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Before choosing the ideal fly fishing tippet length, the one thing you should be most conscious about is presentation. Is your tippet length inconspicuous enough when it's in front of a fish? Does it look good appetizing enough? On the off chance you're a rookie angler, let's get the definition of a tippet out of the way first.
A tippet is a gauge monofilament line that's attached to your leader. It connects your leader with the fly. It's typically the smallest gauge line on your gear and is practically invisible to your fish. If it's practically invisible, why do you need one?
Pros of Using Tippets
It's possible to go fly fishing without a tippet line. So before checking out the ideal fly fishing tippet length, let's see why you should actually consider getting one.
● Invisible Line: The logic is simple. You don't want your fish to know they're heading for a trap. The tippet allows your fly to swim as naturally as possible, without raising any suspicion.
● Extends the life of your leader. Leaders tend to be on the expensive side of the gear. If you're a frequent angler who has to change flies often, little by little, your leader's taper is going to fall off. By using an ideal fly fishing tippet length, you get to prevent that, since the fly only comes in contact with the tippet.
Now flies come in all shapes and sizes - depending on what you're hoping to catch. The fly fishing tippet length you pick will depend a lot on what your fly looks like, the waters you'll be fly fishing in, and your level of experience. Let's see which tippet lengths suit which scenario.
Picking the Best Fly Fishing Tippet Length
Tippets are usually between 2 to 4 feet long. Most expert anglers advice that the length of your tippet should correspond with the length of your leader. If your leader's 10 to 12 feet for example, then you should opt for tippets that are 2 to 4 feet. If the leader's longer, you'll want to go with a longer tippet.
Because of the extremely thin nature of the tippet line, they tend to wear out fast. The last thing you want is to have to change your tippet line every so often, so try to compensate for the line that'll be lost when picking out a length. A preemptive measure if you will.
Note that your fishing style will also affect the length of your tippet. Dry fly fishing is usually more tolerant of longer tippets than wet fly fishing.
Do Bright Colored Tippet Lines Matter?
Not really. It's easy to think a neon yellow tippet line will fetch you more games because of the sheer number of neon yellow tippet lines sold today. Rookie mistake. Fish don't really care about color. Your neon yellow or green tippet line might as well be black for all they care about. Gear manufacturers make different colors available for the benefit of the angler, not the fish.
If you choose a black line, but can't follow it when it's in the water, you'll be at a loss. So a bright, easily detectable color makes more sense because it'll allow you to know where it is while immersed in water. Wanting your gear colors to match is also a good reason to choose a specific tippet color. Also, note that the line color you choose might only be ideal during certain times of the day. Neon yellow tippet lines look fantastic at night but are practically undetectable to the naked eye on a sunny afternoon.
For all intents and purposes, only your fly fishing tippet length matters to catching fish. The color's solely for your benefit.
The lazies will tell you that with tippet lines longer is better since it'll take a while before you have to change it. The truth is, as long as the length of your tippet doesn't affect your casting ability, you can get away with longer lines when using dry flies.
One more thing. Tippet lines are notoriously painful to attach/detach from leaders. It's a lot easier to cut off the extra length you don't need than to loosen your tippet and attach a new one when you decide it's too short.
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fly fishing tippet length