Selecting fluorocarbon tippet from the huge selection available at your local fly fishing shop can be daunting. With so many options and brands you might just be tempted to try them all. Tippet selection is something that most anglers have an opinion on that usually isn’t given much thought. In other words, you use a particular tippet brand because you always have. In the past few years a new manufacturer has come out and is proving to be a favorite amongst guides and weekend warriors alike. TroutHunter fluorocarbon tippet from the legendary Rene Harrop.
Let’s start with why you’re in this situation. So you ran out of tippet. For most of us, this happens at the most unfortunate of times. With no more 6x left, you stand there and attempt to thread 3x through the eye of your size 20 Blue Winged Olive parachute, pretending everything is going to be OK. That 20′′ fish won’t mind, right? How did I even run out, I just bought this spool a few weeks ago… Then you remember that 18 foot leader you made last weekend during a Trico hatch. While 30 yards may seem like quite a lot of material, you can run through a spool in just a few fishing trips. Your only other option from most manufacturers is to buy a 100 yard spool. For many anglers this may be too much, resulting in the tippet going bad from UV exposure before you’ve finished the spool. This is one of the reasons I suggest Trouthunter Tippet.
Is TroutHunter tippet expensive? The standard spools come with 50 meters. Yes, that’s right. I said meters. This is roughly 55 yards which is a perfect size for all anglers. The packaging is UV proof, so you can buy an extra in advance and not worry about it going bad long before you finally rip open the package. As for the price, these spools cost about $23 bucks as apposed to the usual $15 for most 30 yard spools. After some quick math, you find that TroutHunter tippet its ever so slightly cheaper per foot/yard/meter/mile than its’ competitors. So for all you trout bums out there, this means you can afford more Ramen noodles!
So now let’s consider a more important aspect of this tippet. Is it stronger? Is it more abrasive resistant? This is something I used to be quite skeptical of. I never gave it much thought as to whether one tippet brand was significantly better than the other. Maybe some are slightly more supple than others, maybe some can take a little more of a beating against rocks and other abrasions. But hey, I just bought the same brand as the spools I currently had so I could snap them all together into a neat little stack. Once I started using TroutHunter tippet I was pretty amazed at the difference. For starters, the first time I used it I was nymphing a small river in Lower New York with two size 20’s on 6x fluorocarbon. Normally I would have to re-rig every 30 minutes or so due to my tipped being mangled from bottom bouncing with fairly large split shot. Not with this tippet. It seriously is tough, the nylon too. The main reason to re-rig that day was from breaking off on the bottom. It was also the first time I’ve ever straightened a hook on 6x. Twice.
What About the Fluorocarbon Tippet? For nymphing, I use fluorocarbon exclusively, and TroutHunter fluorocarbon is exceptional. It’s tough without being overly rigid, allowing flies to drift naturally. It also knots great. With some brands it can be rough to tie knots with their fluorocarbon without it breaking, and it’s even harder to attach to nylon. I haven’t really had these problems with Trouthunter.