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Old 04-13-2013, 09:49 PM
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Default Why did my tippet ruin my day?

Today I got out to do some steelhead fishing on the Grand River in Ohio. The bite was excellent but I only managed to land 1 of 7 solid hook-ups. On 4 of those lost fish, the reason was broken tippet - with three breaks occurring right at the eye of the hook. When I would examine the broken line, my clinch knot would still be in tact...but the knot would be broken right where the line loops through the eye of the fly - almost like the eye of the hook cut through the line.

It was especially frustrating because the water color allowed for pretty hefty line and I was supposedly using good stuff - Rio Powerflex 3x (8.2lb). Anyone else experience this problem or have any explanation for it?

I have been using a clinch knot since I was a child and never had problems with it but I have read that it is not the strongest knot. I am sort of reluctant to believe that my tippet was bad. I have owned it for maybe a year and it stays in my fishing vest, in my closet (out of the sun and always at room temperature). Plus, it does not appear to be cracked or brittle.

I need to solve this problem. At the very least, I think I will be shopping for new tippet and looking for a new, stronger knot to attach my fly. In the mean time, here is a picture of the one fish I did land:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

I've had bad leader already, test the knots really well and perhaps consider using something other than a clinch. I use the Orvis knot, google it and try.

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

I switched from the clinch to the Orvis knot about 19 years ago. Simple to tie and it does not waste tippet.

The double clinch is a stronger knot BUT it requires that you take the tippet through the hook eye twice and after the wraps, take it back through those two loops. It's way too fussy a knot.

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Old 04-14-2013, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

Possible cause... tightening a dry knot.

Are you wetting the knot before cinching it down? If you don't do this, the heat from the friction when tightening the knot can severely weaken your line in the knot area.

I use a simple clinch knot and once the line is wrapped and passed back through, I get some saliva on there before tightening it down.

Just a thought... I never really had the tippet fail exactly where do describe (that I can recall anyway).
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

I would chuck that leader and get some maxima or seaguar. I ran into a whole batch of bad fluorocarbon 4 or 5 years ago on from two different stores on 4 different spools, counting my buddy's two spools (same brand). Bass pro had to send their inventory of that entire load back.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

If you are doing a dry knot would be my first thing. I either spit a ton on it or hold it in the stream, but I just bought some Trout Hunter and my last outting lost about 4 flies due to knots breaking, I was pretty angry to say the least. Not sure what was happening since I know my knots were wet when pulling them tight.

But I will probably toss the Trout Hunter and go back to my Maxima.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjc View Post
I would chuck that leader and get some maxima or seaguar. I ran into a whole batch of bad fluorocarbon 4 or 5 years ago on from two different stores on 4 different spools, counting my buddy's two spools (same brand). Bass pro had to send their inventory of that entire load back.
I've experienced the same issue with a few years back, could be your tippet material is bad.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuie675 View Post
If you are doing a dry knot would be my first thing. I either spit a ton on it or hold it in the stream, but I just bought some Trout Hunter and my last outting lost about 4 flies due to knots breaking, I was pretty angry to say the least. Not sure what was happening since I know my knots were wet when pulling them tight.

But I will probably toss the Trout Hunter and go back to my Maxima.
That's a good observation. The heat from friction can really weaken your knots. I always moisten the knot as I cinch it in. I rarely will use tippet material from year to year. Usually get new stuff every year. Also any bug spray that may have come in contact with it may weaken it too. Maybe pull a few yards off to get deeper into the roll may help too.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

Lots of good suggestions and possible causes. I'm like the OP and have used the clinch knot for years on trout, smallmouth and Great Lakes steelies. I have confidence in the knot's ability to hold so when failure happens, I'm first looking at an error I made. Wetting the knot is crucial. If it keeps breaking, then I really question the tippet material I'm using. The shale bottoms can be rough on tippet, I use Seaguar Fluoro and really like Maxima to build leaders. Sometimes no matter what brand material you buy you run into a bad batch. It happens.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Why did my tippet ruin my day?

I really appreciate all the responses and suggestions. I have never been a big fan of the orvis knot but I may try the nonslip loop knot, as it seems to be strong, fairly easy to tie, and have some other advantages.

I must say that I know I am supposed to wet a knot before tightening it but I am not sure I did it every time. There is a good chance I was being careless because I have never experienced this problem before and never was quite sure how important it is. I will definitely not leave that to chance again.

If nothing else, at least I have a good excuse to go to the fly shop and pick up some new tippet and flies! Still frustrated to have wasted one of those perfect days on the water. Live and learn I guess.
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