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#3153548 - 02/06/13 08:12 AM Fly fishing question
RUGER Administrator
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Registered: 11/19/99
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Ok say you are a VERY novice fly fisherman.
You use one in ponds and small lakes for bream and such.

What would be the cons to using say, 2 or 4 pound test flurocarbon line for a leader or whatever you call the part you tie to the fly line, versus the "real" thing?

Just curious.
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#3153564 - 02/06/13 08:32 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: RUGER]
catman529
spiderboy
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Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 15795
Loc: Franklin TN

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I'm a novice too but the way i understand it is the tippet material is a smaller diameter than regular mono. So if your leader tapers down to 6 lb test, you have to use 6 lb or smaller tippet. But 6 lb mono or fluoro will probably be thicker so 2 or 4 lb would work. The main thing is that the line goes down in diameter from the fly line to the fly... Like a whip, so the line will lay out in the water. This is the way I know it but maybe a more experienced fly fisher could confirm or correct me... Ill say that I used 6 lb mono for a tippet and it was slightly thicker than the end of the 10 lb leader, but it got the job done for a while before I bought real tippet.
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#3153610 - 02/06/13 09:11 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: catman529]
Chaneylake
Brownsville Mafia
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Registered: 12/18/07
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I always use just regular 6 lb test mono and never have had a problem
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#3153632 - 02/06/13 09:33 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: RUGER]
rsimms
10 Point


Registered: 09/08/02
Posts: 2676
Loc: Chattanooga, TN

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As Chaneylake said, mono will work fine as a tippet.

However real flyline tippets are tapered... larger diameter where it attaches to flyline, tapering down to smaller diameter where you tie fly.

The tapering allows you to cast flies much more effectively and accurately. If you're trying to "finesse" fish persnickety trout, especially with smaller flies, that really is critical.

But if you just care about "plopping" something out there for a lowly bass or bluegill, regular (small) mono will work fine.

Of course I'm betting your flycasting does a lot of "plopping" no matter what kind of fly or tippet you're using.
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#3153662 - 02/06/13 10:02 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: rsimms]
RUGER Administrator
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Keep it up there catfish man. \:D
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#3153708 - 02/06/13 10:48 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: RUGER]
catman529
spiderboy
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Registered: 11/10/10
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Loc: Franklin TN

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I thought tippets are not tapered - the leader is tapered, and the tippet goes at the end of the leader. The reason you use extra tippet material is so you dont eat up the tippet at te end of te leader by tying on flies, if you tied the flies onto the leader you would have to replace the leader a lot sooner. Leaders have like a foot or two extra tippet on the end and that will get used up pretty quick if you don't tie on an extra piece of tippet (or mono if you like)
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#3153751 - 02/06/13 11:28 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: catman529]
gil1
12 Point


Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 6339
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Both leader and tippet can be and often are monofilament. Fly fishermen more often use fluorocarbon, though. For trout at least, line diameter and visibility are important. You don't want the trout to see it, and although fluoro has its flaws (that's a whole different discussion), it is stronger and less visible than mono for its diameter.

But back to the question. The leader (which is tied to the end of fly line) is usually tapered from thicker to thinner so your line will "turn over" and not plop on the water to scare fish (as Simms said). You can get tapered leader by building your own with different diameters of mono or fluoro. I usually do this just because it's easier and cheaper for me, but most folks (especially newbies) would prefer to just buy a leader that's already tapered. I bought mine for about 15 years before building my own.

As catman said, the tippet is just a section of line (mono or fluoro) you tie to the end of your leader because you don't want to be cutting back your leader every time you tie on a new fly. For trout... Usually, you will use a mono tippet if you are fishing dry flies on the surface because mono floats. For flies that are designed to be fished below the surface, you usually fish fluoro because it sinks.

For trout, the diameter of the tippet usually depends on the size of the fly you are using, not the size of the fish you expect to catch or the strength of the line. In fact, unlike conventional tackle, I rarely take into consideration the strength of the line and couldn't even guess at what pound test a certain size line is - you usually just don't think of it that way in trout fishing. One main reason is that your drag and especially your bending rod are what will absorb the brunt of the pressure, not the line. A good general rule is to divide the size of the fly's hook by 3 to get the size (diameter) of the tippet. A size 18 fly hook might be used with a size 6x leader (see - I divided by 3).

And on that note, just to add more interesting fly fishing trivia, most of the time, the size and strength of the fly rod usually have to do with the size of the fly rather than the size of the fish you want to catch. If you want to cast a big fly a long way, you better have a big rod to help the fly cut through the air. This is only a general rule as I use a decent size rod (not big) to fish for huge carp even though the flies are relatively small.

Again, back to the question and already answered by Simms, if you are fishing for bluegill or largemouth, you can probably get away with a short non-tapered monofilament because these species actually like it sometimes when you splash your fly in front of them. I would opt to still go with a tapered line anyway just because when a line "turns over" properly, you get more distance on your cast. You can still make your fly "plop" if you need to.

Lastly, I know there are a lot of folks that read this that are considering fly fishing. I threw out some stuff that makes it seem like fly fishing is complicated. Just like anything else, it takes practice. But I swear it's not too complicated. If I can do it, freaking ANYBODY can! You really need to add it to your fishing arsenal. It can be soooo much fun.
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#3153757 - 02/06/13 11:31 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: catman529]
GRAMPS
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Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 8600
Loc: Mount Carmel, TN

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Ruger, I just use regular mono for a leader myself. I do most of my fly fishing around bushes and tree limbs and have a lot of break offs. Regular mono is a lot easier on the wallet. I still catch a lot of fish using the regular mono for a leader. Guess you can just call me a cheapskate redneck fly fisherman.

In fact, you can drive by the trout streams in the Smokies and see some dudes fly fishing that looks like they have just stepped out of an Orvis fishing catalog. If you see me, I will be the dude in the bib overalls. \:D


Edited by GRAMPS (02/06/13 12:00 PM)
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#3153879 - 02/06/13 01:32 PM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: GRAMPS]
Crosshairy
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Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2650
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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I use 4 or 6 lb mono with no taper about 80% of the time, although I tried a store-bought tapered leader for the first time a year or two ago.

I rarely make long casts (more than 30-40 feet) with my fly rod, and about 75% of the time my flies are topwater plugs where a "loud" presentation is preferable.

I suspect that if I moved to E. TN I'd have to change my ways a bit to keep catching fish...
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#3154073 - 02/06/13 04:52 PM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: Crosshairy]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
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Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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I very seldom have gone after trout with a flyrod. That's mainly because I have to make a fairly long trip to do any trout fishing. Otherewise, around home I usually just use mono fishing for bream and bass. If you haven't tried that wait until the bream go on beds and go have some fun.
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#3154826 - 02/07/13 09:48 AM Re: Fly fishing question [Re: gil1]
44fanatic
12 Point


Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 6126
Loc: Clarksville, Montgomery Cnty

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 Originally Posted By: gil1
If I can do it, freaking ANYBODY can!


HA!!! I'll prove you wrong on that comment...LOL.

I've been able to tie some of the prettiest knots while casting and am fully capable of hooking the only bush in an empty parking lot.

Back to the orginal post.
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