Monday, October 3, 2011

Tippet Tantrum - September 2010

I hate 6X tippet.  It’s difficult to see, a pain in the ass to tie, and impossible to avoid wind-knoting within the first half-dozen false casts.

7X?  Forget about it. Spider-webbery.

8X tippet cannot be seen with the naked eye. One should take extreme care when purchasing 8X so as not to buy an empty spool by mistake.

9X is only one molecule wide and is often used by science fiction villains as a weapon to slice through everything – wood, steel, human flesh.

10X, I believe, is the basis for the particle physics string theory, hypothesizing the sub-atomic base material for all matter, space, and time.

Einstein loved light tackle.

So I think I’ll give up on the skinny stuff. Any trout wary enough to spook at material more substantial than 6X is too smart for me. Besides, fish unable to break tippet that flimsy are simply not worth catching.

Well, I don’t actually believe these things - except for maybe the "too smart for me" part - but the little bass-fishin’, bi-focaled devil that sits on my right shoulder keeps whispering such notions into my ear. "Let's go throw big bugs at big fish", he implores, and suggests that any material not measured in pound test alone belongs in a sewing basket, not a fly box.

As counterpoint, the Waldenesque, wild brookie loving, dry fly angel that sits on my left shoulder sings sweet songs of the inherent beauty of the tiny colorful creatures that inhabit the woodland streams and the dainty, ethereal wisps that it takes to engage them. It suggests that the devil on my right is a cretin and that I should embrace my delicate side by throwing #24 pieces of fluff on silky material to fish that the devil would consider too small for decent bait.

They both have a valid point. They are also, each of them, full of crap. I do both.

Either way, I hate 6X tippet.

For any non-fishing persons reading this post, though I can't imagine why, tippet is the final piece of fly fishing line to which the fly is tied. As you might infer from above, it is the finest of material and gets smaller as its rating gets bigger – just another absurdity in the arcane numerology that weaves its way throughout the sport.  Someone should write a post.

Rerun Note: This was a fun post to write and the first of a handful that my buddy Tom Chandler - at least I think he's my buddy - over at Trout Underground pointed to in one of his Short Casts. I am grateful for this kind nod.


Dan Price said...

6x is for wimps!! 8x all the way, nothing like a large trout running for the coast and not being able to do anything about it lol.

On a side, I am really enjoying reading your blog, very amusing.


Steve Zakur said...

On my lanyard I have a spool of of everything from 3x through 7x. 5x is what is use the most. In a good season I'll go through two spools of 5x. I don't think I've ever gone through a spool of anything else in a single season and I can't recall the last time I used the 7x; probably time to stop carrying it.

Sanders said...

ha! great post...

I like the way you think, "Any trout wary enough to spook at material more substantial than 6X is too smart for me."

Words to live by :-)

Brian said...

Hilarious. Some days I think I'll just give up and use a level tippet and deal with that other set of frustrations...