Monday, November 12, 2012

Gear Review - TroutHunter Tippet

Truth told there are a lot of choices in tippet material and sometimes it's hard to know where to spend your money, especially for premium priced flourocarbon.  My initial interest in TroutHunter tippet material were in the half sizes available in 4.5X, 5.5X, and 6.5X in both nylon and flourocarbon.  I fish a few tailwaters and midge heavy rivers and figured that the half size tippets would come in handy for tiny nymph and emerger work.  Anytime I can stay away from 7X is good by me and 6.5X seemed like it would be a step in the right direction.

Two years later and I am using TroutHunter tippet material almost exclusively across all sizes available and have been nothing but impressed.  From trout to smallmouth to carp to redfish the TroutHunter tippets in nylon or flourocarbon have become an easy first choice.  Why?  Cause it just don't break.   

When trout angling the half size nylon tippet is indeed handy on dry/dropper, double nymph, and midge fly rigs.  I am much more apt to run 4X, 5X, or even 6X to the first fly and then drop 4.5X, 5.5X, or 6.5X off the back bend to the second fly than run a full size down.  Maybe it's all in my head...but it works nonetheless.   

My mind was really made up on the flourocarbon tippet this summer while on Beaver Island fishing for tanker carp.  These fish will turn their nose away if they see the leader or nylon tippet and a five foot strand of 10 or 12 pound strength flourocarbon is the preferred method in making a leader.  I used both 1X and 0X TroutHunter flourocarbon tippet material and had no issues keeping carp over thirty pounds on the line.  The only fish that I broke off all week was a thirty plus pound beast that broke off at that boat...on a tippet strand other than TroutHunter.  I was kicking myself for my haste in grabbing what was nearby instead of digging in my gear bag for one of the spools of TroutHunter flourocarbon.  Lesson learned and that carp swimming off under the boat before it came to hand still haunts me.

- Very strong tippet material in both nylon and flourocarbon.
- 50 meter spools.
- Nylon tippet priced at $7 each.
- Stackable large arbor spools.
- Rubber color bands around each spool for identification.

- Price.  The jump from nylon to flourocarbon is always expensive.
- No higher line strengths in flourocarbon past 0X. 20 pound please.

The TroutHunter tippet material in both nylon and flourocarbon have gotten very positive reviews in many of the magazines and all over the internet, especially so in the Fly Fisherman 2012 Tippet Shootout where it was named the overall winner of the brands tested.  Check all five charts in the article to see all the tests and evaluations that the tippet materials were put through.

Check out the TroutHunter website to place your order a few spools of nylon or flourocarbon tippet material.  TroutHunter tippet material is available in both nylon and flourocarbon in 0X to 8X and the half sizes of 4.5X, 5.5X, and 6.5X as well.  Nylon is priced at $6.95 a spool and flourocarbon is priced at $22.95 per spool.

Don't be surprised if you walk into your local fly shop and see TroutHunter tippet and leaders available as more and more shops are stocking these excellent products as well. 


Jay said...

I have been using Rio Powerflex tippet for the past 5 years or so. Mainly because it's also available in 100m spools. 30m spools are empty too fast since I replace my tippet quite often.

I'd love to see Trouthunter tippet in 100m spools, but I guess I could give it a try. Especially with the half size.

Fluorcarbon I tried but haven't seen real differences in catching more fish. The price is just too steep for my taste.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Jay...I'm sure that you would be impressed with the TroutHunter nylon tippet material.

I don't fish a lot of flourocarbon either since it's crazy expensive and most places I fish I can get away with nylon.

Jay said...

Interesting how Rio's Powerflex tippet did in the Fly Fishermen tippet test. It was second after Trouthunter.
That's pretty good!

Jay said...

I've heard that fluorcarbon that ends up in the environment won't break down by itself for many decades while regular nylon breaks down in a few weeks to months due to UV?

ratfacedmcdougal said...

Keep the fluoro, fell for it twice now and found that mono works as good. I just go smaller. Though I do use it for saltwater in 12,16 and 60#. 1/2 sizes in mono is interesting, but why? I'll try some trouthunter if it shows it's face in my fly shop.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Jay...flourocarbon is around forever. Literally. It's best to make sure you pack out your discarded tippet and leader material so it doesn't end up in the river. I'm sure you do that already.

RFMcD...admittedly I don't use a ton of flourocarbon (unless the fishery really calls for it) since I've found, like you, that monofiloment usually gets it done just fine. When nymphing I like the half sizes especially when it comes to using 5.5X instead of 6X and 6.5X instead of 7X.

Jay said...

I think this problem of fluorcarbon isn't emphasized enough.

Besides I don't think fluorcarbon will make he difference between catching and not catching. There are more variables that will be of more importance (bad delivery cast, wading, etc.)

Cameron Mortenson said...

Jay...I agree. Flourocarbon isn't needed everywhere and there are other techniques to fix to tighten the game up.

Jay said...

This is getting a pretty interesting topic!

Tippet is something I don't worry that much (than I used to). I mean I just want something that's not too expensive, good strength ratio to diameter (nothing extreme), not too stiff and easily available.

After using different brands (SA, Rio, Orvis, etc.) I wanted to streamline simply because having different spools didn't piggy back well.

Using a certain tippet brand basically is nothing magical like using a certain magic (?) fly pattern. I fish mainly using (weighted) nymphs and my patterns are very basic in terms of 'tying complexity' and materials used. Reason is simple: I don't want to spend too much time per fly, use easily available materials and I don't want to carry more than one box per type (nymph & dry).

My 'solution' to success basically comes down to casting (minimal false casting!), using the right balanced rig and stealth approach (e.g. fish the near shore first!). This way I'm not dependent on gear choice (the best rod, te best leader, the best fly, etc.). Heck I love great gear BTW!

Cameron Mortenson said...

Jay...truth told I'm a bit of a gear geek as well.