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    Default Leader and Tippet

    This may be a dumb question, but do you always use the same size leader and tippet? Can you tippet be a smaller diameter than your leader?
    Ernie
    I might be ugly now,but I was pretty when I was a baby!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
    This may be a dumb question, but do you always use the same size leader and tippet?
    No.


    Can you tippet be a smaller diameter than your leader?
    Ernie
    Yes.

    The leader tapers down to the tippet size that you want to use.
    This taper, will help turn over the fly as you deliver it.

    The leader is thinner than the fly line and is usually monofilament, but some people use a furled thread leader.
    The idea is to put some distance between the thick fly line (that fish can obviosly see) and the fly you want to fool them with.

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    The only dumb questions are those that go unasked. We all started off not knowing anything. Questioning is the essence of our humanity.
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    Ernie,

    Depends. One of the reasons to use a one size smaller tippet is because it will break before the leader, just in case you get snagged on something. When nymph fishing or using a dropper off a dry, it is a good idea to down size so you don't break off your top fly if the lower fly gets snagged. When dry flying, I often downsize by one as it is better to have the tippet break than the leader. Another reason, especially when fishing a dry fly, is to allow the smooth transference of power from your rod, then your line then your leader then your tippet then your fly so the fly lays out nicely. All that power caused by the cast diminishes as it travels down the line. Yet another reason is the smaller diameter tippet is harder for the fish to see. This can be important especially when not fishing for a true predator fish (like a pike or bass, they tend to not e leader shy at all). That is also why I use fluorocarbon tippets on almost all my flies. Get out there and give it a try.

    Larry ---sagefisher---

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    I often will take a 7 1/2' 4x leader and add 18" of 5x tippet to give me a 9' leader. That way as I change flies and cut back, I'll know where my tippet starts. I have also started experimenting with tying a tippet ring to the end of the leader and tying my tippet to the ring. The jury is still out on that, but I have used that system once already this year and it seems to work okay.
    " If a man is truly blessed, he returns home from fishing to the best catch of his life." Christopher Armour

  6. #6
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    Ernie,
    The confusion is understandable. Some people include the tippet section in their definition of "leader" while others exclude it. If you are buying a pre-made leader, say a 9'er, the last twenty inches or so will be the tippet section. You'll see that's the thinnest part of the "leader." (I'm on of those that include the tippet in my definition).

    Many people do what Angler Dave suggests, buy a shorter pre-made leader and add additional tippet of a small size to that. As a general rule of thumb, you probably shouldn't make a jump down more than 2x.

  7. #7
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    Here is some general info the members here can expand on:


    Shy Trout: Most mountain stream trout require a small tippet because they are line shy. I have used leader tippet combinations as long as 12 feet with the last three feet being tiny tippet running down to tiny flies. The leader is almost always tapered. Consider that you may be using a 7x tippet which can be as light as 1.2lb test (depending on the manufacturer). The leader is going to provide the ability of the line to "turn over" the fly and the tioppet woill not do anything in that regard.


    Bass and bluegill: This is a different world of fish who are not line shy. In most cases you will want to use the same diameter line from your fly line to your fly, perhaps adding a couple of feet of a slightly lighter line as a tippet, but this is not necessary.


    Saltwater: Again we are not dealing with line shy fish. I almost never have tippet here unless I have a shock tippet to provide a more bite-proof line at the fly.
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