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Old 12-06-2012, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: 4wt line

Tippet is one of those slightly confusing things. What tippet you are using has absolutely no relation to your fly rod (though it would be silly to use 0X on a 2wt when you only need tippet that heavy on a saltwater rod).

Tippet runs, in general, from 0X all the way to 9X, though 7X is used far less than 4X-6X, 8X is VERY rarely used, and 9X is almost never used. I don't even own 8 or 9X tippet.. The tippet sizes run backwards- 0X is the strongest tippet and 9X the weakest, or should I say it has the smallest diameter. What tippet you want to use depends on the fly you want to throw. A good rule of thumb is fly size divided by three gives you tippet size.

So say you have a size 12 hopper. Divide 12 by 3 and you get 4. So you probably would be best off with 4X, though technically you could go down to 5X or even 6X if the fish are being spooky and the tippet size scares them. You may feel the rod cast differently, but with small, unweighted dry flies you can get away with changing your tippet from the divide by 3 rule more so than you can with a large streamer. When you divide by three and the number falls in between two sizes you can use either. Just remember tippet is not set in stone. Under most fishing situations involving standard size (say, 12-22) flies you will use 4X-6X, and very occasionally when fishing picky trout with tiny flies you might move to 7X.

It is important to have a good selection of tippet. When fishing a size 8 streamer, you might use 3X. Considering you have a 4wt you will probably not be doing a LOT of streamer fishing, so for now you won't need anything stronger than 3X, IMO.

And based on the situation you are in you can cut off the tippet portion of a 5X leader and tie on 4X or 3X if the conditions dictate. Conversely, you can tie on 6X to make your 5X leader end in a slightly smaller size.

Long story short, if you are going to be fishing dry flies, nymphs, and the occasional streamer on your fly rod, all you really need for now is 4X-6X, though I would cary 3X to be safe. Pick up a spool of each for now. If there a really picky trout in your area, you might want to have 7X on hand as well.

One thing that is worth noting is if you try to throw a size 8 bugger on 6x you rod will not cast it very well, so pay attention to what tippet you are using so you can adapt to what fly you decide to throw.

So yes, you would be best starting off with a 5X leader for your 4wt and having the tippet necessary to go up or down.

Is that as clear as mud?
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Last edited by newby; 12-06-2012 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: 4wt line

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhardin80 View Post
Ok, now I'm getting some what confused. If I got with a WF4F line what leader and tippet do you guys recommend? Do I stick with a 5x leader and tippet or do I go to a 6x or 4x? I'm fishing a WF5F line with 5x leader and tippet at the moment.

Edit: I guess is what I'm getting at is, can I have my WF4F line tied to a size 6x leader and use 6x tippet or is that too much of a difference in size from the line to the leader?
You could used anywhere from a 3X to a 8X leader on a 4wt line. The size of the line make little difference in what size leader (or tippet) you use.
The size of your leader/tippet is determined mostly by the size of the fly you're tying on plus the water speed/ water clarity/ fish behavior.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: 4wt line

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Originally Posted by newby View Post
Tippet is one of those slightly confusing things. What tippet you are using has absolutely no relation to your fly rod (though it would be silly to use 0X on a 2wt when you only need tippet that heavy on a saltwater rod).

Tippet runs, in general, from 0X all the way to 9X, though 7X is used far less than 4X-6X, 8X is VERY rarely used, and 9X is almost never used. I don't even own 8 or 9X tippet.. The tippet sizes run backwards- 0X is the strongest tippet and 9X the weakest, or should I say it has the smallest diameter. What tippet you want to use depends on the fly you want to throw. A good rule of thumb is fly size divided by three gives you tippet size.

So say you have a size 12 hopper. Divide 12 by 3 and you get 4. So you probably would be best off with 4X, though technically you could go down to 5X or even 6X if the fish are being spooky and the tippet size scares them. You may feel the rod cast differently, but with small, unweighted dry flies you can get away with changing your tippet from the divide by 3 rule more so than you can with a large streamer. When you divide by three and the number falls in between two sizes you can use either. Just remember tippet is not set in stone. Under most fishing situations involving standard size (say, 12-22) flies you will use 4X-6X, and very occasionally when fishing picky trout with tiny fries you might move to 7X.

It is important to have a good selection of tippet. When fishing a size 8 streamer, you might use 3X. Considering you have a 4wt you will probably not be doing a LOT of streamer fishing, so for now you won't need anything stronger than 3X, IMO.

And based on the situation you are in you can cut off the tippet portion of a 5X leader and tie on 4X or 3X if the conditions dictate. Conversely, you can tie on 6X to make your 5X leader end in a slightly smaller size.

Long story short, if you are going to be fishing dry flies, nymphs, and the occasional streamer on your fly rod, all you really need for now is 4X-6X, though I would cary 3X to be safe. Pick up a spool of each for now. If there a really picky trout in your area, you might want to have 7X on hand as well.

One thing that is worth noting is if you try to throw a size 8 bugger on 6x you rod will not cast it very well, so pay attention to what tippet you are using so you can adapt to what fly you decide to throw.

So yes, you would be best starting off with a 5X leader for your 4wt and having the tippet necessary to go up or down.

Is that as clear as mud?

CLEAR AS MUD!!! lol Thank you very much! That does help me a lot, so I will pick up some 4x and 6x tippet since I already have some 5x.

One other thing though, is there a way to tell what size some of my flies are? I have bought a few but didn't pay too much attention to the size so I don't know what they are.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: 4wt line

Unfortunately only time will give you the ability to tell what size your fly is. If you go to a shop, spend some time looking at and handling various flies, the size of which should appear on the description. Look at plenty of sizes. This will help a lot.

It may seem like a lot to learn but experience drills it into your mind pretty quickly.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: 4wt line

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhardin80 View Post
One other thing though, is there a way to tell what size some of my flies are? I have bought a few but didn't pay too much attention to the size so I don't know what they are.
It really don't matter that much.
When you're matching a hatch, you're using the same size fly as the bug.
When you're matching a tippet to a fly you can go with big, little, and tiny.... that's close enough
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