Which Brand Tippet?

silver creek

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The principal reasons why I don't use Nylon in the tropics where I fish are 1) it absorbs water over time,2) it deteriorates due to UV light, 3) it's not tough enough anywhere around coral,rubble and structure, 4) it stretches, 5)it floats rather than sinks.Fluorocarbon doesn't exhibit any of these qualities.No-one I know and fish with uses Nylon monofilament.Fresh water fishing is a different ball game.I'll concede that knots need to be tied properly,but isn't that the case with every line?
I agree with the differences between nylon and fluorocarbon except for fluorocarbon being able to break the surface tension of water and to sink significantly faster than nylon. The fact that fluorocarbon's specific gravity is higher than nylon leads fly fishers to think that it therefore is different enough to make a difference in sink rate for fly fishing. In most cases, that is not true.

Fly Fish America tested nylon and fluorocarbon leader and tippet material to evaluate whether the differences were great enough for fluorocarbon to sink faster than nylon. Here is what they found.

"The actual blend of polymers used to produce “nylon” varies somewhat, but the nylon formulations used to make monofilament leaders and tippets generally have a specific gravity in the range of 1.05 to 1.10, making them just slightly heavier than water. To put those numbers in perspective, tungsten—used in high-density sink tips—has a specific gravity of 19.25."

"Fluorocarbon has a specific gravity in the range of 1.75 to 1.90. Tungsten it ain’t, but it is significantly more dense than nylon. But is it sufficiently dense to quickly and reliable break surface tension and sink all by itself, even at zero contact angles, and even in the smallest diameters? No, it’s not. Our testing reveals that most brands of fluorocarbon tippet material in 0X to 8X diameters are no better than nylon at breaking surface tension and sinking on their own."


There is another reason why both nylon and fluorocarbon tippets and leaders float. During extrusion of the leaders, both nylon fluorocarbon are coated with a lubricant that facilitates extrusion. So both nylon and fluorocarbon come precoated with a a thin coating of floatant. This shiny coating repels water and acts like a floatant.

Furthermore, the specific gravity of salt water is 2.5% higher than fresh water, so this makes sinking a tippet in salt water slightly more difficult.

 

losthwy

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That is good to know both mono and Fluorocarbon have similar water tension qualities. So either can be use for tippet in dry fly applications. Though once it breaks the surface fluorocarbon does sink roughly 2X faster making it a good choice for euro nymphing.
 
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sparsegraystubble

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I just bought a bunch of the new SA Absolut Stealth leader tippet to give it a try. No report yet, but it does seem to knot well. But the latex bands that they put on the spools as retainers are crap. I have had two of them snap with very little tension or stretch. If you get that stuff, save your elastic retainer rings from your old tippet, because you are liable to need them. Or save some rubber bands as backups.

Don
 

ts47

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I just bought a bunch of the new SA Absolut Stealth leader tippet to give it a try. No report yet, but it does seem to knot well. But the latex bands that they put on the spools as retainers are crap. I have had two of them snap with very little tension or stretch. If you get that stuff, save your elastic retainer rings from your old tippet, because you are liable to need them. Or save some rubber bands as backups.

Don
Hi Don,

Thanks for the tip! I just bought some as well. Mine had to be ordered online though. I'll keep it in mind for when it arrives.
 

osseous

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I haven't had any issue with the bands so far- but I will keep an eye on that. One of the reasons I switched to these spools was the packaging- including the bands. The fact that they have a separate "hub" was a big plus- while the cutters are really not that useful when you have a Stack. The last one in the row is usable- while the rest are obstructed.

I had sharks tooth bands on my old system- just a horrible product. The bungee stretches when you try to make a cut, and the material constantly slips beneath the hole- meaning you have to disassemble and re-thread your tippet constantly.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

sweetandsalt

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I use Fluorocarbon in the salt exclusively, often RIO but others too. I'm not a chemist and don't even pretend to understand this stuff but I know only a few factories in Japan make most of the quality modern copolymer monofilament. Apparently though, many variations in formulation produce slightly differing traits. Relative suppleness is more important in my considerations than pure strength...they are ALL much stronger than my old school Pezone et Michelle and Tortue of my early years. In the 0X - 3X sections of my build downs I tend to use Orvis Super Strong or TroutHunters EVO and go to RIO Powerflex+ or sometimes the EVO or Powerfull (EP) for 3 or 4X on down. I definitely am going to get some spools of the new SA material; I used to use their earlier stuff and like it a lot despite it testing weaker than some competitors. All modern Nylon is stronger than light wire dry fly hooks anyway and I carefully tie, snug and test every knot. Most all I've tried are quite acceptable and the only one I never use (anymore) is Maxima. RIO's R&D and manufacturer relationships is very good and they produce the broadest range of specialized leader materials. A Delaware guide of knowledge told me he fishes Fluro tippet for dry flies which I do not and he maintains he's tried them all and the Top Secret Cortland is the best. The last thing I have to say is I never chose tippet based on pound test, rather by actual diameter and turnover or presentation characteristics.
 

dynaflow

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S&S said: "The last thing I have to say is I never chose tippet based on pound test, rather by actual diameter and turnover or presentation characteristics."...I only wade and sight cast in the salt and choose my fluorocarbon tippet by two factors,Breaking strain relative to diameter.Thus my choice of perennial favourite Rio Fluoroflex Plus.....e.g.the 0x (15lb.) is .279mm. (.011") Similarly the Trouthunter chips in at .285mm.(again .011) but is 15.7lb.breaking strain.This goes for my 10,12 and 20lb. tippet material.
 

okaloosa

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when I used to fly fish for pacific sailfish it was straight 100 lb mono,,,,no taper, no tippet.....when your fly is 12 inches long and made from the complete packets of tinsel and saddle hackle with a portion of pipe insulation cut off for a head they either dont see the leader or dont care ;)
 

sweetandsalt

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Well, dynaflow, RIO is my choice for flats fishing tippet too. It is rated stronger than most per diameter but is also more supple and I favor a 4'+ tippet bonefishing. Sometimes, fly size depending, I have to use 20# for its diameter when 15# of another brand would do just fine...I'm choosing by diameter for proper presentation not pound test. Most often the RIO 16# is my choice.

How many of you "trust" the diameter and pound test written on a spool's label? Back when copolymers appeared in the mid 80's, Orvis bought their Super Strong from Umpqua. It was the same material exactly on differing spools. But Orvis printed their label indicating that their same diameter material was a 1/2 pounder stronger than the Umpqua brand (both made in Japan). Did they use a different testing service or was it just good old marketing as they knew we bought tippet material based on claimed pound test? My opinion is labels are designed by marketers not scientists.
 

ts47

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How many of you "trust" the diameter and pound test written on a spool's label? Back when copolymers appeared in the mid 80's, Orvis bought their Super Strong from Umpqua. It was the same material exactly on differing spools. But Orvis printed their label indicating that their same diameter material was a 1/2 pounder stronger than the Umpqua brand (both made in Japan). Did they use a different testing service or was it just good old marketing as they knew we bought tippet material based on claimed pound test? My opinion is labels are designed by marketers not scientists.
We had a conversation here some years ago (around 8 I believe) when the last real tippet shootout was released. As I recall, the labels on the packaging did not always reflect accurate information. This is why I enjoyed PT's photo that included a mic earlier in this thread.
 

dillon

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I’ve been using Rio Powerflex to build trout leaders the last few years. However, not because I think it’s any better than the other top of the line material, but because it’s good and readily available in the local shops I frequent. Maxima is also readily available and is a Northwest tradition among Steelhead fly fishers. Oh, I’ve tried the Rio stuff, but for no good reason went back to good ole, maxima. KISS, is my mantra...
 

coug

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How many of you "trust" the diameter and pound test written on a spool's label? Back when copolymers appeared in the mid 80's, Orvis bought their Super Strong from Umpqua. It was the same material exactly on differing spools. But Orvis printed their label indicating that their same diameter material was a 1/2 pounder stronger than the Umpqua brand (both made in Japan). Did they use a different testing service or was it just good old marketing as they knew we bought tippet material based on claimed pound test? My opinion is labels are designed by marketers not scientists.
I "mic" all of mine out and write the true diameter on the spool. Makes it much easier to repair hand-tied leaders in the field. Just from what is laying in front of me:
Trouthunter green 3X: spool 0.008, measured 0.008
Trouthunter yellow 4X: spool 0.007, measured 0.008
Maxima 2x: spool 0.009, measured 0.011

Maxima seems to measure their diameters by eyeball, they are always way off.
 

nawagner

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I just bought a bunch of the new SA Absolut Stealth leader tippet to give it a try. No report yet, but it does seem to knot well. But the latex bands that they put on the spools as retainers are crap. I have had two of them snap with very little tension or stretch. If you get that stuff, save your elastic retainer rings from your old tippet, because you are liable to need them. Or save some rubber bands as backups.

Don
I just tried it this weekend and I am now a fan. Very supple, if that's possible, and knots really well. Now the whole hiding from a fish part might be true but when you slap flies down like I do it doesn't matter what color it is! I also did not care much for the new band and used the old elastic band from my empty spool. So far I really like it.
 
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