Gone Outdoors

How to Add Tippet to the Fly-Fishing Line

by Sports & Fitness Editor

Now that you have your leader connected to your fly line, it's time to tie your tippet to the end of the leader using the surgeon's knot.

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Take your piece of tippet and lay it next to the end of your leader. Have the two lay side by side, overlapping 4 to 6 inches.

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Tie an overhand knot in the section where the two pieces are doubled together. To do this, hold the lines together as if they were one line and form a loop.

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Bring the end of the leader and the entire end of the tippet through the loop at the same time. Don't pull the loop tight; leave it open.

Double the overhand knot by bringing the same doubled section through the loop you've made once again.

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Tighten the surgeon's knot by holding all of the ends and pulling on them firmly and steadily.

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Trim the tag ends (the loose end of the line, the part used to tie a knot) of the leader and tippet close to the knot, leaving a little room for movement. This will allow the knot to move a little while in use without slipping apart.

Items you will need
  • Fly-fishing Wading Jackets
  • Backing/fly-fishing
  • Fishing Fly Box
  • Fishing Fly Kit
  • Fly-fishing Flies
  • Fly-fishing Leaders
  • Fly-fishing Lines
  • Fly-fishing Nets
  • Fly-fishing Reels
  • Fly-fishing Rods
  • Fly-fishing Tippets
  • Fly-fishing Vests
  • Waders

Tips

  • Practice tying the knots with rope or clothesline. The larger-diameter string will be easier to work with while you get the hang of tying the knots.
  • Tighten knots with one steady and continuous motion. You can also moisten the knot before pulling it tight to avoid deformed knots.
  • When clipping the ends of your knots, leave about 1/8 inch so that they won't slip. You want them trimmed close to the knot, but you should also allow for a little room for them if they move when they tighten.
  • It's always a good idea to test the knot before fishing. If the knot slips, you can cut it off and try again without losing a part of your line.