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Old 12-06-2012, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: 6 Weight rod, lightest tippet size can I get away with?

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Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
On the other hand, I hear fly fisherman talk about "breaking fish off" far, far more often than I've ever heard from any other fishermen (bass, catfish, pike, carp - including british "bait runner" guys, etc.) and I have to assume it's at least sometimes due to mismatching tippet and rod size (or rod bend, etc. and all the other factors that affect whether a rod can protect a tippet)...unless fly fisherman are just less skilled at playing fish as a group, which I highly doubt.


Thanks again people! You're awesome --
Breaking a fish off is almost always operator error. The most common one I see, and this goes for any style of fishing, is when a fish starts running line out on them, they feel the overwhelming urge to put an end to that and tighten up the drag. Ping! Fish gone. Not setting your drag right in the first place is another way to 'operator error' it. If I am worried about big fish and light line I set the drag with a good scale on a straight pull. Then leave it alone unless you get one run you out into backing, then maybe you may want to loosen it a tad as the drag gets stronger down into the spool. Set it for 25% of the breaking strength of the line. Keep in mind the more the rod is bent the more drag on the line. If a fish burns line off at a rate that scares you, instead of palming the snot out of it or cranking down your drag you should instead point the rod more at the fish. Guys bust fish off or loose them in jumps a lot. If you keep the tip low to the water you reduce jumps but if they do go airborne on you, again point the rod and lean into it. Keep the slack out though. Commonly referred to as bow to the fish. Bad knots is one of the most common ways to loose a fish also. Not just poorly tied knots, but bad knots. Some knots just suck. To get big fish succesfully on ....well anything, you need to have all your ducks in a row. Anything that you or your equipment does wrong can and usually ends with a fish busting off.

Then there are things you can't control. Busting you off on objects in the water. Submerged wood etc. Cutting you off. Pike and other toothy fish. The lighter the line the easier they can clip you. You can rig to stop that but there are tradeoffs there also. I don't count getting clipped off as a bust off.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: 6 Weight rod, lightest tippet size can I get away with?

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Actually in a situation where you need to protect a light tippet on the hook set, it's best to use a slip strike. (not to be confused with strip )
Let it slip right onto the reel, I don't play the fish by hand when I'm going under 5x unless I can see that its not "reel worthy".
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: 6 Weight rod, lightest tippet size can I get away with?

Jackster has an excellent point. Head shaking is very hard to deal with with a light tippet. That said, I have fished dries on a 6 weight rod with 6X tippet and landed 2# trout without much difficulty.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: 6 Weight rod, lightest tippet size can I get away with?

Update: I took my 6 weight and some spools of simple mono in 4, 6 and 8 pound test and did some very unscientific testing of me tying each tippet and hooking a small hook onto a stationary object and testing how much "bend" I could put into the fly rod without risking breakage --

The result? All 3 tippet sizes held just fine even with a pretty "meaty" bend in this rod...which basically means I can confidently fish a really wide variety of flies and tippets without too much worry. This was not what I had expected, but I'm definitely happy with it.

So you guys who were telling me it was possible were right .... my assumption was wrong! I just wanted to make sure to post this admission since I hate it when people who are proven wrong still won't admit it .

Thanks again --

---------- Post added at 04:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 PM ----------

Update: I took my 6 weight and some spools of simple mono in 4, 6 and 8 pound test and did some very unscientific testing of me tying each tippet and hooking a small hook onto a stationary object and testing how much "bend" I could put into the fly rod with risking breakage --

The result? All 3 tippet sizes held just fine even with a pretty "meaty" bend in this rod...which basically means I can confidently fish a really wide variety of flies and tippets without too much worry. This was not what I had expected, but I'm definitely happy with it. I can now throw huge bass bugs with my 8 pound test (or larger), and then switch to my little soft hackles on 4-6 pound. I'm very, very happy about this because I love this rod.

So you guys who were telling me it was possible were right .... my assumption was wrong! I just wanted to make sure to post this admission since I hate it when people who are proven wrong still won't admit it .

Thanks again --
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: 6 Weight rod, lightest tippet size can I get away with?

I often use my 6 weight for trout fishing and routinely fish down to #16 and #18 hooks on 4x and 5x tippet. Up until maybe 20 years ago a 6 weight rod was probably the size most recommended for "all-around" trout fishing. Modern leader material is stronger than in the old days, too -- even 6x typically tests out at 3.5 lb or stronger. You may need to be more careful if you have one of the newer ultrafast rods that is stiff all the way to the tip, but you should be fine fishing #14 hooks on 4x or 5x.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: 6 Weight rod, lightest tippet size can I get away with?

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Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
Hi - I love my 6 weight and use it mostly with medium flies (6-12) for warm water fishing. Usually I use 8 pound test as tippet and have absolutely no problems.

I'd like to throw some more soft hackles in the 10-14 size, and would like to step down a little in tippet size for these flies, particularly the 14 size.

What is the lightest tippet you'd use on a 6 weight (given that you have one) without having to underplay the fish due to risk of breaking off? Could I get away with 3-4x? 3X is about the same dia as most brands of 4 pound test (0.08), so I don't know whether I should trust it.

Thanks!
8x is not out of the question its been done when fussy fish dictate the need for spiderweb tippets.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: 6 Weight rod, lightest tippet size can I get away with?

I might have missed it, but I didn't notice any mention of "wind knots" or abrasion as a cause of tippet breakage. Both are common and leaders should be frequently inspected.
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