeon's knot?
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: FFM "Tippet Shoot-Out"

Click the image to open in full size.

As you can see the "J" knot starts off like a overhand-based surgeons but combines aspects of the uni-knot, yielding a simpler, stronger and straight knot. Give it a try and share your opinions. My test was performed in the living room not on the river and the fish, as always, are the ultimate judge.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: FFM "Tippet Shoot-Out"

Thanks for the nice description. I will try this out during my upcoming trip (last week in Aug) and report back
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