Fly Breakoffs [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fly Breakoffs

07-18-2002, 11:20 AM
Hey, guys.

I'm new to this forum and new to Colorado fly fishing.

Grew up fly fishing the bayous, swamps, and marshes of southwest Louisiana before moving to Texas and got completely away from fly fishing for a long time.

Here is a situation I am dealing with now that I have started fishing in Colorado after moving up here two years ago.

Using a 5-6 wt. graphite rod, 5X leader on a 5 wt. line with a 6lb. rated tippet, I am frequently losing flies in my backcasts. Line is definitely breaking right at the eye of the fly and not simply slipping.

Question: Why is this happening? I could understand it if the end of the leader was breaking, but the tippet is much stronger than the leader, so can anyone tell me why this is happening? I am using an improved clinch knot.

Thanks for the input.


07-18-2002, 11:54 AM
Hi Joe and Welcome!

A question for you - do you ever hear an audible 'crack' on your back-cast? If so, it could simply be that you're accelerating the forward cast before the back-cast has had time to straighten. That creates a whiplash effect and on relatively fine tippets - bye-bye fly - if you are using bead heads or weighted flies, the effect tends to be more exagerated. Otherwise it could be striking something (rocks?) on the back cast but you would generally feel that happening.

I'm a bit confused about your leader / tippet setup. The tippet is generally the smallest diameter part of the set-up. Can you describe your leader setup?

07-18-2002, 11:28 PM

Thanks for the reply.

The 5X tapered leader is attached to the end of the floating wt. forward Orvis flyline and the 6 lb. 18 inch long tippet is attached to the small end of the leader. And, no, I am not hearing a popping sound at the end of the backcast, though I am fishing mostly with beaded nymphs.


07-19-2002, 03:47 AM

Just as another idea it could have something to do with the way that you tie your improved clench knot. The clench has a tendancy to extrude and weaken line as it is tightened. Secondly it allows the fly to move and swing. After fishing for awhile the eye can wear the tippet material. Try wetting the knot and pulling the knot down in such a way so as not to cause the leader to weaken. Also I would recommend a different knot for light tippets.

However, I would suspect that Adrian is correct though. Typically, you will lose a fly due to starting your foward cast too early. You may not get an audible crack (especially with a bead head) but just enough to pop the fly off. At least it sounds like you are throwing tight loops.:smokin:


07-19-2002, 11:24 AM

Thanks for your input.

I will endeavor to become proficient at tying another knot, though my eyesight at my age is in such a state that it makes that effort a bit slow.


07-19-2002, 04:04 PM

I'd still go with the casting but if you really want to learn a new knot. As it happens I learned this knot from night fishing so you don't even have to see it. It is 95% strength and you can tie it in about 5 seconds. The only thing is it dosen't work well on size #12 and larger but works great on anything smaller than that. I posted a picture of it 06-21-2002 under "Secret knot" in the thread marked

Flytalk III > Flyfishing Gear Reviews and Testimonials > Gear Talk - Fly Stuff Spoken Here > 7 & 8X tippets

Keep working on the cast.