Fly leaders & tippets uncovered... the what, the why & the how.
First question, just what is a tippet? A tippet is a particular gauge monofilament line which should be attached to the end of your leader, then tied to your fly. The tippet is normally the littlest gauge line on your rig and is pretty unseeable to the fish. Adjust your leader weight to the size of the fly.
The only top tips on tippets you need to know.
Usually your tippet will be between two and four feet long and will be exactly the same dimensions, or a bit smaller than, the diameter of the leader tip. There's a huge benefit using tippets: you'll extend the life of your leader... and this is crucial, because leaders can be expensive.
The leader, tippet & fly are three hugely crucial components in your fly-fishing experience!
Presentation, presentation, presentation!
Essentially fly fishing is all about presentation... the art of subtly placing a fly in front of a fish and ensuring it looks tasty enough to munch! And the key to that skill is learning the right mix the leader, tippet and fly... this is a crucial element to the perfect fly fishing experience.
Fish don't care about colours!
Fly lines are usually sold in a selection of colours, from the whitest white to the hottest pink. But it's important to know this is for your benefit only, so you can see what you're doing... but to the fish it's just a black shape, and the shape needs to look like dinner. That's why you need the leader.
Learn to love your leader!
The leader is affixed to the end of the fly line, enabling you an almost invisible, transparent connection between your line and your fly – keeping the right shape for the fishes food! Most retail sold leaders are made a selection of lengths between 7.5 and 9 feet.
Cast to make your leader fly efficiently!
As you cast, ensure the taper enables your leader to fly through the air more efficiently, coming to rest as subtly as possible on the water surface. As leaders are produced in varying weights and tensions, you'll find that the right leader weight or you is mostly decided by the size of your fly.
The low down on leaders – an important thing to know...
The majority of leaders are made with tapered monofilament nylon, which results in them being a bigger diameter at the butt end affixed to the fly line, with a smaller diameter at the tip where you tie your tippet or fly.