While your tippet is one of the greatest tools, often it is the first to be blamed for your not catching fish. Tippet could be the most underestimated piece of equipment. Today’s tippet material is fantastic, and there is none better than RIO Fluoroflex Plus.
Guiding and fishing many rivers of the west, I have found that tippet size is critically undersized by many fishermen. Nearly all summer long I use RIO Fluoroflex Plus tippet. Yes, it is expensive, however, the benefits are well worth the price. I have listed some tips below.
- Fly Selection and Presentation – These are by far the reason you catch a ton of fish or very few fish. Tippet size is rarely the reason.
- Tippet Size – I have three basic sizes of tippet in my bag: 2x,3x,4x all are RIO Fluoroflex Plus. I don’t even own a spool of 5x. I use 2x when streamer fishing and on large dry flies. I will also use it if I am fishing large nymphs like girdle bugs. 2x can be used all summer long on the South Fork of the Snake for instance. When fishing large dry flies like stoneflies and Chernobyl ants, I use nothing else but 2x. I will then tie off a dropper from the big dry with 3x. When fish are rising on small dries, I will use 4x for the dry and often tie a dropper off using 4x. Sizing down for the dropper can save you flies. If the bottom fly gets caught on a rock or tree, you will usually only lose the dropper if you size down your tippet.
- Health of Fish – We are all concerned about the health of the fish. What better way to care for them than getting them in and off the hook as fast as possible. When you use heavier tippet you really help the fish. They recover quickly and are back in the water fast.
- Catch More Fish – Larger tippet sizes mean you lose less fish. Losing less fish means you lose fewer flies. Better for the fish and better for you.
- Save Money – You will save money on flies using a heavier tippet. You can put that savings toward the purchase of your more expensive tippet material.
Use the biggest tippet you can get away with. The fish will thank you.