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Old 02-10-2011, 08:27 AM
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Default TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

I've encountered all kinds of snobbery in life. You name the product; there is someone to tell you you have to have the biggest, smallest, lightest, heaviest, fastest, shiniest etc. I've heard this song and dance about tippet/leader size for several years now and I'm wondering how much if ANY at all credence I should put into peoples opinions on the matter. I've kind of unilaterally decided that I don't fish 7x; it is superflous, and rarely have I tied on a 6x anything. I don't feel that my fly presentation has suffered by putting my 18's and 20's (dry flies) on a 5x.

The guys at my local fly shop have helped to steer me to this opinion (and I think I have spent enough there to get an honest opinion), but others I go to will swear that they get refusals on 6x 12ft leader/tippet rigs because the trout sensed it. Should I give in or should I continue my rampage against snobbish tippet elitism? Looking for some educated opinions because my opinion is not the most educated and as of now I am content laughing at all of those people trying to fish with spider-web tippet, losing fish, and snapping flies off on blades of grass.

There is, after all, a 1X BRONZE HOOK sticking out of the bottom of every size 20 fly, and I'm supposed to worry about a transparent strand of tippet? It takes me 30 seconds to find it if I drop it while changing flies.

Is it just a "song and dance"
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

George Harvey use to say that anything lighter than 5x was unnecessary, and he was all about a drag free presentation.
Myself, I never go under 6x, but that's because I have trouble seeing anything smaller
I do however fish the longer leaders.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

As for me, I rarely go lighter than 6x and mostly 5x. As for length I've never gone longer than 10' and most the time it is 9' or less. Thats just me!! I usually change fly style or size before I go for lighter tippet.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

So the two of you are of the same opinion as myself. A friend of mine recently visited the Gunpowder river in MD. The guy running the fly shop there was trying to tell him that they used 7x 15-20 ft leaders. I've been told by a guide at one of the Ausable shops that during the Trico hatches, they get refusals on 7x with 12+ leaders. I know that gentleman at the Ausable is a very accomplised angler, so I would like to believe him, but I am very inclined to think that the refusals have nothing to do with the leader being too short, or the unavailability of an 8x.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausablebrown View Post
So the two of you are of the same opinion as myself. A friend of mine recently visited the Gunpowder river in MD. The guy running the fly shop there was trying to tell him that they used 7x 15-20 ft leaders. I've been told by a guide at one of the Ausable shops that during the Trico hatches, they get refusals on 7x with 12+ leaders. I know that gentleman at the Ausable is a very accomplised angler, so I would like to believe him, but I am very inclined to think that the refusals have nothing to do with the leader being too short, or the unavailability of an 8x.
90% of the time it's the fisherman that needs to be fooled, not the fish. Tippet size, fly colors, how you tie your wadding boots. Sometimes it's about a fisherman's confidence. If he swears he needs a 7X tippet then guess what? He does...
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

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Originally Posted by swirlchaser View Post
90% of the time it's the fisherman that needs to be fooled, not the fish. Tippet size, fly colors, how you tie your wadding boots. Sometimes it's about a fisherman's confidence. If he swears he needs a 7X tippet then guess what? He does...
If you could tie your wader boots on with a double windsor know you'd impress fish right out of the water!
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

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Originally Posted by ausablebrown View Post
If you could tie your wader boots on with a double windsor know you'd impress fish right out of the water!
LOL, don't laugh I've seen some strange fishing and hunting rituals. A few I have myself...

---------- Post added at 10:33 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:32 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausablebrown View Post
If you could tie your wader boots on with a double windsor know you'd impress fish right out of the water!
Here's a double windsor that caught me some fish.


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

I use furled leaders almost exclusively, so I rarely go past 9ft if you add both the length of the furled leader and tippet...

In the rarest of situations will I use some 7X on some really, really small stuff in gin-clear water. Often times I use alot of 4X and 5X.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

George Harvey on leaders
Quote:
Over the years I have improved my leader design. Originally, my basic leader was made of stiff nylon. Now I make all of my leaders from the softest leader material I can purchase. My basic leader is smaller in size than all commercial leaders I have checked.

I tie my basic leaders in the following sizes .015", .013", .011", and .009". Each section is approximately 18" to 19" long. I attach this basic leader to my line using a nail knot and use it for all my leaders. To this basic leader, I add 3X, 4X, and 5X in lengths appropriate for the fly I am using to get a slack-leader cast.

The fly’s air resistance determines the length of the terminal tippet. You cannot use one construction for all fly sizes because the less air resistance of the fly you are using, the longer the tippet must be.

The following is how I add to the basic leader. If I am going to 4X, I add 15" of 3X to the basic leader, then 36" of 4X.

When I go to 5X, I add 15" of 4X to the 3X, then 36" of 5X.

After I have the leader built, I tie on the fly and make a short cast. If the leader piles up, I cut off a short section and try again. When you have it right you will get a good slack-leader cast.

Leaders made from soft nylon provide a better drag-free float than one with a stiff nylon base. You can also use heavier terminal tippets, which allow you to put more pressure on the trout and land and release them quicker.

Those who must use 6X, 7X, and 8X tippets to get trout to take play the fish much too long, which results in the death of many trout. Personally, I now catch all trout on nothing smaller than 4X or 5X tippets. I only use 5X on the smallest flies because I cannot get 4X through the eye of the hook. When fishing the Green Drake and other large flies, I use 2X and 3X tippets.

I recently took three women, with whom I have worked for 21/2 years teaching them to tie flies, build leaders, and make a slack-leader cast, out fishing during the Green Drake hatch on private water. I had them tie their leaders with 2X tippets. Can you believe it? They caught over 60 trout, and a third of them were over 20" long.

This leader design is the most important part of our fishing equipment. I use an 81/2-foot rod built for a 5-weight line when using this leader.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: TIPPET SNOBS...7x, 15ft Really Necessary?

I rarely use 6x, and I do mean rarely. When I do it's Fluorocarbon and I'm fishing to some picky spring creek browns. I've become a convert of using 5x and 4x almost exclusively for both nymphs and dries. Using a non-slip mono loop to attach the fly allows the use of a larger and stronger tippet for the smaller flies. I've used 5x for size 20 and 22 flies and use the loop to tie them on. The flies don't act like they're attached to a tree trunk and I've caught a lot of fish and haven't worried about losing a good fish due to tippet failure (good skills at playing the fish are required though). Another argument against the lighter tippets would be that of having to play a good fish to exhaustion in order to land it, thus putting the fish at risk of not recovering.

As a side note, I have modified most of my fly tying to include a wider gaped hook, such as a DaiRiki 125 emerger hook, for most, if not all, of my dries and nymphs, especially in the smaller sizes. Wider gape = better hookups. Give it a try.

Kelly.
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