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Thread: Too light?

  1. #1

    Default Too light?

    I'm a less-than-expert flyfisherman and have a question on tackle. I had a big rainbow (at least 20 inches) break off a few days ago and not sure if I'm going too light. 5 wt rod and 4 lb tippet. Maybe I just need to be more careful on pressure. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    4lb tip is pretty light, I don't use any thing less then 8lb, and if your not in a boat that might be a little on the light side.

  3. #3
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    No need to go down to 4lb around here. I like 6lb sniper fluro no problem landing mid 20 fish. Longer rods help and use your drag that's what its for.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    I go w/ 4lb.. Never broke off on a fish but I have carpeted the bottom of most streams in sc Ak w/ flies





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  5. #5

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    Here's one way to look at it. Tie a four pound dumbbell to your rod and try to lift it. Pretty tough. Then try tying good knots and attach the line to something and flex the rod. Hard to break the line without really jerking the rod.

    So for me the thicker line is mainly for abrasion resistance and shock from Hook sets and not so perfect drag. I'm a newbie flyfisherman and this weekend was the first time I broke 6lbs test flyfishing and that was on a couple accidental hooked cohos. Landed 20+ inch trout with a little care. I'm stepping up to 8lbs though so I can land them faster for less stress and for the silvers!

  6. #6

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    For the Kenai I use 10lb Pline fluoro on the upper and as much as 15lb Pline fluoro on the middle. No problems with hooking fish, playing fish, landing fish. Now on Parks streams I will go down too 6-7-8lb fluoro. Like Kardinal said its a lot for abrasive resistance but also the fish you are targeting.

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  7. #7

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    I only go so low when needed, whether for spooky fish or small flies.

    Good knots are key with light leaders though. The standard clinch or improved clinch knots and barrel are only about 60% depending on who you listen to. That means the break strength is headed south toward 2#. And that is way light around here. For simplicity I use a uni knot (100%) for tying on flies and either a double or triple surgeon for attaching the tippet. Both those are 100% too, but the triple lays a little straighter for my eye, and I prefer it with really soft tippets.

    One more point- If the step down from your leader to your tippet is too large, almost any knot is likely to cut the lighter leader. Better to step down a couple of times if you're headed toward 4#. E.g., if your leader is 10# and you want to put on a 4# tippet, use 8#, then 6# and finally 4# for better results.

  8. #8
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    I roll w/ Pline myself, my question, how do you thread 15 lb line throough little tiny flies that are all full of glue. I guess a guy needs several spools of different tests





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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I roll w/ Pline myself, my question, how do you thread 15 lb line throough little tiny flies that are all full of glue. I guess a guy needs several spools of different tests
    I use the nail knot tool to clean the eyes of the hook. Also I make my own leaders and tippets so I carry 30# mono, 25# mono, 20# mono, 15#mono, 15# fluoro, 12# fluoro, 10# fluoro, and then small spoils of 8-7-6-5.5. I miss spoke and actually use 12# fluoro on the middle and 15# fluoro for Steelies.

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  10. #10
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    have some thing around to poke the hole with. Also when buying leader spools, look at the diameter of the line, smaller the diameter the smaller flys/hooks you can use.

  11. #11
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7GC View Post
    I'm a less-than-expert flyfisherman and have a question on tackle. I had a big rainbow (at least 20 inches) break off a few days ago and not sure if I'm going too light. 5 wt rod and 4 lb tippet. Maybe I just need to be more careful on pressure. Thoughts?


    Invest in a premium leader material like FC Sniper or Seaguar Grand Max.


    6-8 lb on low/clear water, 8-10 otherwise.


    Be sure your knots are being tied properly and well lubricated.


    Ensure your line is in good order, no rough spots, line burns from tail slap, etc..


    The lighter the line, the more it matters.

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    I don't think the answer to your question is that simple. In fact I think that it's nearly impossible to answer that. There are way too many variables.

    I've landed Plenty of big fish on 4# tippet. I've also had plenty of big fish break off 10#.
    There is a LOT that goes into answering that question. Was your tippet too light for that particular situation? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it was just a weak spot, maybe it was a herculean fish, maybe you fingerF###ed the drag, maybe a million things. It could be as simple as your fishing style is not conducive to using light tippet.

    I also personally don't see the need for expensive leader/tippet material. I use maxima, day in and day out. 5$ a spool versus 15 or 20.. and catches just as many fish.
    I compare invasive species to children. Both can be prevented with rubber.

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post

    I also personally don't see the need for expensive leader/tippet material. I use maxima, day in and day out. 5$ a spool versus 15 or 20.. and catches just as many fish.


    How do you know?



  14. #14
    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    How do you know?


    Serious? Or jesting?

    I've tried both. I also have fished and do fish with people who use other more "premium" (read expensive) tippet material. They don't catch any more fish than I do; at least not regularly enough to convince me to pay 20$ for a spool of tippet. Those who are catching more fish; I can very easily attribute to them being better/more experienced fisherpeople than I.
    I compare invasive species to children. Both can be prevented with rubber.

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    Serious? Or jesting?


    Did you see or in my last post?



    Of course I am kidding. Many folks use the Maxima, used it myself more than most others. Have heard great things about FC Sniper and recently got a 200 yard spool of 8 lb to use. Considering that the "cheaper" Maxima is 30 yard spools, the FC Sniper is not that expensive. FC Sniper could be cheaper in fact than equivalent yardage of Maxima. Been playing with the Seaguar Grand Max the last year or so and quite fond of it. Can't say it is better than Maxima, but it is excellent leader material. Point of my suggesting it was namely to eliminate a very important variable. I save money on some things, leader material is not one of them.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    I always have something around fOr hole poking. I prefer hair around the hole but I'll admit that hair around the hole of a dry fly is the excePtion to the rule





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  17. #17
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Like'em hairy, eh?









































  18. #18
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    You east coast boys are outrageous! Always gotta take it to the extreme like Howard stern. I can hardly defend myself w/ this tiny little iPhone. Just know this, I'm an estrogen junkie, I like to soak my tackle throughly prior to engaging in penetration of any hackle abundance





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  19. #19
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    10-4 on the iPhone.

    Not a fair fight.


    Just messing with you of course.

  20. #20
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    "Is 4# tippet and a 5 wt a good choice for tackling trophy rainbows?" Do you commonly tackle 1st run Russian River Sockeye with 4# tippet on a 5 wt rod?

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