Orvis Fly Fishing
When Should I Add Tippet?
The tippet you choose and the knot you use to attach it to your leader are one of the most important links in the chain of fly fishing. A bad knot or too light a tippet usually means a lost fish when your tackle is put to the max. The beauty of fly fishing is that you truly never know what you may hook, so you should always be prepared to tangle with the fish of a lifetime on every cast. Being prepared in this case means having the correct size of tippet and length for the job.
The length of tippet
Making sure you have a good length of tippet at the end of your leader is one crucial aspect to success in fly fishing. Consider the following when choosing a tippet length.
Other Tippet selection tips
In selecting your tippet to add to the leader, you always want to start with the leader thickness and go down from there. For instance if you are using a 3x leader, you would not want to connect 0x,1x,2x to that. You would want to use a tippet of at least 3x or lighter to connect to that.
Your knots are more likely to fail if you try and attach a larger thickness tippet to a smaller diameter leader. Once your tippet gets to be less than 1', then it's time to tie on a new piece with a blood knot.
If you need to use 6x for a finer presentation, then tying 6x directly to your 3x may cause breakage in knot. Try to taper the connections by adding a section of 4x to ease the transition to 6x tippet from the 3x leader. These tapered transitions allow your fly to turn over on the forward cast and lay out on the water more gently and precise. Always inspect your tippet knot and run your fingers along the line to check for nicks or abrasions or other weak points.
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