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Old 01-30-2013, 11:17 AM
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Default Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

Some time ago I was told, by someone who knows nearly everything, that some rods, Sage in particular, have too stiff of rod tips and this leads to breaking of tippet when a fish strikes. I discounted this information and I have never had a tippet break on a fish strike but I fish small streams and it is unlikely that Moby Trout will attack my fly.

Are tippet breaks “common” with stiff rod tips when a large fish hits your fly?

jlb
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

In my experiences fishing for trout with a multitude of rods (including Sage) and ranging from stiff to softer tip breakage is usually the result of: poorly tied knots, nicks in the tippet, a fish that has me twisted around some object under the water or mishandling the drag. It could be that my drag has been too tightly set or I applied too much pressure on the palming ring. Any combination of the aforementioned could also lead to breakage.

I do think there is some correlation in more moderate rods protecting lighter tippets better but it's not a rule carved in stone and there are certainly ways around it. You've got to factor in the angler and the way the entire rod is designed to perform.

I also believe that the species of fish you're targeting and body of water those fish live in will lead you to characteristics that are more desirable if selecting a new fly rod. That said, a good fisherman can catch fish with any rod and reel. That's not to say I'd take a 3wt with me if I were going King Salmon.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

I have had some stiff rods but have never broken a tippet at 5x or stronger because of the rod. (Have broken plenty due to badly tied knots and wind knots, but those were my fault, not the rod's.) Most 5x tippet tests out at 4-5lb breaking strength, which should be plenty to handle even pretty big trout. If it's a problem, I suspect it might occur more often as you get down to 6x tippet and smaller -- but you shouldn't be fishing that delicately with a stiff rod anyway.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jborn View Post
Some time ago I was told, by someone who knows nearly everything, that some rods, Sage in particular, have too stiff of rod tips and this leads to breaking of tippet when a fish strikes. I discounted this information and I have never had a tippet break on a fish strike but I fish small streams and it is unlikely that Moby Trout will attack my fly.

Are tippet breaks “common” with stiff rod tips when a large fish hits your fly?

jlb
Solutions:

1. Slip strike

2. Furled leader to absorb the strike

3. Rio shock gum in a standard leader. OR between the fly line and furled leader.


Trout Shock Gum Tippet Material in Spools by RIO: Fly Fishing Gear - Burleson Sporting Co.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

Yes....fast stiff rods are less forgiving than soft rods but I still prefer fast stiff rods. First of all, when stream fishing (I mean very small streams that are easy to jump across), I want a fast rod to keep the fish away from the underwater snags. The first thing a brook trout does is try to go back to his hiding place which is often an ideal place to get snagged.

With a stiffer rod, there is no need to really strike the fish because they usually hook themselves. The angle of the rod determines whether or not the strike will be hard or softer. If you want a hard stiff strike, you point the rod towards the fly. If you want softer strikes, you lift the rod tip before the fish's strike.

When I was a kid, I used to fish small streams for brook trout with just a rather stiff branch. The line would be rolled up on the end of the branch. Often, I would poke the branch through the streamside brush and unroll the line until the bait was in the water. I always outfished the guys who were using fishing rods and reels because the rather stiff branch kept the fish away from his hiding place. The stiff branch also gave excellent hook sets.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Solutions:

1. Slip strike

2. Furled leader to absorb the strike

3. Rio shock gum in a standard leader. OR between the fly line and furled leader.


Trout Shock Gum Tippet Material in Spools by RIO: Fly Fishing Gear - Burleson Sporting Co.

Click the image to open in full size.
+1 to what he said. Even with Steelhead you sometimes have to go down to very light leaders. (As low as 4#, 6 is where I normally draw the line.) But the furled leader is a key component. Amazing how well they act as a shock absorber with light tippet.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jborn View Post
Some time ago I was told, by someone who knows nearly everything
Therein lies the problem.

So what's his evaluation of Loomis rods?
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

My 1st time fly fishing for trout in WV I managed to snap a 7X tippet off on the hook set on a dry fly -- but it was mostly due to excitement and lack of familiarity with such light line .

My advice, in addition to this slip strike thing, is don't set the hook so damned hard

I managed a nice 20" rainbow on 5X tippet nymphing earlier in the day, so no biggie.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

[QUOTE=fredaevans;521762But the furled leader is a key component. Amazing how well they act as a shock absorber with light tippet.[/QUOTE]

Once again I am in complete agreement with Fred.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Fly Rod Tip Stiffness and Tippet Breakage

I imagine you can learn to compensate for losing fish on the strike with too stiff rods. Personally, I like rods that play the role of shock tippet and furled leaders by have compliant yet responsive tips. On the tailwaters I sometimes fish the difference between catching fish or not depends on the ability to use the lightest and longest of leaders. I give a lot of the credit to my catch rate there on the give of the rod and the smoothness of the reel drag.
I had a Project Healing Waters veteran on those waters and he just could not keep a fish on. He was using a rod he built for a PHW rod building contest last year. I saw him miss a ton of takes or so I thought he missed them. When I asked to try his rig I also missed every take too. It wasn't so much misses as ripping small sections lip off of the fish with the very small flies we were using on that very stiff rod he built.
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