I have Beardy Paul to thank for these tips (as well as for the headline!). Since learning to tie my own tapered leaders, I’ve been much happier with my set-ups. However, when fishing a three fly rig with droppers (which is most of the time on the larger reservoirs) I have been getting niggled by having to re-tie the tippet ends so often. As I change flies, eventually the droppers get too short and I have to re-do the whole end of the line.
That was until Beardy Paul mentioned tippet rings! Now, I’d heard of them before but had discounted using them; they sounded fiddly and a waste of time. I couldn’t have been more wrong, they are genius! I simply tie a tippet ring onto the end of the tapered leader, then attach a dropper and another 4 feet of tippet for a simple two fly set-up. For a three fly set-up, I just attach another tippet ring, dropper and a final section of 4-5 feet for the point fly. And the best thing is that when the droppers get too short, you just tie on another length of tippet!
I was initially a bit wary about how strong they were and also introducing a whole new set of knots. However, I’ve used this set-up at Farmoor with some of the big overwintered rainbows there with no problems (the resident fish in Farmoor I are 5lb plus and put up a big fight).
I’ve combined this set up with some new tippet: Riverge Grand Max (another tip from Beardy Paul). The 9.5lb 3x is amazingly thin for such a strong tippet, which allows me to fish with confidence, not spook the fish and use a variety of flies on the same set-up, from small nymphs through to large lures.
Cheers Beardy Paul!