Formulated by Anthony Colucci of Great Outdoor Designs by Colucci

Fly Fishing Tippet Guide: Hints to adjust your choice of tippet.

Fluorocarbon is stronger, stiffer and a little less visible than nylon for the same diameter. Fluorocarbon is more abrasion-resistant and more dense (sinks faster) than nylon monofilament. With the difference in density and strength in favor of fluorocarbon, you may wish use a smaller diameter fluorocarbon tippets especially when you consider the notes no. 3 and 5 below.

The first criteria in choosing the diameter of your tippet is the hook size of the fly. Then, you may wish to adjust the diameter on the following variables to improve casting performance.

  1. Strong Wind Conditions: Use a thicker diameter tippet-leader combination in order to “push or carry” the fly better under these conditions.
  2. Bulky, Air-resistant Flies: Thicker or heavier tippets will increase casting performance.
  3. Sharp-toothed Fish: like pike and saltwater fish, the use of a heavy shock tippet is often necessary, which in turn are better carried by heavier lines and leaders.
  4. Murky or Turbulent Waters: Consider the option of using thicker tippets since fish are less likely to detect these in such conditions.
  5. Wary Fish: Some fish species can be little shy of leaders and fly lines. You may have to reduce the diameter of your tippet and to use a longer leader.
  6. Streamers and Fly Lures: are most often tied on long-shank and heavier hooks. Materials used for streamer bodies (wools, chenilles, furs) tend to absorb water and become heavier while these are fished. Heavier tippets/leaders will improve casting performance

Quick Fix: On occasion, you can cut back a section of a tapered leader to a thicker part along its length. Remember however that too short a leader will not perform satisfactorily.

Observe and experiment – it’s part of the fascination of fly-fishing.

Also, you may download the handy chart below:

Guide To Tippets


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