Out With The Old Tippet Material Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop
Each year I like to replace all of my tippet material. This includes everything from 0X down to 7X. The tippet is the weakest part of our fly fishing tackle. I do not like to take a chance in breaking of a large fish for the few dollars it will cost to replace it.
There are times when fishing streamers along the banks when floating smallmouth bass rivers can be very effective. However, some anglers on our guided float trips believe they are slow in detecting these strikes. We solve this problem by attaching a Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4 to our Bright Butt 9 foot 2X Compound Knotted Leader and attach twenty four inches of 2X tippet material to the bend of the popper hook with an improved clinch knot. I attach a Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 10 to this as a dropper. When floating the river this combination popper and dropper is cast down and across stream at a twenty degree angle so it lands close to the river bank. A slow strip-pause-strip retrieve will bring many strikes from bass along these banks. When the bass takes the popper the strike is easy to see and the bass can be quickly hooked. If he takes the streamer it will cause a quick movement of the popper which is the signal to set the hook and you hook the bass solidly.
1. The tippet is part of the leader. Leaders are manufactured with the tippet attached. Often marked at 2x, 3x, 4x, etc – this is the size of the tippet (not the entire leader).
2. The tippet (end of leader which attaches to the fly): 24 inches long on a new leader. For knotless leader you will need to measure and place a mark at 24 inches to keep track of where the tippet ends and the mid-sections start (or you can use a micrometer for an exact measurement).
3. I place a Double Surgeon Loop in the end of my tippet and the end of the mid-sections of my leader (section of leader which attaches to tippet).
4. I like to go a step further and pre-attach several flies to individual pieces of tippet which I have already tied a loop into the end of while I am at home.
I find this especially helpful when it’s cold out or I plan to fish into the late evening. We also teach this technique in our schools to aid anyone who is having difficulty tying knots.
The more I fish, the more I find that I rely strongly on my line-hand strike to set the hook on the fishes strike. Here are a few examples: (1) On small streams with low-hanging tree limbs this keeps me from snapping the rod tip into the limbs which can break the rod. (2) When fishing small flies on 7X and 8X tippets my slip strike with my line-hand followed by quickly releasing the line when I feel the hook penetrate the trout’s jaw prevents breaking the trout off on the strike. (3) When making long casts on large rivers my line hand strike in conjunction with a firm rod strike helps telegraph the strike through the long line and hook the fish. (4) When fishing deeply sunken head in fresh and salt water my line hand strike in conjunction with a strong rod strike helps hook these deep fish.
By an unexplained accident I broke a snake guide off my fly rod on a 3 week trip into the Rockies. Fortunately, I had several extra guides in my emergency bag so that evening I wrapped on a new guide with 5X tippet material and coated it with aquaseal. It worked fine.