Sexyloops - Light rod and tippet

Light rod and tippet

Light rod and tippet

Alex Vulev | Thursday, 1 October 2015

A great flyfishing author once wrote that the choice of tackle /fly rods/ is mainly an endless exercise of personal preferences. I'm not gonna argue with that concept, instead accepting it as a true case, even now with the modern times of fly tackle mass producton in its peak. With the huge variety of rods today, picking the right rod for the job may be more cofusing than ever. And if you are like me with no well stocked fly shop carrying many rod brands around, the most likely scenario will be picking a rod without seeing it, not to mention to cast it or better fish it first. So far all was relatively well for me, when I was after some "general purpose" fly rods which normally would mean a 9'#6. But my preferences changed over the years and now I`m after the strongest, higher weighted fly rods /for nymphs, streamer/suitable for a given water and type of fish.

It's so happened that I've hooked and lost my best trouts - brown,rainbow, marble, while fighting the fish with inadequate rods. A #3 , 72g, 9', against a 70cm brown, a weak #6  against a 70cm rainbow in a very strong current and so on. In fact I haven't had that many problems with fish breaking the line, but mostly problems when fighting a bigger fish with a light weight rods. Yes, I know it is do-able and sometimes will work, but today I would rather always pick a stronger weight rod. It will handle the fish with more authority for less time and the fish will be released back in the water faster, less affected from a prolonged fight with a lighter rod. The same goes for the light tippets. I will pick the strongest diameter line reasonable to use for a situation /nymphs, streamer/and will go lighter only in certain very special occasions.

On my local trout waters the avarage fish are not big. With a lighter tippet you may  often attract more strikes, because the fly will move more naturaly, unrestrained from a thicker tippet, but when you hook a rare, better fish you will be dreaming for a stronger rod/tippet combination. And the problem may  aggravate when fishing with a barbless hook. For me, in the trout rivers I fish, a  barbless hook will better work for biger fish with a stronger rod and tippet for the shortest fight, thus leaving less time and room for mistakes. I'm also planing to change my fancy wooden, short handle net with a one with a longer handle, to net the  fish faster on big fish waters. I think that for any fish, faster landing is better and for the bigger fish faster is better especially with a barbless hook.

By faster I don't mean dragging the fish to the bank with some 1mm nylon, but finding a proper rod weight/tippet combination that will allow you to subdue the fish with less chances to loose it or to fight it for longer than needed. I know what I would use, but what would you use - a lighter tackle attracting more fish to take the fly, compromising eventual big fish fight or a stronger tackle, rod/tippet combination if there are any even rare chances for a bigger fish to be hooked?


De-barbing a small size  hook is not a very good option  for a bigger, stronger trout. It seems that de-barbing a hook is weakening it, so better use hooks originaly designed as barbless! A couple of days ago I was /fly/ fishing a local chalkstream - a spring creek as the Americans call it. On a secret spot a 45cm brown took my de-barbed size 12 fly, jumped above and than below some  branches, and  moments later was gone, leaving me with a broken hook. Not a very bad start for a low water conditions day, but the best catch of the day was lost, because of a weak small size de-barbed hook! The rest of the day was a rather mundane affair - a 24cm chub,  30cm rainbow and a 24cm perch! 

PS I went today to try catch that brown, but the spot was taken from a rainbow trout that I hooked instead.
If one fish leaves a good spot, another fish takes it!