RIO Powerflex 3 Pack Tippet
RIO’S Powerflex Tippet 3-Pack. New for 2016, RIO’s Powerflex Tippet 3-Packs are a great value for guides and anglers who use a range of tippet sizes. These 3-Packs include three, unique 30-yard spools of our popular Powerflex Tippet packaged in a reusable, clear plastic cup.
The 3-Packs are available in three configurations: 0X – 2X, 3X – 5X and 4X – 6X.
The 3 Pack comes in a nice storage cup as well. The cups can be used to store flies, split shot, indicators or other small accessories.
RIO Tippet Material - Fluoroflex, Fluoroflex Plus, and PowerflexSuccessful anglers carry several different types of tippet material for various situations. Here is a very basic guide to help you. This material is typically used to repair an existing tapered leader or to modify your leader for a different fly set up. Tippet size is generally described in diameter rather than strength. The "X" in tippet refers to a mathematical coefficient that describes the diameter of the tippet. For instance, 3X is actually bigger tippet than 4X and therefore stronger. The smaller the number, the bigger the diameter, the stronger the tippet.
Fluorocarbon Tippet versus Mono Tippet - Comparison
Mono is typically used for dry flies. It is less dense so it stays closer to the surface and doesn't have a tendency to drown your dry fly. It is also cheaper, so use mono in any situation that it is appropriate. The downsides are that it stretches a bit more and can cost you on the hooksets when dealing with larger hooks and larger fish. It also possesses fiber optic qualities and is much more visible to the trout underwater.
Fluorocarbon is the best tippet material for nymph fishing or wet flies. It sinks fast and lacks fiber optic qualities and is much less visible to the trout. It tends to stretch less and is more abrasion resistant. Although it may not be rated as being stronger than mono per diameter, most of us at Red's Fly Shop agree that the Fluorocarbon is quite a bit stronger.
Fluoroflex versus Fluoroflex Plus
The "Plus" is quite a bit stronger. It is also more expensive. It is actually a pretty good value when you consider that it might save you a few flies by spool's end! Overall, we recommend using the Fluoroflex Plus in situations that require a little extra confidence. Big trout, steelhead, and flats fishing for trophy bonefish or the elusive Permit are species that come to mind.
Buyer's Guide to Fly Fishing Tippet
This is a rough guide, but hopefully it will get you on the right track since there is no exact equation on what size tippet to use all the time. Bigger flies require bigger tippet, smaller flies require smaller tippet. Not so much because the trout can see it, but more because the tippet is what allows the fly to move and travel naturally in the water. Also, keep in mind that larger tippet tangles less, casts better, and is easier to tie. For beginners, it is best to error on the side of slightly larger tippet. Also consider the fact that bigger tippet removes itself from grass and trees much better than smaller stuff. There is a fine line though (no pun intended!). You still need to fool the fish, so please stay relatively close to the guide below. The tippet must let the fly move naturally in the currents so light tippet is essential for smaller flies. Flies that are being moved like baitfish patterns, streamers, leeches, big grasshoppers, etc. are much less sensitive to tippet size as flexibility is not an issue.
Guide to Tippet Size and Fly Size
Nymphs size 18 and smaller: 6-7X Fluorocarbon
Nymphs size 16-12: 5X Fluorocarbon
Nymphs size 12-10: 4X Fluorocarbon
Stonefly Nymphs/Streamers size 8-6: 3X Fluorocarbon
Stonefly Nymphs/Streamers size 4 on up: 0-2X Fluorocarbon
Steelhead Spey - 0X Fluoroflex Plus is pretty standard across the board
Steelhead Nymphs 1X to your big flies, 2X to your small to medium, and 3X to small flies in clear water (Summer Runs)
Dry Flies size 18 and smaller: 6-7X Powerflex
Dry Flies size 16-12: 4-5X Powerflex
Dry Flies size 10-8: 4X Powerflex
Grasshoppers, Big Chernobyl Ants, etc. size 6: 3X Powerflex
Anything bigger use 1-2X Powerflex.... and hang on!
Tippet Knots for Fly Fishing
The most common knots used in fly fishing for tippet are the Triple Surgeon's Knot and the Clinch Knot (or Improved Clinch Knot). For tying tippet to tippet, use the Triple Surgeon's Knot. You would use this to extend or repair your existing tapered leader. The Surgeon's knot is great for leaders of similar size. In the event that your tapered leader is broken back so far that the tippet is of greatly unequal diameter, it is best to get a new tapered leader.
To tie the fly onto this tippet material, the most common knot is going to be the Clinch Knot (or Improved Clinch Knot). This is the commonly used knot. There are a few other variations but a fly fisherman could fish their entire lives and be highly successful in freshwater using this knot alone for attaching flies to the tippet.