tippet/fly question. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: tippet/fly question.

09-19-2003, 11:02 AM
I have a pleasant dilemma.

I have been fishing a favorite stream lately, and after some trial and error have managed to hook up.

What's worked has been a small (16-18) brassie fished on 5x.

These are strong, fat Landlocked salmon, though. I am having real trouble landing these guys. I am only landing about 1/4 of the hookups, and i'm afraid I'm playing the fish too much.

So - any suggestions on getting a smaller fly on a sturdier tippet?

Ideally, I'd do 3x, but I can't even get that through the hook eye.

John Desjardins
09-19-2003, 11:26 AM
Maybe try a fresh spool of tippet stock. I've found that 4x and thinner tippets are weaker if they are left in the car through the summer.

Dble Haul
09-19-2003, 11:46 AM
John has the right idea, although I think you might also consider trying fluorocarbon. You can get the same strength in a finer diameter, or a stronger strength in the same diameter.

09-19-2003, 11:46 AM
The new generation of flouro is thinner for # test as I understand it. I use the 16# sight-free in SWFF and it's been very impressive in terms of stealth and strength. Might work here?

Bob Pauli
09-19-2003, 02:09 PM
A favorite fishing spot for me is Northern California's Fall River, a spring creek with gin-clear water and spooky fish.

For nymphs to size 16 I recently began to use 4x Rio Fluoroflex Plus, labelled I think, as 7 lb. test. You can tow a boat with this tippet material.

Last weekend I spent 5 hours testing hookup frequency with 6x Fluoroflex Plus vs. 4x of the same material. While not a statistically valid technique, I did fish the same runs using the same flies, same length leader, same technique [cast & swing and cast & strip, no indicators]. Trout landed ranged from 15 to 22 inches.

There were no more hookups using the 6x material compared to 4x. There were no tippet breaks with 4x and two tippet breaks with 6x.

And the stronger tippet allows aggressive fighting and quick landing of even 5+ lb. native fish.


09-19-2003, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the input. I'm going to get some new 4x flouro (assuming I can get it up here- not too many shops) and give 'er a go this weekend. I'll let you know how I fared.

09-19-2003, 08:26 PM
Interesting. All the fluoro I've been using is weaker than same-diameter mono, eg, Orvis Mirage 6x is weaker than Orvis Super Strong 6x. Is there a new line of Fluoro tippet material out where this is not the case?

09-20-2003, 12:52 AM
Yeah - most fluoro leader and tippet brands are using the older Generation 1 stuff. The newer Gen. 2 stuff is only carried in a few brands. I am sure about the Rio stuff - they carry "Fluoroflex" (which is Gen. 1) , and "Fluoroflex Plus" (Gen. 2).

Gen. 2 is stronger for the same diameter, but also costs a little more. (I prefer the Gen. 2 stuff.)


09-22-2003, 04:12 PM
Well - I went back.
the fishing was not as good as last week. No rain (Izzy missed us) of any consequence for a few weeks, so the fish in there have been there a while. Water is very low.

Anyway, hooked three BIG fish. Lost three big fish. I tried new 4x - broke very quickly. I tried month-old 3x flouro (orvis mirage) - hook pulled free. I can't say there wasn't human error here, but I am getting frustrated.

I also tried to get some brand new rio flouro plus, but I can't find anything even close around here.

Anyway - I've decided I need a 7 wt to handle these dogs (the 5wt feels like a toothpick). Then maybe the 3x flouro - although I'm afraid the stiffness of the material is preventing a good drift for the small fly - will do the job. 6-8lb test should,if I'm on top of my game, do the trick.

You should see these fish! Broad shouldered brutes that jump repeatedly when hooked!

09-22-2003, 04:43 PM
What does the line look like where it broke? No pigtails hopefully!

I agree about everything said about the Gen 2 floro. Can't beat it for diameter, density and also abrasion resistance which might be what you need.

I can only think of 2 suggestions for you:

Try using a trilene knot where you pass the line through the eye twice and then cinch down. 2 lines through the eye can disperse the pressure on the knot better than one.

Stay downstream of the fish as best you can while fighting it (safely). I use 8lb floro for steelhead and doubt the landlocks can be much bigger or more violent than that. You might be fighting both the fish and the current which is often a losing battle in a big river.

Good probem to have. Sounds like you've got a good spot there!

My .02

Bob Pauli
10-10-2003, 06:36 PM
If your tippet to fly knot is breaking go to a 7-turn clinch, not improved.

At least two authors with plenty of claimed test data and Kispiox steelhead guide Todd Stockner consider the 7-turn clinch one of the two strongest tippet to fly knots that exist. [The othere is the Pitzen aka the Eugene Bend]. "Improving" the 7-turn clinch substantially weakens it.

If you want to prove relative knot strength to yourself, tie your favorite knot to a fly, hook the fly to a post and pull the fly line until the leader system breaks. In the majority of cases your favorite tippet to fly knot will break first.

Do the same with a 7-turn clinch. The tippet to fly knot will hold while other knots in the leader system fail, assuming the other knots are not bimini twists. In three actual fishing situations last week, when I hooked trees on the opposite bank [a common problem for spey rodders] either my spider hitch connection to the butt section or the mid portion of the tippet failed while the tippet to fly knot held strong.

It's worth a try. Good luck; I like your problem.


10-10-2003, 08:55 PM
Lefty Kreh in his "Practical Fishing Knots" lists the palomar at 95%-100% breaking strength and the jansik special at 98%-100%.

You can easily test knots against each other. Get a coupls of large hooks. Tie in each hook with a different know at the end of a foot or so of leader material. Grab the bend of each hook and pull the hooks apart to wee which know fails. repeat ten times to get consistent results. You know you are there when the leader and not the knot fails on occassion.

10-17-2003, 01:21 PM
I second Bob's suggestion of the Rio Flouroflex Plus and the 7 wrap clinch. That's the combo I use and you can toe a boat with it (at least a pontoon boat). Hawg on!

10-30-2003, 04:19 AM
I would do a uni-not and perhaps try Stroft it is a german brand like maxima we use it in very small diameter for dry fly fishing...

10-30-2003, 09:56 AM
update from thread-starter...
made a third trip a couple weeks ago...
landed a 19" rainbow
and a 24" salmon...
The tippet held up - brand new Dai-Raichi flouro 3x.
Used the same old 9-turn improved clinch knot that's worked for the last 16 years... I'm pretty sure that wasn't the problem.
Unfortunately... My orvis Trident tl 5wt 9' tip flex rod broke while landing that salmon... 5th break in 6 years, second this season:mad: The worst part was that I had to cut the fishing short... I am getting used to my rod breaking

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I am now a believer in Flouro, and in the market for a durable 6 or 7 wt.

next question - who makes durable, inexpensive (less than 250) rods?

10-30-2003, 10:06 AM
So much for "Built to last, not to cast" :devil:

Sorry to hear about your rod. I know a couple of other
people who have had problems with that tip-flex model.
Maybe go back to the shop, explain your predicament and
exchange for a model with a more moderate flex rating?

Good luck. 24" landlock sounds like a lot of fun!

10-30-2003, 10:33 AM
Given the idea is that the leader will give it up before the rod, why so many snapped tips?:confused:

Second question on the breakage; does the blank look like it's been cut in two with a knife, or does the rod look like a 'feather duster' where the breakage (same place all the time?) is occuring.

Ask, as this may be a design error depending upon consistency of type/location of breakage. It's actually pretty darned hard to break a modern generation rod blank unless 'you' do something beyond it's design capabilities.

10-31-2003, 08:18 PM
Well, I've been scratching my head for a while now, too.

You know , the first time, i thought no big deal, things happen.
Second time, I figured that was a hell of a coincidence.
#3 I said, hmm, oh well, at least they have a good warranty.
#4 and #5, I just don't know...

The last two times was in exactly the same spot, just above the ferrule on the tip portion. Very clean breaks. Heard a crisp "pop" when it happened.

One time it was between the two end guides at the tip.

The other times, (getting back there, a little foggy) they were also on the tip, not too far from the ferrule, and once it was all frayed.

I freely admit that user error could have been some of the problem on a few occasions. But on all accounts except one, there was a 3-7 pound test tippet that was receiving just as much pressure/force as the blank... so I'm stumped.

Well, at least Orvis is pretty good about sending replacements, but they haven't been willing to upgrade to a more durable model (presumably the T3s don't have the same problem?). I am now patiently awaiting another TL that is bound to cut some outing down the road short...

I do know that for my next purchase I'll be going to a different brand. It's a great caster, but not much on durability...

10-31-2003, 09:18 PM
First, it either sounds like a rod design 'defect,' or you're actually doing 'something' that's over stressing the rod design.

What I'd like you to do is give Bob Meiser (a board sponc.) a call .. very cool guy who designs/builds a hell of a good rod ... and talk to him about what's going on when these rods are snaping.

Bob designs rods, etc., and etc., so he's got a lot of insight into what's going on.

Just 'registered' to a post above on leader breakage. Instead of F/C leader material, which is pricie as all heck, use FC main line. 1/4 the price and does the same thing. f-c, is f-c for leader; the fish don't know you spent $2.00 or $10.00.

11-05-2003, 11:25 AM
All second generation fluorocarbon tippets sold by Rio, Umpqua or
Dai-Riki are produced in Japan by Seaguar , the Company which invented fluorocarbon polymer.
.Seaguar Grand Max Fluorocarbon tippet is available in Cabelas.
Price is the same as Rio and others.