Tippet size

The Forum is Closed. Forums The Cast Tippet size

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Creek 1 year, 5 months ago.

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    Scotty MacFly

    I have a question about using the right tippet. I fish with flies that are size 14, 16, 18. So that takes a 5X leader. Now, there are times when I cast, I notice my tippet won’t turn over all the way, and I use a 5X tippet as well. The length I use for leader and tippet measure the length of my rod, no matter what length I am using.

    I read somewhere that if the tippet doesn’t turn over completely, I should change leader and tippet size, but I can’t remember if I am to go heavier or lighter. Something is telling me to go heavier.

    As I said before, I use 5X for both leader and tippet. And I pulled out a tippet to fly size chart and even though 5X is appropriate, I can use 4X and 6X as well, with some slight changes in fly sizes.

    What would you recommend? Should I use 4X for my leader with a 5X tippet, so the cast can transfer the power down better?

    Or, should I use 5X for my leader and 6X for my tippet for the same result? Even though these lines will work for the fly size, is going this small in leader and tippet too light?

    Another scenario would be a 3X leader going to a 4X tippet. But I don’t want to go too big in line diameter in fear of scaring the fish.

    Now let me clear this up a little. When I say my tippet won’t turn over completely, I mean the last 1 1/2 feet AT MOST. It’s almost like there’s not enough power just slightly in my cast. Believe me, there is enough power.

    What is your set up for those size flies?



    Sounds like you’re using mono leaders. I used furled leaders and I thought you did too? They turn over better than mono leaders. With furled leaders that use a tippet ring is easy to change tippet size without upsetting the balance of the leader.

    I use 4X for size #12-#14 and 5X for #16-#18 flies. Those are the only size flies I use and the only size tippet I carry. At the end of the day I always snip off the tippet and start with fresh tippet the next day.

    This is all part of my keep it simple. One spare furled leader and two spools of tippet is all I need. Plus, one box of dry flies.


    Scotty MacFly

    That’s one of the things that does not make sense Creek. Let me clear it up with more detail. Yes, it does happen with mono leaders which I do use just because I do have some left that I bought before I bought the furled leaders. Even with the furled leaders it’s better, but I still have a little issue. You use 4X, which tells me maybe I should use a heavier tippet. You’re not the first to mention heavier tippet. When I get home I’ll throw on some 4X with my furled leader & see what happens.
    I am slowly going through my nylon leaders, maybe I should just get rid of them all together. I do like the furled leaders much better. That reminds me, I want to order more from Zen for my 7’6″ rods. What length would you recommend?
    I’ll let you know how it works out when I get home.
    Thanks Creek.



    Tippet shouldn’t straighten completely, otherwise the fly will begin to drag immediately.

    Or am I missing what you’re saying?


    Scotty MacFly

    Grs. If that’s the case I won’t worry about it. Like I said before, its only a foot or so of tippet. I just keep wondering if the fish would be bothered by it. I keep seeing the fly drop just right before the tippet straightens out and lay just to the side of the tippet.
    After talking with Creek, I am going to just get rid of what is left of my nylon leaders and only use the furled ones. I am still going to set it up with a furled leader with a piece of nylon between the fly line and leader which I understand is recommended, and since the furled leader has a tippet ring I will tie on 3X tippet to the ring, and then tie on 4X beneath the 3X. That should do the trick. Then yard cast it to see the outcome. Since there’s snow on the grass I’m not worried about getting the furled leader dirty.



    Grsdlnr……….That depends on the cast and what direction you’re casting on moving water.

    You don’t always want the whole tippet or line straight, but you want the fly to straighten on the tippet. Otherwise, you have the fly landing on top of the tippet in a pile. Nothing natural about that to the fish.

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