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Old 08-11-2010, 10:10 AM
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Default Fly Size Relation To Tippet Size

I learned from experience what a fly too large, or with large wings, can do to a tippet that's too small, and found after the fact, Hardyreels described it perfectly as seen in THIS post.

In that case, I was using a #12 hook with a fly that had fairly large wings on a 5X tippet.

Now, my question is, how will a small fly, #16 as example, act on a larger tippet, let's say a 3X?

Will it cause any problems or issues?

I do plan on buying a spare reel so one can be loaded lighter than the other, but for the time being, I'll stick with what I have.

Thanks in advance.

Jamie
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Fly Size Relation To Tippet Size

Jamie-

At some point, using a heavier tippets with small flies you'll have difficulty getting the tippet through the eye of the hook-- so there's that..

But you may also have some difficulty getting good natural drifts with small flies on heavier tippets. As a general rule, the smaller the fly, the lighter and limper the tippet you'll want.

Here's a link to Frank's FAQ on tippets and hook sizes:
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...-do-i-use.html

The divide by four and add one is a handy guideline to match the tippet X size to different hook sizes.

---------- Post added at 02:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:34 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieof View Post

I do plan on buying a spare reel so one can be loaded lighter than the other, but for the time being, I'll stick with what I have.

Thanks in advance.

Jamie
Jamie, I just thought I'd add that for fishing different size flies, you wouldn't need a spare reel---

If you're using a tapered monofilament leader, what most folks would do would be to carry a few spools of different X sizes of tippet and add a short length (2 - 2 1/2') of tippet to the end of their leader. This will allow you to snip sections of tippet to change flies without chopping up your tapered leader.

For trout fishing for example, if you're using a leader tapered to 3X carrying spools of tippet you could add a short length of:

3X for flies size 10-14
4X for sizes 12-16
5X for sizes 14-18
6X for flies sizes 16-22*

*Note: Generally you'd want to keep connections between tippet and leader to within 2 "X sizes" of diameter for better presentations and more secure knots. It will make for a better transition at the end of your cast by helping to lay out the fly at the end of you leader and tippet, and will lead to more secure knots by using sections of similar diameters. In this case, using a 6X tippet on a 3X leader, you'd add a short 6" section of 4X or 5X between the end of the 3X leader to step down the connection between your 3X leader and 6X tippet.

Some leaders, like the "furled" leaders made by Joni http://utahflygoddess.yolasite.com/ make this a lot easier. These are made using several strands (of mono, fluoro etc) "furled" into a leader, usually with a small metal "tippet ring" at the end. You can attach up to 5' or so of different size tippets to the ring. Although initially a bit more expensive than tapered mono leaders, furled leaders are great and many folks swear by them. The rings make attaching different tippets easy and the design of the furled leader really helps to lay out the fly at the end of the cast.



Hope this helps
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Fly Size Relation To Tippet Size

Wonderful post with great information Mark, thank you very kindly.

As a note on the reels, the lighter leader / tippet isn't the only reason for the purchase of a spare reel (which I've already done, by the way, late yesterday).

I've found a place where I need to learn Roll Casting to be able to fish there. I have my original reel loaded with WF line and am having issues learning to Roll Cast. I've read that it's easier with DT lines, so that's one reason. The lighter tippet is obviously another reason. Also, the other night I had to change a leader out on the pond, and that was less than fun. I rig up a simple jig at home to help tie the Nail Knot, and it's a lot easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
At some point, using a heavier tippets with small flies you'll have difficulty getting the tippet through the eye of the hook-- so there's that..

>>>SNIP
Last night while fishing I had major issues trying to thread a 5X through what I believe is a # 16 hook, so I see what you're saying. It was raining, my El Cheapo Dollar Store reading glasses I keep in the vest were fogging easily and I couldn't see very well. I tried the same tippet on the same fly when I got home, with dry clean glasses and better light, and it still wasn't easy. I tried with a 3X and absolutely no go.

Again, thanks Mark.

Jamie
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Fly Size Relation To Tippet Size

5x is what I use for most of my trout fishing. Sometimes, when using size 18 or smaller flies it seems the 5x may be too large, but I want the strength of that sized tippet for the larger size fish I'm hoping to catch so I use a loop knot on my fly which allows the fly to swing naturally yet gives me some strength and resultant trust in my tippet for larger fish. Here is a tutorial from Orvis which really gives simple instructions for tying this knot: Orvis_Knots Click on the Non-Slip Mono Loop tutorial and enjoy.

I also use this knot when fishing streamers or buggers on larger tippets.

Kelly.

P.S.: Make sure you use quality tippet material such as RIO, or some other. Some of the off brands, i.e.: WalMart or Sportsmen's Outlet seem to be a bit inferior, but you definitely get what you pay for, so get the best you can afford.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Fly Size Relation To Tippet Size

Jamie,

You're very welcome, happy to help, and you've got good advice from Kelly.

An extra spool can be helpful for carrying extra lines. A double taper might be a bit easier to roll cast--- but if you have a floating weight forward already, you might want to consider getting a weight forward sink tip instead--- you might find that being able to get down and fish different levels in the pond might be a better addition since you have a floater already. (You should still be able to roll cast with a weight forward floater although it might be a tad more difficult than with a double taper floater.)

IMHO, a sink tip (with a 10-15 foot sinking tip on the end of a floating line) will be a bit easier to manage if you fish ponds/lakes wading from shore, or fish moving water (streams etc) as opposed to a "full sink" line where the whole line sinks (no floating portion). The floating portion of the sink tip can be mended in moving water, and will help prevent the line from dragging on the bottom near shore on the retrieve. (If you fished mostly deep water ponds/lakes from a boat or tube, a full sink might be a better choice than a sink tip.)

And i hear you about changing flies--- especially in low light.

Now that I'm an ancient relic I have a hard time threading tippet through tiny hook eyes. One thing that helps is a fly threader like these from C & F:

Click the image to open in full size.

They come in various sizes and come as a set of four threaders for 17 bucks or so. I'd probably get the midge size since you can use it on medium and large hooks too. Although the midge size is more delicate because of the thinner wire, the larger size threaders have thicker wire that might not fit a small hook eye very easily.

C & F also sells fly boxes with threaders built in, but they're expensive:
Click the image to open in full size.

Hopefully you shouldn't have to change the actual leaders too often (as opposed to sections of tippet at the end of the leader). But sometimes tangles happen as you're learning that may call for changing leaders.

To make things a bit easier to change leaders at least for now, you may want to consider adding a loop to the end of your fly line--- you don't have to do it right away, but the next time you change leaders, instead of cutting the fly line and retying a nail knot, clip the butt section of the old leader and tie a Perfection Loop in it, leaving about 3-6" plus knot of the old leader attached to the fly line. You can tie a Perfection Loop like this:
Perfection Loop | How to tie the Perfection Loop | Fishing Knots

Tie another Perfection Loop in the butt section of the new leader (if it doesn't already have one) and attach the two sections with a Loop-to-Loop Connection:
Loop-to-Loop Connection | Killroys Fly Tying

The loop to loop connection might "hinge" a bit at the connection, and tends to pick up a bit more weed, so I prefer a direct connection to the fly line (I use an Albright Knot instead of a Nail Knot), but it's a very easy connection to make if you find you're changing leaders a lot.

Hope this helps..
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Last edited by peregrines; 08-12-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Fly Size Relation To Tippet Size

Excellent info from Mark!

Kelly.
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