View Full Version : Gear?

01-26-2009, 10:31 PM
I got a few questions, I have a 5-6 wt 9' I am bringing to gatlinburg, I am sure it is over kill but it is what I have, I use it here to Florida, I am sure I need to replace the leader and tippit to get even close to being in the ballpark, any advise guys? What wt's and rod lengths to you guys use around there?

I see my first stop wensday is LRO

Any help greatly appreciated


01-26-2009, 10:44 PM
I use a similar set up...My guess, just use a 7X leader and very thin tippet.

01-27-2009, 12:42 AM
While I haven't yet fished any of the streams in Eastern TN, I have fished plenty in Western NC w/ my 9' 6 wt.

I don't know what kind of water you fish in FL, but you'll probably just have to get used to lots of roll casting and knot-untangling...something that 6" of rod length and a weight or two of line isn't gonna change that drastically...And you will probably have to experiment w/ leader length and be sure to stock up on 7x tippet...

All that being said, I am looking forward to my next rod, which will be something in the 4 piece 3-4 wt range...

01-27-2009, 09:08 AM
In the smokies, I use a 6X Leader and 7X tippet, but that is with a 7-6 4wt rod.

Brian Griffing
01-27-2009, 09:36 AM
9 ft, 5 wt rod. The biggest the end of my line gets is 6x. It works well for me. The length of the rod gives me the ability to reach, roll, and backhand at close distances when I am on the right side of the stream, casting upstream (I am right-handed). It also affords me a little distance when I am on the left side and have backcast room over the stream bed.

01-27-2009, 10:23 AM
ditto what others have said. Mostly, I use a 9' 5wt or a 9' 4wt with between 5X and 6X tippet. I have used 7X before but haven't seen any real reason to go thinner than 6X.

I just picked up an 8'4" 3wt from a guy who bought a bamboo rod and was selling his 3wt. I'm itching to use it in the mountains.


01-27-2009, 10:38 AM
I use either a 8 1/2' 5wt winston, 7' 4wt troutbum by orvis or my 8' 6wt boo rod. 6 and 7x tippet. Elk hair caddis with a pheasant tail nymph dropper. leaders are about 9 ft long. The never sink caddis is my favorite caddis.

01-27-2009, 10:57 AM
7'9" 3 weight, 5x leader 5x tippet. Get a good drift and the fish could care less about your tippet size. I also like the 5x because I can pull my fly's back out of the trees a little better. I use a 7.5 foot leader and find it easier to cast when you only have about 10 feet of line out the end of your fishin stick. Unless your jones-in to buy a new rod, your set-up will due just fine.

01-27-2009, 11:11 AM
I'm with buzz on this one. I mostly use 7 1/2 foot 4X or 5X leaders and add 18" of 5X fluro tippet. I think a good drift trumps smaller tippet every time. During extremely low water I will use 6X fluro tippet and on some of the larger streams I will use a 9 foot leader. But for most of the streams 7 1/2 foot leaders with 5X tippet should get the job done.
I would also agree with those who have said bring the rod you currently have and if you fall in love with fishing the mountain streams for trout... Find you a nice 8' 4wt, of course that is just my personal preference.


01-27-2009, 12:21 PM
I fish mainly with an 8'6" 3wt in the park and rarely go below 5x (in the dead of the summer I may use 6x). Like Mike and Buzz both said, drag is the real issue, not tippet size. The difference in diameter is so microscopic that it really doesn't matter. Plus, fish see all sorts of junk in and around their food all day long. Its only when then see a mayfly water-skiing that they shy away from it...Having a 9' rod will help you keep more line off the water, so your setup should work fine.

In the park you'll mostly be flip casting and roll casting from across your body and behind boulders and trees. And oh yes, you will get a bunch of flies caught in the brush around the streams so a stronger tippet gives you a shot at yanking a fly out of a tree every once in awhile. (btw, you have next to zero shot of yanking a fly out of a Rhodie, so don't even waste your time...)

I also use a Blue Sky Furled leader, so all I ever have to do is replace the tippet. I've used the same two for about two years (fished about 30 times with each one) so they are quite durable. They come in sizes to match your fly line and turn over very well (for those times it actually matters).

Since it sounds like you are coming over soon, you will be doing lots of nymphing and can probably tie about 5' of 4x on the end of your fly line plus a double nymph setup (BH Tellico and a #16 BHPT). You may do best if you head up to the the upper part of the Abrams Creek trail. The water will be a bit warmer than anywhere else...

Good Luck! Have Fun and take pictures...

01-27-2009, 11:28 PM
In the park, I generally take my 6' 2wt with a 5x, 6x, or 7x leader and 6x or 7x tippet. I use my 5wt on a little bit bigger streams (Clinch, Caney). As stated before, you may have a few more technical casts than the next guy and a few more knots, you'll just have to be a little more cautious. Hopefully you will hook into a hog and make that 5-6 count. Good luck!

David Knapp
01-27-2009, 11:48 PM
I'm a little surprised at how many people are apparently fishing 6x and 7x tippet consistently. Rarely go under 5x except for dropper flies and then it is sometimes 6x... Tailwaters are a different story but even there I very rarely fish 7x. I might have to do some experiments this summer with various tippet sizes to see if I can come up with some solid numbers on how well each size works...

01-28-2009, 12:43 AM
Check this page out:

Point number 3 in particular...

Jack M.
01-28-2009, 07:12 AM
I agree with Pete and the myth-busting article. I do use 6X occasionally with very small flies and in the Park, with the usual size of fish under 10 inches, 6X is plenty strong. 5X, though, is my standard diameter for dry flies from 18 to 12. Pulling streamers through bigger water calls for 4X. If Big Brother ever outlaws felt-bottom wading boots, I hope 7X and thinner tippet goes along with it.

David Knapp
01-28-2009, 12:50 PM
Check this page out:

Point number 3 in particular...

Great link! Thanks for sharing...definitely backs up what I've generally assumed to be true about tippet size...

01-28-2009, 01:52 PM
I agree, I usually use 5-6X tippet for trout and usually 5. The only time I go to 7X is on tailwaters where I'm fishing 20 and 22 midges. It's not because of fish seeing the line, it's becuse I have trouble getting heaver line through the eyes of those tiny hooks. (and I do hate tiny hooks by the way).

For warmwater, I usually go with 3 or 4X and have even used 10lb mono as a tippet when casting heavier bass bugs.

I never had any scientific data to back up my opinion but I never thouguht fish were too line shy. If it looks like food and the fish is feeding, it's going to eat. The trick is to make it look like food and find the fish that is feeding. That's where my theory usually ends with the harsh reality of fishing vs. catching. :biggrin:


01-28-2009, 02:07 PM
I saw a similiar article (like the one that PeteCz referenced) in Field & Stream, it was a photo essay with 10 lessons, check it out:


lesson #4 deals with tippet size

01-28-2009, 03:19 PM
Thanks Pete for that link. I found it to be very informative on several issues. I guess I always used 7x tippet because that is what I learned on and I never deviated away from it. I will try the heavier tippet and see if my results change any.

Jack M.
01-28-2009, 03:34 PM
I will try the heavier tippet and see if my results change any.

It was probably mentioned in that article, but add a little length to the tippet section to lessen and delay drag.

01-28-2009, 03:48 PM
I will try and keep that in mind. Also, I am going to try that for bluegill down here when I am doing drifts. I have been going with lighter line but wonder if it is really necessary

Jack M.
01-28-2009, 10:46 PM
Bluegill where I fish for them will strike a cigarette butt tied to twine.

01-29-2009, 09:51 AM
our blue gills can become as picky as trout sometimes. We will get in some of these small streams and it will take several tries to get them to hit. Then others will do exactly as you say. But I still love to catch them whether it is easy or not.:smile: