Little River Outfitters Forum

Little River Outfitters Forum (
-   Smoky Mountain Fishing (
-   -   tippet theory (

knucklehead 08-14-2008 11:08 PM

tippet theory
just wondering something. lately i ran out of 6x tippet and had to start using 4x; it was what i had. i doubt i'll ever use 6x tippet again. the fish have not minded in the least and i've been able to retrieve more flies from trees due to the stronger line. anybody else had similar or different experiences?

Fly_Man_Bill 08-15-2008 12:03 AM


I use 6 and 8 lb test line for my tippet. This is what I was taught to fish with. I use the Stren brand in low vison. I do spook some fish with this line but it works well for me. Alot of the guys I fish with use a 4x tippet they like it real well. They land some real good fish with this type of line. One person I fish with uses 10 lb. P-Line. That is all he will fish with. He catches alot of fish. I think what every line a person gets use to fishing and has faith in is the best for them. I hope this has been a little bit of help.

May God Bless You...


jeffnles1 08-15-2008 08:09 AM

I don't know if my thoughts would elevate to the status of theory but here's what I do with tippet.

For the most part, it depends on the water.

In fast moving clear water like the Smokeys, I use 4X or 5X with a slight preference for 5X. The fish don't have a lot of time to think about eating that tastey looking bug that's moving by them and the turbulance of the water pretty much hides the line anyway.

Clear slow moving water: In the tailwater I most frequently fish, if I could attach the fly to the line using just air, I would. I use 6X and 7X there. I've actually seen trout come to a fly, look at it and move forward to look at the line then swim away. That was with 7X. Of course, in the tail water the fish are pretty well educated and can probably tell if I'm using Rio 7X or Orvis 7X and which shop I bought it from. Since LRO is out of state, I buy it there just to confuse my local trout.:smile:

Lakes: most of our warmwater lakes here in KY are not crystal clear. I use 3X and 4X to toss poppers, woolie buggers, and assorted streamers. In really clear lakes, I'll drop to 5X if the fish seem easily spooked.

When I'm using my 7wt rod and tossing bass bugs and bigger poppers, I will just tie on some 8lb or 10lb low vis. Stren as mentioned above. Tossing big bugs in the weeds the fish do not seem to mind the line.

Hope this helps. This seems to work for me.

Of course, one must consider that I am yet this month to catch a fish worthy of the August one fish per month photo thread. I've caught several nice bass but was cheating by using a spinning rod. Oh the shame.


PeteCz 08-15-2008 09:54 AM

An Intersting Article
From: Myths, legends, lies and other fishing facts

Myth 3: Small tippets are better because they are harder to see. This one defies common sense. Switching from a 5X to a 7X tippet is making a change of two thousands of an inch in line diameter. Do you really think trout can tell the difference?

A trout can see 7X tippet as well as it can see climbing rope. I spend hundreds of hours underwater watching trout feed. Very often the fish will be taking minute items such as daphnia or copepods that are impossible for me to see much more than a foot away. These fish routinely initiate their rise to the food when it is still five or six feet away. At that distance even I can clearly see 7X tippet, and have no doubt trout see it too. Luckily, trout don't care.

On Fall River and Fort Creek I've glued foot long pieces of 15 pound Maxima to Hexagenia mayflies and grasshoppers. These notoriously selective fish rose to the bugs without hesitation, yet they turned away from the same fly attached to 5X tippet connected somewhere upstream to a fly rod.

The difference, and the only difference, is drag. It is amazing how much junk is floating in the water in and amongst trout food. If the trout rejected every item near a pine needle or piece of straw, the fish would starve to death. Trout are not accustomed to seeing a mayfly spinner swimming upstream or an ant skating sideways.

The thinner the tippet, the less drag it is inclined to impart on the fly. You can also reduce drag by lengthening the tippet or by affixing the fly with an open loop knot.

pineman19 08-15-2008 10:00 AM

I prefer 4 or 5x myself. I used 6x a lot in June & July due to lower water levels and simply use up an older spool. I break a lot more flies off with 6x than 4 or 5 and it happens more while casting, etc. than when I hook a fish. 5x seems to be good choice for me when I am fishing the smaller streams in the Park.

Neal 08-15-2008 02:10 PM

Does anyone else agree that with spooky fish or educated fish the extra movement or lack of drag associated with smaller tippet maybe the trigger rather than visibility? 08-15-2008 02:13 PM


Originally Posted by (Post 56662)
Does anyone else agree that with spooky fish or educated fish the extra movement or lack of drag associated with smaller tippet maybe the trigger rather than visibility?

My bad I didnt see the refference to drag, or lack of, in the previous post.

jzimmerman 08-15-2008 02:29 PM

I agree 100%. Next time you go to a tail water just watch your fly with 4x then with 6x. Its the drag on the fly that turns the fish off.

jeffnles1 08-15-2008 04:03 PM

Could be drag, I don't know. All I know is in slow moving clear water I do better with light tippet and in cloudy water or fast moving water, it doesn't seem to matter.

Given I break off more flies and have had fish break off with light tippets, I try to use as heavy as I can while still getting the job done.

Interesting discussion.


sprestwood 08-15-2008 05:21 PM

Tippet Theory
Apparently tippet draw plate sizes were only used to match up with the eyehole size of hooks. For the smaller tippets you can multiply the drawplate size (like 7x) to get a close approximation of hook that would match it (20 or 22, 7x3=21).

It also appears the that materials are improved, a given diameter appears to have more lb test than some cheaper, older mono or floro. The drawplate sizes started with watchmakers as a method to make and gauge wire, then it was used to gauge silkworm gut leaders, and now mono and floro. I imagine if you are using silkworm gut you would be finding the largest gut that would fit through your hook.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.