Fifty Tips Tips/Tactics

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #14 — Tippet Rings — Thank you, tiny circles

on
October 29, 2017
“Those tiny rings change everything,” said my father. He stood in the water beside me, looking curiously through his glasses at my little metal circles.

“Sure do.” I replied, and I neatly swapped out a double nymph rig for a two streamer rig in about a minute. Dad whistled with approval and chuckled.

An hour later, I changed out the long Mono Rig to a dry fly leader. I fished Comparaduns to the pod of rising trout that I’d accidentally happened upon. I caught about half of them, I figure. They were spunky brown trout, eager and willing to take whatever fly I threw that looked much at all like a Blue Winged Olive mayfly. And when I’d either caught or put down every rising fish in the small pool, I changed back to the nymph rig, clipping and tying on pre-rigged leader sections at a tippet ring.

It was likely the last Olive hatch I would run into this fall, and for the remainder of the day, whenever I spotted two or more rising trout, no matter how small their noses seemed in the center of the rise form, I changed leaders, just for the fun of it. And fun it was. I made my last leader change around dusk, and I finished the day with rare satisfaction.

Simple

Tippet rings are a godsend. They make leader and tippet changes quicker, and they save material. I spent years trying different methods to accomplish the same convenience offered by the tiny rings, but never was satisfied. There were also minor, annoying troubles with every other method I used before I learned about tippet rings.

My best substitute was a simple figure eight knot tied at the end of a piece of my leader, then the added piece was clinch knotted above and around it with the new leader piece slid down to the knot. What?? See what I mean? It’s a sub-par solution — even the description sounds more complicated than it should be.

Contrast that description with this one: Davy Knot the added section to the tippet ring. There ya go. Much simpler, right?

Which Ones?

You can find tippet rings in many fly shops these days, so buy them there. I often order mine from Streamside Leaders too. I like black nickel, I like oval, and I like them in the smallest size, 1.5mm.

The 1.5mm rings are plenty strong, and I can fit two of the butt section pieces of my hand-tied leaders (20# Maxima Chameleon) into one ring. I swap out my leaders at a tippet ring, ten inches from the end of my fly line.

The specifics of the ring probably matter very little, but I know what I like. I’m just saying that if your fly shop only has 2 mm, silver rings, buy them anyway and be happy.

Attach ‘Em

Do yourself a favor and put the tippet rings on a snap swivel or a safety pin. Some tippet rings are sold this way, and some are sold free swimming in a bag. Trust me, it’s worth the few minutes to thread the tippet rings onto a snap swivel or safety pin. Tie the line to the tippet ring from there, then open the clasp and slide it off the swivel already attached. Easy peasy.

Love Your Life

The tiny circles do not affect the casting or the flotation of your leader in any way. Honest.

Some things are hard, but they don’t have to be. Tippet rings makes leader changes and rig swaps a super simple, less time consuming process.

Bonus Tip: Try Loon Rigging Foam for storing those leader sections.

Use them both and love your life. Fish hard, friends.

Enjoy the day
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

FIFTY TIPS

Read All of the Fifty Tips Series
TAGS

6
What do you think?

3 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
  Follow the comments on this article.  
Notify of
Alex Argyros

Yes . . . tippet rings. Love them because I know exactly how long my leader is above a ring. Plus, I use them to attach droppers. A dropper tag knotted to the leader above a ring and pulled down to the ring is super simple, doesn’t tangle, and is easy to replace.

Jay Mandino

I’m curious how many tippet rings you have in one leader. Do you use three in a nymphing rig? One 10 inches down from your fly line, one above the sighter and one below? So you’ll swap out at the ring right above the sighter to fish a streamer, but you’ll swap out at the topmost ring for a dry leader? I’m mostly curious when you swap at the ring above the sighter and when you change the whole leader.

hhh

Thanks for the article. Do you have any evidence that tippet rings might reduce contact/sensitive to feeling takes and/or nymphs touching bottom? It’s just a hypothesis I have (some days I seem to have better contact/feel than others but haven’t worked out why yet).

Domenick Swentosky
BELLEFONTE, PA

Hi. I'm a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

STICKERS
STICKERS
TAGS
catch and release split shot high water science matters wet wading last cast winter Headbanger Sculpin backcountry family marginal water wild trout brush fishing Grobe leaders mistakes stocked trout Euro-Nymphing Oakiewear spawning hiking come on man silence flood camera Fish Hard angler types rookies Night Fishing fly tying time Harvey Pusher surf fishing conservation tightline Joey LBI club fishing waders boys fluke Doh backcast Presentations Industry Stuff Dylan tight line nymphing comp fishing Night Fishing Chapters fishing tips Whiskey flies Ask an Expert Little Juniata River safety travel reading water bite windows shark dry flies tippet Streamer fishing friends nymphing tips Fifty Tips Float Fishing Central PA skunked etiquette net strategy nymphing History front ended Jeff explore Baseball drifting rigs Memories TU saltwater public land mousing fly rod spot burning Sawyer mono rig Plans tiny flies How it Started Whiskey Drinker ice tracks walking beadhead fly box Grandfather winter fly fishing tenkara fly patterns George Daniel night-sighter simplicity rules efficiency favorite carp casting droppers Resources Namer Stockies Sighter cookout dry fly fishing Wild Brown Trout wading boots big brown trout Fly rods Gierach Aiden Streamers small streams tips streamside Pennsylvania float giveaway Backing Barrel Dry-Dropper Spring Creek patience Floating Quote mud fishing with kids wildlife fighting fish photography stinky bass Bad Mother the Mono Rig brown trout Tippet Rings Davy Wotten FishHard mayfly Fly Fishing tight lining Wild Mushrooms trout bum It's just fishing swinging Christmas Lights DIY summer Trout Unlimited wet flies Fly Casting Camping Weather home-stream Night musician Boat PSA Dad Wild vs Stocked nymphs Big Trout BES PA Gold wet fly fishing DJS drop shot nymphing bar boots fly line thunderstorm gear One Great Tip Discovery Orvis Burke big fish knots Mystery Trust traction PFBC montana summertime fishing solitude Peace winter fishing river fall DHALO suspender fishing dead drift regulations George Harvey fly fsihing wading Press Troutbitten Fly Box dorsey yarn indicator indicator nymphing posted land Buggers friendship snags Galloup dog falling in philosophy brookies indicator fishing Rich