Published Jan 1. 2002 - 14 years ago

Fly fishing leaders and tippets

Leaders fall in several categories. These all serve the same purpose: transmitting the energy fra the fly line to the fly in a gentle, yet firm way. The different types each have their advantages and disadvantages, and selecting one is often a question of compromises.

Leaders fall in several categories. These all serve the same purpose: transmitting the energy fra the fly line to the fly in a gentle, yet firm way. The different types each have their advantages and disadvantages, and selecting one is often a question of compromises.
  • Tapered The tapered leader is probably the most common. It consists of one piece of monofile line, that has been drawn to a taper from a thick base to a thin tip, that are made the normal range of tippet weights.
  • Knotted
    The knotted leader has been tied together by several peices of monofile line to form a similar taper. It's inexpensive and can be made to any taper, thickness, stiffness and hence purpose.
  • Braided
    The braided leader is made from thin braided monofile strands. It's normally tapered by leaving out moreand more threads towards the tip. The braided leaders are generally expensive, but also offer a supple presentation and high knot resistance
  • Twined
    The furled or twined leader is a home made leader that has the advantage of the braided leader (it's even better actually) and the price of the knotted one. There's a detalied description on how to make such leaders.

Leader and tippet sizes

'X-size'0X1X2X3X4X5X6X7X8X
Tip dia. (mm)0.280.260.230.200.180.150.130.100.07
Tipdia. (inches)0.0110.0100.0090.0080.0070.0060.0050.0040.003
Test(kg)6.85.54.53.22.31.81.40.90.6
Test(lb.)151210754321
The test weights are examples from Sunline (Siglon and other brands) and may vary quite a bit from brand to brand.
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Comments

Martin Joergensen's picture

Todd,

You usually use either the same tippet size as the leader or slightly thinner. The 4X will probably refer to the thickness of your leader in the thin end, and by adding a 5X tippet, your taper it further down, while a 4X tippet will continue the same thickness as the tip of the leader.

Hope this helps.

Martin

I need to know what size tippet to use with a leader size of 4X ..

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