How to Add Tippet to the Fly-Fishing Line

by Contributor
Add Tippet to the Fly-Fishing Line

Add Tippet to the Fly-Fishing Line

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

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

  6. 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


  • 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.

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