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Old 04-28-2008, 03:21 PM
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Default One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

I've searched this question. And I've found lots of information. But I'm hoping to distill all the forum brainpowers' knowledge into this one thread for the direct benefit of those of us trying to hone the skills that separate gotcha! moments from indifferent fish.

The Question: How do you completely hide that darn tippet?

I've been casting on a small local pond lately and my tippet sticks out like a search light cutting through thin night fog. It's just this long, ripply-looking thread pointing directly at the fly. I've seen fish gathered in groups below it, looking up at it. I think they're laughing.

I've read that a sinking tippet (flurocarbon?) is good--but that there are some problems with using one of those. I've also read where one should apply some "sink-ant" (opposite of floatant, I suppose) to the last several inches of the tippet before the fly. Does that work to get it under water enough to hide it without messing up a tiny dry fly's posture on the water? Where do you find such a magic potion? Brand name?

Is there anything else one can to to erase that clear--but very obvious--line between fly-line-end and fly-on-the-water?

Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

I don't think it matters all that much for larger patterns and bass type fishing.
For smaller patterns and trout (and other "smart" fish), I use 4x or 5x with
good results. I'll occassionally use 6x for stuff smaller than a #14 dry. I think
having the leader on top of the water might be better than having it a few inches below, unless it becomes invisible below. I dunno....Isaac Walton used
horse hair tippets .

I've been tying my own leaders for several years now, and Orvis SS mono works well for me.
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Old 04-28-2008, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

What size flies and tippet are you using?
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

Fluorocarbon work well, almost completely invisible in the water. Tippet size depends on situation and fly size. I have never had a problem with it. Use double surgeons to attach tippet to leader, make sure you wet the knot before tightening.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo View Post
What size flies and tippet are you using?
5x and 6x tippets. Flies from about #18 to #22.

And while we're on the subject of tippets and flies, I have a question about the Turle (Double Turle, that is) knot: When I tie it according to the book, and then pull on the short end to tighten it, it actually slips away from the fly. Pulling on the tippet end, however, tightens it. Is this how it's supposed to work?

Just tryin' to learn and figure out the little tricks.......
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

First off, your post tells me that you've got vision that many of us will be jealous of.

The visibility of the tippet on super calm water is a tricky situation. Fluorocarbon should sink enough to become invisible, but then you've got your tippet pulling your fly down. The other option is a tippet that floats, but is more visible.

Then there's the fact that you can make flouro float if you get enough skin oil on it to function as a floatant, or enough saliva to get mono to sink.

My advice- fish those small dries on water that is moving enough to hide the tippet, or fish nymphs and emergers when its so calm the leader can't be hidden.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
First off, your post tells me that you've got vision that many of us will be jealous of.
If you'd been with me this evening at the local pond you'd retract that otherwise very kind statement! I never could get a 7x through the eye of a #20 mosquito! (I'm blaming it on the falling darkness).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
The visibility of the tippet on super calm water is a tricky situation. Fluorocarbon should sink enough to become invisible, but then you've got your tippet pulling your fly down. The other option is a tippet that floats, but is more visible.
My "ability" to see the tippet on the water is completely a function of it lying in the surface tension and being quite visible. Calm water, of course, makes it really stand out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
My advice- fish those small dries on water that is moving enough to hide the tippet, or fish nymphs and emergers when its so calm the leader can't be hidden.
Sound advice, Cliff!

Seems like I read somewhere herein that saliva applied to a tippet will help it sink below the surface. Anyone tried that? Does it work?
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

the possibility exists that the tippet you see is not a factor for the laughing fish. they could be laughing at the fly you've chosen or the drag (but since you're on a pond there shouldn't be any unless some wind is blowing the fly). i often see my 5x tippet and i still catch fish. how long have you been fly fishing? how would you rate your technique in whole especially in presentation?

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Old 04-29-2008, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

Hi HTiger,

What you are seeing is the leader laying in the surface tension. I would use a Fluo tippet. Movement will cause the leader to break the surface tension. For lake fishing you might find you need to add something to the last few inches of the tippet so it will break the surface tension. There is a commercial leader sink that you can use. You can also use a detergent liquid soap. I have use the soap and it worked OK. It will wash off and you need to reapply frequently.

Frank

Gehrkes Xink Leader Sink
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: One more time: How do you hide a tippet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezamora View Post
the possibility exists that the tippet you see is not a factor for the laughing fish. they could be laughing at the fly you've chosen or the drag (but since you're on a pond there shouldn't be any unless some wind is blowing the fly).
That's quite possible! Usually there's very little or no drag--except in a breeze. I think the chosen fly is usually Ok. I'm catching plenty of fish. I just want to sharpen the skills and be able to hide the tippet better. I guess I don't really mind if the fish laugh some; they should enjoy the sport, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezamora View Post
i often see my 5x tippet and i still catch fish. how long have you been fly fishing?
Well, off and on about 20 years. But living far from trout, and being distracted by work and raising boys, it's a sporadic thing. Finding this nearby pond and fishing for bream has helped in getting out more consistently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezamora View Post
how would you rate your technique in whole especially in presentation?
Overall, decent. I can usually get the fly very near where I want it to be. And if I pay attention I can usually get it to lay fairly gently on the water. Some casts are rather comical. But those are usually executed around moments of brief but significant inattention. And are more likely than not to result in a short cast with a pile of line on the water with a fly in there somewhere.


I usually reel in somewhere between a dozen and twenty bream in a 90-minute period. Nothing great. And there's about a half-dozen to a dozen strikes that didn't result in catches mixed in those landings. (Next skill for focus: Reliably setting the hook!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
Hi HTiger,

What you are seeing is the leader laying in the surface tension. I would use a Fluo tippet. Movement will cause the leader to break the surface tension. For lake fishing you might find you need to add something to the last few inches of the tippet so it will break the surface tension. There is a commercial leader sink that you can use. You can also use a detergent liquid soap. I have use the soap and it worked OK. It will wash off and you need to reapply frequently.

Frank

Gehrkes Xink Leader Sink
Click the image to open in full size.
Thanks, Frank! I'll look for some of that stuff in the local fishin' stores. Worth giving it a try.
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