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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 08-03-2014, 07:29 PM
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Default Does this sound right?

New member with my first (but not last) dumb question.
Wasn't sure where to post this but since I mainly target Pan Fish and Smallies I figured this was a good start. If there's a better place in the future let me know.

Anywhooo,,,I've been using a little 8' 4wt Reddington for a few years now but this year I decided to upgrade to a 9' 6wt. Shortly after I got it my friend who's pretty knowledgeable about fly fishing stopped by with a little care package for me with a couple of 3X leaders and some 3X tippet material. Well I had some Orvis credits and wanted to set this rig up with the knotless stuff so I ordered a kit from them specifying my 6wt line. The kit came with the connectors, a five pack of 3X tippets and two 0X tapered leaders. 0X leader is 15.5#'s which seems and looks like an awful lot for my set up. I called the tech at Orvis and he said it's correct because you want to match the smallest di. of the leader to the thickest di. of the tippet. He's the expert I guess but I'd still be interested in yall's point of view.

Thanks, Charlie
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Does this sound right?

Did they recommend tying 3x tippet to the sharp end of an 0x tapered leader? I never jump up more than two sizes, some won't go up more than one, I don't know anyone who skips three unless they've no choice. milt
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Does this sound right?

Yea,,, that's exactly what they told me to do.
Sent me the parts to do it with too.
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Last edited by fieldgrade; 08-03-2014 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Does this sound right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldgrade View Post
New member with my first (but not last) dumb question.

Well I had some Orvis credits and wanted to set this rig up with the knotless stuff so I ordered a kit from them specifying my 6wt line. The kit came with the connectors, a five pack of 3X tippets and two 0X tapered leaders. 0X leader is 15.5#'s which seems and looks like an awful lot for my set up. I called the tech at Orvis and he said it's correct because you want to match the smallest di. of the leader to the thickest di. of the tippet. He's the expert I guess but I'd still be interested in yall's point of view.

Thanks, Charlie
The Orvis expert is absolutely correct. Here is why.

0X is 0.011" and 3X is 0.008", a difference of 0.003".

The maximum diameter change is NOT 0.002" as is described by a number of publications. It is an error that has been repeated so often that it is taken as truth although logic should tell you it is TOTALLY WRONG.

What is important is the RELATIVE diameter change. For example, a change of 0.002" going from .010" to 0.008" is step down of 20% or 1/5, but a change of 0.002" going from 0.005" to 0.003" is a change of 40% or 2/5.

Physics tells us that although both are the same change diameter of 0.002", they are NOT the same change in linear mass density. It is the relative difference in linear mass density and not a fixed 0.002" (2X size) change that determines the change in mass at any leader step down transition.

By experimentation, Gary Borger has determined that the maximum change in linear mass density for a leader should be no greater than 50% which turns out to be a step down in diameter of about 30% or 1/3 diameter of the larger section to the smaller.

A step down of 3X sizes from 0.011" to 0.008" is less than a 30% change so you can tie the 3X tippet to the end of the 0X leader and it will work fine. The Orvis "expert" is absolutely correct in his recommendation that tying 3X tippet to a 0X leader will work.

Here's an easy way to determine the maximum allowable diameter change. Take the diameter of the thicker section, in this case 0.011, and multiple by 2. This gives 0.022". Divide by 3, which is 0.007". 0.007" or 4X is the thinnest diameter that you can tie on to 1X and still get a smooth transfer of the casting momentum/kinetic energy through the transition point.

This easy calculation of multiplying the thicker diameter by 2 and dividing the result by 3 will give you the minimum allowable diameter of the next section.

For the technically minded folks read the section that I posted regarding the physics of leader design in this post:

Leader tying
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Does this sound right?

OK,,, One no and one yes ^^^^^

I went back and reread what Harry Murray has to say on the subject in his little book "Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass" that has helped me allot in my quest for Pan Fish.
He also recommends matching the diameter of the line to the butt end of the leader.
Then I compared the butt end dia. of three different manufacturers "3X" leaders. Turns out they're all over the place so I guess a guy just needs to ignore the "size" and look at the dia. of the particular leader you're buying.

I guess my next question is why even have all the X-this and X-that sizes when no two are the same.
Seems to me that small, medium, and large would suffice.

Course,,, this isn't the first time I've run into this kind of thing so now that I know I guess I can adapt. Goes against everything I know though. One day a guy can be fishing with a 12 pound leader and the next a 15 pound leader (both the same dia.) attached to an eight pound tippet , trying to catch a one pound fish. LOL



Silver Creek,,, had to read it a couple of times but your post definitely got me headed in the right direction.
(I think.)
Thanks man.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Does this sound right?

Follow what Silver Creek has said & you'll be fine. Diameter is a far better indication of what to use than the "X" designations.

I used to get confused too about all the "X" designations. Fact is, different makers may have different formulas for their material & breaking strengths are often averages of their testing. So, when comparing different brands it's not always apples to apples. It's also in their best interest to inflate the "averages" a bit to make the tippet seem stronger. After all, why wouldn't an angler want the strongest tippet with the smallest diameter? What's on the label may or may not be a true measure of actual breaking strength in real life fishing situations. Sometimes even the labelled diameter may not be accurate if you check it with a tippet gauge or micrometer.

I remember some magazine articles that compared various "tippet" & some that compared various bulk line & it was surprising that much of the results didn't match the labeled measurements.

Since you're fishing for panfish & bass, it's not going to be critical what diameter tippet you use. As long as you use a tippet that strong enough to handle the fish & conditions, you should be good. Keep in mind too that the type of fly you use may work better with different line diameters to get the best "action" from the fly.

Silver has also posted some great information in the past about why to use certain tippets & materials for "drag free drift". However, that primarily pertains to dry flies, and may not be something to be concerned with for panfish or bass. If it is, then the same line of thought can be applied.

I stopped using "tippet" material long ago, since I'm primarily a warmwater & tidalwater angler. I simply buy bulk spools of line, which is often less pricey than tippet. I also tie my own leaders, but do follow what Silver Creek has posted to get efficient transfer of energy. That's the important part of leader & tippet construction!

Heck, I make my leaders & tippet with Yozuri Hybrid, which I also use on some of my baitcasters & spinning gear, & most of the time I'm simply using 20 lb test for tippet anyway as I'm targeting bass in some nasty snags or Striped Bass & that size tippet stands up to the abuse better. The fish don't seem to mind!

When I'm fishing for panfish, I never get concerned about "X" labels & anything from 4 to 10 lb line for tippet is fine!
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