7 & 8X tippets [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: 7 & 8X tippets

John Desjardins
06-18-2002, 10:44 AM
I'm curious what others use when the conditions call for really fine tippets. I've been using Umpqua 7.5X flurocarbon but am wondering if there is something better out there?

06-18-2002, 11:09 AM
John you have to go that small with fluro? Usually I get away with one tippet size bigger than I would fish with regualr mono due to the vanishing properties of the fluro.

I really like the umpqua stuff for tippett material. A lot stronger than maxima for its diameter. The 6x stuff is as strong as the 5x maxima. Maxima overall is pretty much junk unless you are fishing the bigger stuff like we do for steelhead out here.

I assume you are using the fluro for nymphs and such? I have on occasion have found that lengthing the leader instead of going down a tippett size has been the best bet for catching spooky fish. Usually if I am getting refusals my first inclination is the lengthen the leader and then go down to smaller tippett if that aint working.


John Desjardins
06-18-2002, 12:09 PM
Sean, I'm mostly interested in it for midges & emergers on the surface. This is for a couple of select places where the fish see a lot of imitations. With nymphs I don't go smaller than 6X. I agree that lengthening the leader helps, but sometimes in close guarters a long (>12') leader is tough to use.

06-19-2002, 08:15 AM
John, we fish for pretty selective trout in cheeseman and on spinney mile. I go through spools of 6x fluoro for the subsurface fishing. The fluoro does not give a good presentation for the surface flies so I switch over to 6 or 7 regular tippit for that.


John Desjardins
06-19-2002, 08:27 AM
Thanks Brad,
I've noticed the presentation problems with flurocarbon on drys & emergers. That is one reason I'm looking for alternatives.

Its interesting that the spools of flurocarbon in trout sizes I'm using were bought the last time I was in your neck of the country. There may be some regional differences at play here.

06-19-2002, 11:02 AM
John, here is another thing that seemed to work well. I was fishing below a spillway to fish in about 8-10 feet of water. The trick was to get down as fast as possible. I loop connected about 18 inches of red amnesia to my fly line. I then connected 12 feet of Berkley Vanish 4 or 6 lb test to the amnesia. With a split shot the rig goes straight to the bottom. The straight vanish sinks much faster than a tapered leader and is all fluorocarbon. If the rig stuck on the bottom and was lost just spool off some more. I could not afford to make that rig with the umpqua tippit material at $10 per 30 yard spool.

John Desjardins
06-19-2002, 11:35 AM
Thanks Brad, sounds like an interesting rig.

06-19-2002, 11:52 AM
You probably do not want to use fluro for dry fly presentation. It sinks like a rock unlike mono. It is much better for subsurface presentations.

One thing I did last year when fishing a small creek and needed a good presentation was this.

I overlined my rod 2 sizes with a WF line. Distance was not what I wanted and with this setup there was no way I could cast over 30 feet without overloading the rod. I actually only needed to cast about 15-20 feet. With the bigger line all I did was get a few feet of line out of the rod tip to get a decent load on the rod. I then went with a 12 foot leader and had no problem with 15-20 foot casts and still maintaned a bit of stealth with the long leaders.


06-19-2002, 09:05 PM
:D John you might look at an article I wrote , scroll through the list on the left hand column. "Fishing the Two Weight" 4-25-01.It is something I believe in, Light rod, light tippets, and small flies. I even have caught 4 lb trout on nylon thread, I don't know what its strength, but I used it alot. If you like to fish in the surface film take hook sizes 24 - 28, just take a strand of peacock herl wrap it around the hook, and run the tying thread back over the herl almost like a ribbing, it helps make the fly last longer as herl breaks easy. Hope I gave you something new to try.

John Desjardins
06-20-2002, 08:22 AM
Thanks everyone.

Sean, I've only been going up 1 weight for the short game. What I'm working on for the future is a slow, short fiberglass 3 wt that loads well (in test casting ) at short distances. I just have to get off my duff and coat the wraps and it will be ready.

Art, It's always a pleasure to have your input. I will reread your article. My memory is that it is a good one. The peacock herl fly sounds like a good one. I hope that all is well on your end.

06-20-2002, 10:52 AM

Since I use fluorocarbon tippets almost exclusively here are some of the characteristics that differ from a standard mono. Fluoro has a higher specific gravity than mono so it sinks considerably better. So don't use it for drys. It has slightly less breaking strength than mono so the same size "X" will be slightly lower in pound test. It has very low light reflectivity. It almost disappears when it hits the water. It has a higher abrasion resistance than mono. So' if you are fishing a streamer that is bouncing through the rocks, you dont need to retie the fly knot as often. It has less stretch. This is more about knots and knot strength. I use extremly small knots for small flies (More about that later if you like). The problem with a small knot is if it slips it unties. Mono will stretch so it has a tendency to untie on occasion. I have considerably less problem with the fluoro on that issue. Lastly, is the cost issue. Fluoros are considerably more expensive. I typically buy in 100 meter spools now for about twice the price of a 25 meter spool. Lastly, I have used just about every major brand on the market. Thus far the two that get my highest recommendation are Rio and Segar.

Just a helpful tip here: The reasoning behind the "X" notation on tippet is the die size used to extrude it. The diameter of the line and the die used will add up to 11. Thus a 0X will have a .011 diameter and a 9X will have a .002 diameter, 5x will be .006, and so on. Beyond that there is no direct relationship to the breaking strength. Amazing how much useless information you can keep in your head huh?


John Desjardins
06-20-2002, 12:05 PM
Thank you John,

I'd like to hear about the small knot. One problem I've been having with the fluro is slipped knots.

On the X's with some brands 4X = 4#, beyond that there is no correlation os X-breaking strength that I know of.

06-20-2002, 12:32 PM
I read Art's article when he first put it up here. I enjoyed it. I think it's interesting to read something that makes you think in common sense terms, because it then becomes so elementary - almost like "gee, why didn't I think of that???"

It proves a point, too - that experience is the best teacher:)

06-20-2002, 05:27 PM

I've never seen this knot published as yet. A friend of mine from Wales showed it to me during a competition. You can tie on a fly in about 5 seconds literally. No tags to trim. Plus I'd say the know is just about full strength. The fish on my profile over there <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< was landed on 6X with that knot. I'll try and get a picture of it tied with rope. But the real secret to it is how you use your fingers.


John Desjardins
06-20-2002, 09:20 PM
Art, Thats a good article. It didn't get the notice it should have when it was published. For me it reinforced that I need to finish the 3 wt and lighten the tackle when going to light tippett. Thanks again.

John Desjardins
06-20-2002, 09:24 PM
John if the real secret is how you use your fingers odds are I'll screw up the knot. 1/2 of the knots I tie lefty the others are righty. I just don't know why I do it that way .

ps Nice fish.

06-21-2002, 07:01 AM

Well first of all you're correct. You want a very light tip action and a soft hand with light tippets. I also use a medium to large arbor reel to lessen the gear effect as you get closer to the backing. The closer to the backing the smaller the gear ratio thus the more the perceived drag on the tippet. Also, you have to really keep up with the fish anyway. I basically went swimming with this fish. You have to stay as close as possible to a running fish. They can put a considerable load on the tippett just by pulling the fly line and tippett thru running water. I have enclosed a picture of that knot. If you pinch the tag end close to the hook eye as you pull it down, you will have virtually no tag to clip after you tie the knot. I will usually keep the tag close and not clip it.


06-21-2002, 07:20 AM
Well for some reason I am having trouble with my images loading :confused: John if it dosnt work this time I'll have to email the image to you untill I can figure out what is wrong. And since it dsont show in the preview I assume it wont again :( Drop me an email at flyfishar@hotmail.com and I'll send you an image of the knot on Monday. I'm heading to the river as we speak.

John W. Wilson

06-21-2002, 10:19 AM

So are you saying this is a guaranteed simple no slip knot with fluro carbon tippets ? Thats what I am looking for.


P.S. And I see you had to put that picture of that big beautiful brown up for us to see. It is still swimming right ?

John Desjardins
06-21-2002, 11:08 AM
John, thats an interesting knot and a good looking fly as well. I'll have to give the knot a try.

About the pictures, in my experience they haven't shown up while previewing a post .

Good luck on the river

06-23-2002, 05:11 AM
How about realizing that fluorocarbon is bad for the environment and not using it? Lead split shot too.

06-23-2002, 07:04 PM
Hal and John:

The knot is a figure 8 knot that was first used by off shore Captains for attaching wire leader to trolling baits. The only real difference is how I tighten it. I pinch the tag end against the fly and pull the tippet as opposed to pulling the tag like they did with wire. You can tie it in roughly 5 seconds literaly. I use it at fly fishing shows occasionaly like a card, or slight of hand trick. It has almost zero waste of the tippet. And I'll stand behind it as a zero slip 95% strength flouro knot on small flies. Actually its a great mono knot too for drys and really great for midges. I'll never tie another improved clench as long as I live!!!

Hal I haven't purposly killed a fish of any kind in nearly 10 years. My wife hates the taste of fish. Although, I hear the taste of 30 lb brown trout is some where between spotted owl and bald eagle (kidding).;)


07-03-2002, 08:05 AM
Hi John,

Could you possibly be looking for a solution to the Swift River? If so, I know what you're going through! I fish there 20 + days a year and will only use floro if I'm fishing hoppers because it lays out big flies on my 4wt better. I like mono for fishing midges because of it's stretch and suppleness. Causes less micro-drag if you're fishing dries and let's the nymph go with the flow if you're sub-surface. I usually start there with a 7x leader attached to a bushy dry fly or hopper pattern and run a 8x or 9x dropper to a tiny midge, nymph or emerger pattern.

This also eliminates the frustration of seeing fish hit your indicator.

I'm usually not crazy about cortland tippet but I find it works well for this application because it is very stretchy (forgiving).

I use the trilene knot for fine tippets. I have found that lubricating your knots while making sure you don't stress/kink the line is the ticket.

If you're fishing the Swift, let me know how you make out. The fishing has been tough since the fish have not spread out through the FFO area as usual.


John Desjardins
07-03-2002, 09:00 AM
Dave, The Swift is one of the reasons why I asked the question. Some of the fish there have seen more flies than most shops have. I'm hoping to go there tomorrow am, but I'm uncertain of how much time I'll have due to family, parades, etc.

To update where I am on this thread. I've finished the 3 wt, and gotten new tippet stock. Knots I'll play with tonight. If I get out tomorrow a report will be posted.

07-03-2002, 10:04 PM
Good Luck tomorrow on the Swift, I don't know if you can fish now at the Y pool below the dam, but I have had excellent luck in the right hand back eddy . Many times I have watched 20 inch trout sipping midges in the surface film, just use fine tippets and small midges 24 to 28. This was one of the places my light equipment, and my peacock herl flies made a difference, at any rate Good Luck ArtB :D

John Desjardins
07-04-2002, 02:46 PM
Thanks Art, I wish I could give a better report but I woke up @ 2:30 and said I can sleep for 45 minutes more and still make it to the river before 5. Next thing I know its 7:30 and my wife is waking me up with hey I thought you were going fishing. A missed opportunity.

I'm sure your flies will work there. They are on the list when I find some #24 & smaller hooks. Peacock herl is one of those materials that has magical fish catching appeal.

07-09-2002, 12:47 PM
the Swift river is a FUN place to fish...mighty challenging & can be VERY crowded, but still a blast.