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How Much Tippet Should You Use ????

“How Much Tippet Should You Use ????” is a video by Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing, featuring Tom discussing the amount of tippet needed based on the fly being used and the fishing conditions. The video covers various topics such as Pennsylvania River Bass Fishing, Grasshoppers on the Side – Fly Fishing, tying the deadly Undertaker for salmon, winter steelheading, and learning Euro-Nymphing. The article emphasizes the importance of adjusting the length of tippet depending on factors such as sink lines, windy conditions, spooky fish in clear water, and fishing with indicators or dry droppers.

Tom starts by explaining that sinking lines require about three to four feet of tippet, eliminating the need for a leader. For general fishing, he suggests a tippet length of two feet, including nymphs, wet flies, and dry flies. Tom advises adjusting tippet length based on wind conditions, recommending shorter tippet and a heavier material. When fishing with indicators or dry droppers, he suggests estimating the depth of the water and selecting tippet length at one and a half to two times that amount to ensure the nymphs stay close to the bottom. Ultimately, the article recommends starting with a two-foot tippet and making adjustments accordingly.

How Much Tippet Should You Use?

When it comes to fly fishing, the amount of tippet you use can greatly affect your success in catching fish. The length of tippet you use depends on various factors, such as the type of fly you’re using and the conditions you’re fishing in. In this article, we will explore different scenarios and provide recommendations on the appropriate amount of tippet to use.

Sinking Lines

If you’re using a sinking line or a sinking tip, you typically don’t need a long leader. Instead, you can simply add about three to four feet of tippet directly to the sinking section of your setup. This allows your fly to sink to the desired depth without the need for a separate leader. When your tippet becomes too short due to changing flies or wear, it’s usually a good idea to add a new section of tippet that is around two feet in length.

Nim Fishing

For most nymph fishing scenarios, a tippet length of two feet is considered ideal. This applies to general fishing situations, whether you’re using dry flies, wet flies, or nymphs. However, when fishing with streamers, you may want to go slightly shorter and use tippet lengths of 16 to 20 inches. This shorter length helps reduce the resistance when casting larger flies.

How Much Tippet Should You Use ????

Dry Fly Fishing

When dry fly fishing, a tippet length of about two feet is generally sufficient. This length allows for accurate presentation of the fly without spooking the fish. However, if you’re dealing with particularly spooky fish in clear water, you may consider adding a little extra tippet. Going up to three feet can help minimize the chances of scaring the fish as you cast your line over them.

Streamer Fishing

For streamer fishing, a tippet length of 16 to 20 inches is often recommended. This shorter length allows for better control and maneuverability when casting and retrieving streamer flies. Using a shorter tippet also helps minimize the chances of tangling or snagging your line as you work the fly through the water.

How Much Tippet Should You Use ????

Windy Conditions

When fishing in windy conditions, it’s important to make some adjustments to your tippet length. Shortening your tippet can help prevent it from getting blown all over the place, making it difficult to place your fly where you want it. Additionally, using a slightly heavier tippet can provide more stability and control in the wind. Going up to the next higher size can help make your tippet stiffer and less prone to being affected by strong gusts.

Clear Water

In clear water, where fish tend to be more cautious and easily spooked, adding extra tippet length can be beneficial. If you feel that you’re scaring the fish when you throw your line over them, consider adding a little more tippet. Going up to three feet in length can give you some extra distance and reduce the chances of the fish detecting your presence.

Nim Fishing with Indicator

When using an indicator or a dry dropper setup for nymph fishing, the length of your tippet below the indicator or fly should be about one and a half to two times the depth of the water. This estimate allows your nymphs to get close to the bottom without dragging behind the faster-moving indicator or dry fly. You don’t have to measure the exact depth of the water; making a visual estimation and adjusting accordingly should suffice.

Estimating Tippet Length

If you’re uncertain about how much tippet to add to your leader, starting with two feet is a good rule of thumb. From there, you can make adjustments based on the specific fishing conditions and your own observations. If it’s a windy day, consider shortening your tippet and using a slightly heavier size. If you think you’re spooking the fish, try adding extra tippet length to minimize their awareness of your presence. Experimenting and fine-tuning your tippet length can help maximize your chances of success in different fishing situations.


Determining the appropriate amount of tippet to use in fly fishing depends on several factors. Whether you’re fishing with sinking lines, nymphs, dry flies, streamers, or in windy or clear water conditions, adapting your tippet length can make a significant difference. By considering these factors and making adjustments accordingly, you can enhance your chances of enticing and hooking more fish. Remember to always experiment and adapt your approach to suit the specific fishing conditions you encounter.

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