September 03, 2023 2 min read

After working in the shop the past two summers, as well as instructing some of our Fly Fishing Classes, I’ve gotten to interact with tons of new anglers who are just getting started. One of the biggest takeaways I’ve found from these interactions, is that people are really intimidated by the knowledge surrounding fly fishing, specifically knots and different rigs.

Perhaps one of the most helpful, time-saving tools/gear I’ve ever come across is the tippet ring. Many of you have probably already heard of them, but with how much it has helped clients and customers, I feel the need to reintroduce.

  • The first, and probably most important hack about the tippet ring, is it removes the need to memorize multiple different knots when you are first starting out. Instead, all you need to know is an improved clinch knot or standard fisherman’s knot that you use for tying lures or flies on to attach the tippet ring to the end of your leader.

  • Secondly, because it simplifies knot tying, you can lengthen your leader by just adding some tippet to the other side of the ring. This can be extraordinarily helpful for dry fly fishing, as leaders will inevitably get shortened from retying, tree snags, etc. Tippet rings also weigh so little, you can fish almost any size dry fly without the ring sinking or affecting your drift.
  • Thirdly, when I want to lengthen my leader or tie tippet to the other end of my tippet rings, I like to tie on a thinner diameter tippet than whatever I used for the leader. The reason for that is if I snag a tree branch, or a mossy rock at the bottom of a deep hole, I’m only going to lose whatever is tied on to the thinner tippet segment. Yes, that means that you are still going to lose your flies, but it’s better than losing both of your flies and half of your brand new tapered leader.

  • Last, but not least, is a great tip for those that either spend majority of their time on the water, or for those who get frustrated/struggle tying on flies during their fishing. If you do decide to give tippet rings a try, and leave one tied to the end of your leader, you can pre-tie rigs for the next day of fishing. This is most useful with double-nymph rigs, as you can store multiple rigs with different fly setups in a leader wallet/foam/etc. If one setup isn’t catching fish, rather than taking the time to tie two new flies on each time, you can just snip off the old rig, store it, and take another pre-tied rig and tie that directly to the tippet ring. Or if you get a bad tangle, rather than spending 10 minutes untangling, you can just snip it off right off the tippet ring, and tie on a new rig.

I hope these tips about tippet rings help you save some time on the water.

-Henry Pletcher

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