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Tippet Material

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I think leader construction is way more important than whats its made from. It needs to be able to turn the fly over and have a delicate presentation and this comes from how the leader is tapered not which company made the material or if its fluorocarbon.

 

However something I dont think was mentioned or I missed it is fluorocarbon sinks faster than mono so not a good choice for fishing dries!

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My pinion on the question at hand is that from purely a visibility standpoint, i am more confident in a flouro leader than a mono one. I have felt at times in very clear water, the clarity of a flouro tippet has improved my fishing.

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I think leader construction is way more important than whats its made from. It needs to be able to turn the fly over and have a delicate presentation and this comes from how the leader is tapered not which company made the material or if its fluorocarbon.

 

However something I dont think was mentioned or I missed it is fluorocarbon sinks faster than mono so not a good choice for fishing dries!

Yes it was mentioned, the sinking aspect that is.

 

As to turning over, I personally have found no leader that turns over like the Maxima Chameleon knotted leaders did. And since it appears they no longer make those I have gone to making leaders from Chameleon material. I save the butt ends of my old leaders and make new. I throw the fancy formulas out the window and wing it, because really it's the Chameleon material that does the work in the end. I've tried many different tapered leaders and never liked any of them in comparison.

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On life span of tippet: I keep my spools in my vest or fishing boxes in the house, out of sun (this is a big thing) and out of summer heat (the only other thing I care about). I don't use DEET. My tippet, except for some fluro I bought not long ago, is 10 years old. There is no need to replace it. It is strong still.

 

I let usage dictate choice of "x" size. The visibility debate is interesting, but it is an endless debate. My own experience with trout and smallmouth seem to belie the common wisdom that line visibility matters, so it is not a factor for me. I am some concerned when I fish very small flies, that the tippet is light and flexible enough not to interfere with presentation. That, plus a small eye, dictates whether I go to a 6 or 7x. Most of the time, as a default, I nymph and dry for trout with 5x (dries and nymphs 12-16), and 3x or 4x for bigger buggers and streamers. I agree that diameter and break strength are the key factors, but in my tippet collection I've worked out the relationship with the x designation, works fine. I don't change much, so once I get a formula down for my equipment, I stay with it. I won't switch to a 6x or 7x because of visibility issues; doesn't make sense to me, and although I've landed some nice >18" trout on 7x, I don't like breaking fish off, so I like to use the strongest leader/tippet that will also support the needed presentation.

 

I am interested in all the popular debates and insights, but also choose to be aware that there is a lot of marketing afoot, that has really nothing to do with my enjoyment or success of the sport of fishing or craft of tying. I guess you could say I have varying levels of zen - I love to nitpick and wax perfectionistic thus exercising my demons at the tying vise, but on the water I have to let zen and a cooler head prevail. The gearhead mentality undergoes a transformation wherein I become able to respond to the fishes' environment and not so much what's in my head. Just another way of saying that I'll do what works.

 

Like many, I'm a victim of my own roots. My father (focused on mountain trout and pan fish occasionally) had one rod, one fly line he replaced I think once in the 18 years I knew him. He fished only 3 or 4 different fly patterns. He always bought fresh leaders for his mountain stream trips. He did well. I'll hold his success up to anyone's today. If he were still with us, although I would know a lot more than he ever did about ecology, fishing trends in equipment, scientific studies on fish behavior, etc., I bet I couldn't out-fish him. That was 45 years ago; I'm not convinced so much has changed in Mr Trout's world that everything we fret about is worth fretting about, or shelling out big bucks for. Each of us makes it whatever we want it to be. That is as it should be.

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It seems to me anything associated with fly fishing has a hi price attached to it, now I'm thinking maybe I got into a rich mans sport.

 

That's marketing and self-fulfilling prophecy. When a fish bites, it doesn't care if the person on the other end is holding a $1500 fly rod and wearing $3000 worth of gear, or if it's a kid holding a $0 hand-me-down spincaster and wearing old sneakers. As a kid I started out fly fishing on the extremely poor end. Then as I got to be a young adult I fell into the hype of marketing, especially for things such as leader / tippet material. Then I got older and realized it's almost ALL bullsh**. Now I just use the same 4, 6, 8, 10 lb mono which I use for leaders on my spinning tackle. I catch more fish than I ever have.

I consider myself a blue collar fly fishermen. Growing up poor and now being very comfortable I have never bought into the hype in any kind of fishing. I don't spend money just to spend it needlessly. Fortunately I have found fly fishing to be no more expensive then any other kind of fishing.

 

I use mono. I have found there is no discernable difference. It might make for good banter at the fly shop but in practicality it matters not one bit. I buy the 100 yd filler spools just because I don't like mono hanging around on spools for long periods of time.

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Fly fishing DOES seem like a rich man's sport if you believe the hype i all of of its manifestations. but it doesn't have to be. I don't use flouro tippet or leaders, my trout are opportunistic mountain feesh. if i don't catch, i tell myself it's my own technique or tactics not related to choice of tippet, but tippet choice IS something i exercise.

 

I use a lot of tippet. I fish with friends who are new to the sport so i am often tying or retying their flies for them (that ended last season, my new years resolution, they need to learn). or i often switch out flies. every new season i buy new spools of 4x, 5x and 6x tippet, and sometimes buy 5x again (it's used most often), and relegate the old stuff to my gear bag and give out to the buddies when they are short.

 

when fishing for bass, LMB or stripers, i use straight 10lb mono.

 

maxima chameleon sounds interesting. since i now tie my own flies (materials usually bought online), and have been wrapping my own rods on imported blanks, and have an addiction to vintage used single action click reels (rarely over $70), buying tippet and leaders from my local shop is the least i can do. though i do jump on internet deals, like the sci-anglers guide spools i just bought last month for next season. those should last all of 2016, which with california's snow fall so far, i hope to be epic for fishing AND catching. :)

 

eric

fresno, ca.

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JSaymczyk, it just means you have became a better fishermen, First of all I want to thank everybody that gave me some input. I think I got caught up in the hype from a guy I'll call Mr. Orvis everything he buys has to be hi priced from Orvis. But the bottom line is I'm going to go back to when I first started fishing any kind of mono will work just fine, the fish the state stocks sure aren't any line breakers by any means. I'm thinking I'll probably go with 4 lb. test, and as far as storing my line or leader material I keep my line in an unheated garage lasts for years and years. Come to think of it as a kid I would buy the cheapest line I could find, my one neighbor gave me a lecture on buying good line, I use to buy Garcia 1/4 pound spool I think was like $0.99 he would buy what ever for $9.99 for a hundred yards, my thinking was that you only use the top 25 to 50 feet anyway and after you get hung up, tangled etc. you don't have enough line left to cast efficiently so you have to replace it anyway, the line never had a chance to go bad. Bottom line I'm going back to the basics, thanks for all the input really got my head straight.

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Since this thread has morphed to the frugal fisherman again I'll just say I'm the guy who spurs the economy and helps keep the companies you use in business. My choice. I hope to fish later with a combo wooden (grass) stick and click pawl reel worth (to me...not you) $4500. With this I am leaning toward some nymphs or soft hackles, maybe wooly worm, for some bluegills. It will never bother me how another chooses to spend their money as long as it doesn't come out of the milk fund.

 

So, I would be interested in what companies tippet material miked at the same diameter as the fishing line. I use either fishing line or tippet material directly off furled leaders, usually without dropping tapers though sometimes going to a small section of smaller tippet to get it through tiny eyes. Here's the thing. About every tippet specific small roll of material has tested HIGHER in break strength on the label than same diameter of filler spool lines from same mfg'er. Using the X factor, a 5x tippet at .006 diamer might list a 5.2 break strength (just guessing without going to get spools). A 4# line on filler spool might mike at .008 diameter, or fatter than the stronger tippet specific material.

 

Course, just got a new Cabela's Fishing Catalog and it has so many pages of fishing lines to choose from I can see where a person new to the game can go nuts.

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I believe many Tippet specific spools are actually co-polymer lines and these do tend to be higher breaking strain to dia compared to a traditional mono like maxima.

 

What you lose with co-polymer is the same level of stretch in mono. I like to choose my line; mono, copolymer or fluro by dia and pretty much ignore breaking strain.

 

I fish a lot of rocky places and fluro (seaguar) snaps at very little provocation from rocks. So I find I need .32 or higher dia to fish. But that size fluro is a lot stiffer than the same dia maxima.

 

So this season its all maxima for me aside from dry fly fishing which is Stroft ABR

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Every spring I toss out my leaders and tippet material and by new. I know it will last longer but I don't have to sit there and try to remember how long I have had it. It's not that expensive for me since I don't use florocarbon.

 

Tried floro once and just didn't see the need for me. The tippet I buy the most is 3x, 5x, and 7x. I normally use the 3x for bass and 7x when fishing midges for trout.

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Some of my leader butt sections are ten years old and still going..

 

As to regular fishing line( mono) I tried that for a while using Trilene XL, as I recall, and went back to Maxima Chameleon. I already stated the reasons for my bend towards this Maxima product. I found XL to be a bit soft for my purpose ( flexible), maybe the green Trilene might work better but I never tried it. There comes a point where if something works for ya, you just run with it.

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I spent years on the north shore of Lake Superior fishing steelhead and salmon in the rivers and the big lake. I had a charter boat for several years and if you run 12 lines of a boat you look for good deals on line when you can get them. I did find one thing with trying to get by on old line ESPECIALLY if has spent time soaking up the rays for long days. You can grab and test it all you want but you lose big strength when you tie it. I don't care which knot you use if your mono is wipes powdery when you run it through your hand your knots are weak.

 

Fished with a guy in a bass tournament and we spotted ourselves on a nice hump where good fish were moving on and off. I had a couple of fish and he had hooked a couple and lost one, then broke off another. Then broke off snapping at a rockfish on bottom. I asked him about his line and it was what came on the spincast reel. I asked him when he bought and he thought it was about 4 or 5 years or so. I switched him to one of my spin outfits and no more breakoffs and cashed a second place check that day. Also, remember a "wind" (bad casting) knot can cut your tippet strength by up to 50%.

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Most of my spinning gear has braid on them except for a leader, no more spiraled line on my spinning rigs. I should switch to braided leaders except for tippet on my fly rods but probably never will.

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I should switch to braided leaders except for tippet on my fly rods ...

Don't. Braid is too limp to properly form a loop and turn your fly over.

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