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  1. Default Leader and tippet question.

    Is a leader also a tippet or do you have a leader then also have to attatch a tippet? My leader that is attatched to the fly line with the two loops gets very small in diameter at the end. Am I supposed to attatch a piece of tippet to it and if so how long?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Leader and tippet question.

    Hi Neptune,

    That is a good question and is always a mystery to new fly fishers. The leader has a butt section that is the large diameter line with the loop on it. This is the end that you fasten to the fly line. The other end that is much smaller in diameter is the tippet end. On the package the leader came in is listed the tippet size of the leader in a X size. So you could have a 9' long leader that tapers to a 5X tippet. The tippet diameter is also stated on the package. The small diameter tippet is from 20" to 30" or so long. As you tie on flies you use up the tippet until it is quite short. You then take tippet material that comes on spools and tie on another tippet to make it a 9' leader again. Each time you use up the tippet you tie on another one. This allows you to use one leader for a lot of fishing. Make sure you replace the tippet before it gets so short that your leader end begins to get bigger.

    If you are using a 5X tippet and want to use tiny flies you may need to add a smaller tippet to the existing leader to change it from a 5X tippet to 7X. The larger the X number the smaller diameter the tippet is. You would take some 7X tippet material from the spool and tie it to the 5X leader and you now have a leader with a 7X tippet.

    Here is a very handy chart that may help you out.

  3. Default Re: Leader and tippet question.


    I see. Thank you for helping to clear this up for me. I was going to take a kind of "orientation" on fly fishing from a local shop to answer questions but it was canceled due to lack of enrollment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Leader and tippet question.


    Glad it helped you out. Your shop should be giving you lots of information if you are buying anything from them. There is also a lot of basic information on the WEB.

  5. Default Re: Leader and tippet question.

    Yes, you should attach tippet material...flourocarbon preferably.

    Most tippet materials have a much lower visual index under water making them harder for a fish to see and hence the fish is less likely to be leader spooked.

    You can fish successfully without it but why make things harder for yourself.

    A surgeons knot is a simple way to attach it... I use about two feet of tippet material which is included in an over all length of leader etc of one and a half to two rod lengths for both dry fly and nymph fishing

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