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Thread: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

  1. #1
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    Default hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    Seem to be missing a ton of fish that hit the hopper. I'm pretty patient with the hook set but it seems that the dropper rig always gets in the way. The moment I remove the 2nd fly I can get almost every fish that takes the fly.

    Any suggestions? I've considered experimenting with tying the fly on in different ways other than using the bend in the hook.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    I have had similar experiences where the fish looks like it is striking but is actually turning away at the last second. This mostly happens to me in fast or stained water. I think that my top pattern is right, but the dropper is floating down stream of the top fly, so when the fish is coming up for the take it is hitting the dropper's line and quickly turning away.

    But it sounds to me that the fish is actually taking the fly down and just not getting all the hook in its mouth. Is that right?

    And this is interesting to me, Liprippin.com put a copper wire loop on the hook shank of their hopdicator pattern to keep the dropper line out of the way.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5neEL70DBhE]The ultimate strike indicator - Hopdicator - YouTube[/ame]

  3. #3
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    I don't tie dropper flies off the top hook for just that reason. I cut my tippet in two then join it back together again using a double surgeon's knot. I leave the tag ends extra long then cut one off. I tie my top fly to the tag end I left long. Hopefully that makes sense.
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by swirlchaser View Post
    I don't tie dropper flies off the top hook for just that reason. I cut my tippet in two then join it back together again using a double surgeon's knot. I leave the tag ends extra long then cut one off. I tie my top fly to the tag end I left long. Hopefully that makes sense.
    That is an interesting approach, are you getting a good drift with the hopper tied off the side like that and does it tend to tangle with the main line?
    Larry


  5. #5
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
    That is an interesting approach, are you getting a good drift with the hopper tied off the side like that and does it tend to tangle with the main line?
    I think the drift looks better because there's nothing tied to the back of the hopper holding it during the drift. I think it also responds better when I twitch the rod. Tangles happen once in a while but no more than usual.
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by swirlchaser View Post
    I think the drift looks better because there's nothing tied to the back of the hopper holding it during the drift. I think it also responds better when I twitch the rod. Tangles happen once in a while but no more than usual.
    Interesting, guess I need to give it a try the next time out! Thanks for sharing.
    Larry


  7. #7
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    thanks for the suggestions, i will definitely give them a try the next time im out

  8. #8

    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by swirlchaser View Post
    I don't tie dropper flies off the top hook for just that reason. I cut my tippet in two then join it back together again using a double surgeon's knot. I leave the tag ends extra long then cut one off. I tie my top fly to the tag end I left long. Hopefully that makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by swirlchaser View Post
    I think the drift looks better because there's nothing tied to the back of the hopper holding it during the drift. I think it also responds better when I twitch the rod. Tangles happen once in a while but no more than usual.

    The theory behind a "hopper/dropper" is that the hopper acts as a strike indicator. To act as a strike indicator, there must be some tension between the hopper and the dropper. If there is slack, there will be a delay in the hopper registering the take of the dropper. But if there is tension, it will affect the drift of the hopper.

    There is NO FREE LUNCH. What you have chosen is a longer drag free drift of the hopper BUT this results in a delay in registering the take of the dropper so what you have gained in the hopper, you have lost in the dropper.

    My view is that most of the time, the dropper is of much lower mass and has much less drag than the hopper. There is an effect on the hopper, but most of the time it is small.

    Everything is relative.

    The longer the dropper from the tippet knot to the hopper, the longer the drift. But this is only true if the the length of the tippet from the hopper to the rest of the leader is not shortened by you cutting it "in two" and placing a knot in it for the dropper to the hopper.

    Consider that if you have a 30" tippet and you cut it in half and place a knot as you say you do. Lets say that the knot takes up 4" for the dropper so the hopper is 15" plus the 4" dropper from the leader = so the tippet section is now 19" long to the hopper. The dropper is 11" from the dropper knot.

    What you have done is added space from the dropper BUT you have shortened the distance of the tippet section from the hooper to the leader from 30" to 19" so you will get less slack from the leader to the hopper. Your hopper will drag sooner than if the tippet was left at 30" and then you tied another 10" to the the dropper to the end of the hopper.

    You have decreased the drag from the dropper but you have increased the drag due to the shorter tippet section. Whether the hopper is dragged from the head of the fly (shorter tippet) or the tail of the fly (due to the dropper) is immaterial. With the hopper tied to the 4" dropper, both the hopper and dropper pull on the shorter tippet section rather than each other, and I doubt you actually get a longer drag free drift of the hopper which is what you are after.

    I suggest you not cut the tippet in half but add another section of tippet to the leader so the original tippet section maintains its length to the hopper.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  9. #9
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    The theory behind a "hopper/dropper" is that the hopper acts as a strike indicator. To act as a strike indicator, there must be some tension between the hopper and the dropper. If there is slack, there will be a delay in the hopper registering the take of the dropper. But if there is tension, it will affect the drift of the hopper.

    There is NO FREE LUNCH. What you have chosen is a longer drag free drift of the hopper BUT this results in a delay in registering the take of the dropper so what you have gained in the hopper, you have lost in the dropper.

    My view is that most of the time, the dropper is of much lower mass and has much less drag than the hopper. There is an effect on the hopper, but most of the time it is small.

    Everything is relative.

    The longer the dropper from the tippet knot to the hopper, the longer the drift. But this is only true if the the length of the tippet from the hopper to the rest of the leader is not shortened by you cutting it "in two" and placing a knot in it for the dropper to the hopper.

    Consider that if you have a 30" tippet and you cut it in half and place a knot as you say you do. Lets say that the knot takes up 4" for the dropper so the hopper is 15" plus the 4" dropper from the leader = so the tippet section is now 19" long to the hopper. The dropper is 11" from the dropper knot.

    What you have done is added space from the dropper BUT you have shortened the distance of the tippet section from the hooper to the leader from 30" to 19" so you will get less slack from the leader to the hopper. Your hopper will drag sooner than if the tippet was left at 30" and then you tied another 10" to the the dropper to the end of the hopper.

    You have decreased the drag from the dropper but you have increased the drag due to the shorter tippet section. Whether the hopper is dragged from the head of the fly (shorter tippet) or the tail of the fly (due to the dropper) is immaterial. With the hopper tied to the 4" dropper, both the hopper and dropper pull on the shorter tippet section rather than each other, and I doubt you actually get a longer drag free drift of the hopper which is what you are after.

    I suggest you not cut the tippet in half but add another section of tippet to the leader so the original tippet section maintains its length to the hopper.
    While everything above is accurate the original post wasn't "how do I make my hopper an effective indicator". The issue is he is getting strikes on the hopper but losing the fish, when he removes the dropper he gets more hooksets. His questions was how do I make the hopper a more effective fish catcher, that's why I offered my solution. If he had asked for a more effective indicator setup I would have told him to buy a Thingamabobber. (yup, I said it)
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: hook sets with hopper/dropper rigs

    Exactly, right now fish are killing the hopper and with the right dropper you can get some that way too. Most of the time if I seem to only be getting strikes on the top fly I will just cut off the dropper. But, days like I had saturday where they were absolutely killing these stonefly nymphs I just decided to not worry about the strikes that I missed on the hopper.

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