Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question. Feel free to call us to ask about them if you are curious on how they stacked up: Tippet-to-tippet: Slim beauty, albright, yucatan, huffnagel, water knot, cove knot, double grinner, double paragun, and double four fold. The diameter of the line goes anywhere from 0.005” to 0.032” and depending on the diameter, it can even come in 25, 50 or 100 yard roll. With the San Diego Jam, the knot pulls down smoothly, leaving a small loop to pull tight with your tag end. I notice that some fluorocarbons are clearer than others. This line is both supple and tough and it has given us hope that even if a mack truck takes you into a coral reef, there is still hope that your line will hold and you just might land that fish. The good news is that Hardy Mach fluorocarbon is one of the least expensive on the market per yard. For fluorocarbon, the top three materials based on average breaking strength and correct diameter were Seaguar Grand MAX, TroutHunter, and RIO Fluoroflex Plus. Back in 2012 we wrote a tippet shootout for Fly Fisherman Magazine. Even the best casters in the world are bound to throw a tailing loop or an inaccurate cast at some point. Manufacturers regularly claim that fluorocarbon is nearly invisible underwater. However, if we had taken the time to test 30 materials in three different sizes, 30 times each per strand, it would have taken a lot longer than a month of our time…. SA’s fluorocarbon stands out as one of the best materials out there. Equipped with a digital force gauge, it accurately records peak breaking strength to the hundredths decimal place, in pounds. Anglers who are more concerned with getting the ultimate drift will appreciate the thinner diameters. Some brands had excellent tippet tenders like Rio (which at the time were color coated and also had easy to read information on them like what X, what pound test, and its diameter). In the case of an aberrant test, we threw the worst test out, leaving five tests to give us a pretty good average. While your leader may not turn over as perfectly if you took the time to tie in 1X to 2X to 3X to 4X, it is a great time saver for those blizzard hatch situations when you need to get a fly on the water again as fast as possible. Seaguar GrandMax / TroutHunter, Which tippet material is the least visible to fish underwater? Since nylon absorbs water and fluorocarbon is supposed to be impervious to it, we conducted a few knot tests with materials that had been soaked for 4-5 hours. We think the reason it is significantly stronger is due to the fact that the wraps align themselves very symmetrically when pulled tight, perhaps giving the knot more equal distribution when put under stress. With the 16/20 you can hear a “pop” when the knot fully seats itself. We found that the diameter of the tippet on any given spool frequently varied enough to affect our test results. Although the material was the same size and brand, the octopus breaks were significantly stronger). The spools don’t click into each other and there is no tippet tender at all. Manufactures that were close to the truth (or told the truth exactly) scored the higest points. After pulling 3 to 4 feet off the spool, and slowly pulling the tippet though the rubber jaws of the micrometer, we could clearly see the material was not an exact uniform diameter. In the end, we just went by our gut feeling after handling these materials for long periods of time, running our tests on the machine, and tying all those knots. The difference in material and time it takes to tie the triple surgeons over the double is so insignificant that we decided the triple makes more sense. We found breaking strengths for fluorocarbon also decreased – however only about 3 to 5 percent when wet. Have slowly switched 12 of my 18 rods/reels over to this. Here the double refers to the line being doubled over instead of two knots butted up against each other. Reportedly, it is supposed to test nearly 100% break strength. That way, you can tell what X each tippet spool is without memorizing which color is which. For example, 6X does not mean the tippet is 6-pound-test, it means that tippet diameter is .005 inches. Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection. The tuna more often than not avoided the nylon lines (meaning they could see it) and accidently bumped into the fluorocarbon lines (meaning they couldn’t see it). Also their tippet tender has been improved with a wider brass hole for the tippet to pass through and a wider tender itself, making it easier to read which “X” the materials are. Umpqua’s balance of diameter, breaking strength, and suppleness makes for a very well rounded tippet. Yes, at least for clear running rivers, spring creeks, lakes, and saltwater. Lesser known as a “bad casting knot” we’ve all created these while fishing. Their waterproof, color-coded tippet tenders have no brass holes or hard plastic to pass through, hence the material comes off completely undamaged with little memory coil. The good news is that the improved clinch, which almost everyone uses to tie on their flies, ended up testing the third strongest out of 15 different tippet-to-fly knots. Bottom line, if you are going to pay the difference to fish fluorocarbon, choose between TroutHunter or Seaguar GrandMax. While that sounds like a real benefit, unfortunately we think the tippet is causing so much friction on itself when the knot seats that it actually weakens it – right infront of your knot. Since Fluorocarbon holds up well to UV rays, their clear spool is fine. Although the J knot tested stronger, this knot is thinner and quicker for most of us to tie. We did our best to keep everything “apples to apples” but there were numerous variables to juggle at any given time. Only drawbacks – slightly larger profile than other knots, it uses more material than other knots. At 13 cents per meter, it was one of the least expensive materials we tested. *While 2X, 4X, and 6X maxima had the weakest breaking strengths in our shootout, it tested one of the strongest in 0X, and above. After a few incredibly loud breaks at the tippet-testing machine, our view changed quickly.
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