Fly Fishing Tip: Use Tippet Rings to Extend the Life of Expensive Leaders

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Tippet Rings are great for lengthening the life of your leaders. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Tippet rings are great for extending the life of leaders

Leaders have got quite expensive over the past couple decades. Recently, I saw a pack of two fluorocarbon leaders retail for $20.00 in a fly shop. That’s a pretty good hit to the wallet if you get out on the water to fly fish regularly. One way you can prolong the life of your leaders is to use tippet rings. The tippet ring takes the leader out of the equation by providing the angler a reusable anchor point to tie on tippet and attach flies. Climax manufactures and sells tippet rings, and although I don’t like using them for my dry fly fishing because they can create micro-drag, they work very well for nymph fishing and streamer fishing situations.

Tippet Ring Rigging Instructions

What I like to do is take a 7 1/2′ tapered 2X or 3X leader and tie the end directly to the loop ring. I then tie 24-36″ of 4X-6x tippet to the other side of the loop rig and tie on my tandem nymph rig. This keeps me from having to cut into my leader when I’m changing out flies or if I break off on a snag fishing. The tippet rings are also very nice for anglers that struggle with their eye sight up close, and makes it very easy for them to rig up quickly. This isn’t for everyone but for an initial $5 investment, it’s a cool piece of fly fishing gear that can save you money in the long run and should be considered. For those of you that aren’t big fans of using tippet rings, furled leaders provide the same functional benefits. If you’d like to purchase some of these, we recommend going with our friends at

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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14 thoughts on “Fly Fishing Tip: Use Tippet Rings to Extend the Life of Expensive Leaders

  1. Personally, I use a secondary sacrificial tippet. If my leader ends at 5x, using a blood knot, I tie a short piece (6″) of 5x tippet to the leader and then tie my smaller diameter tippet from there, if i reduce tippet size i cut off to about 6″ any thicker piece effectively extending the length of my leader as a knotted leader…but then again I’m good at tying blood knots.

  2. My clinch knots don’t hold well and I’ve pretty much given up on them, but my palomars are bomb proof. Do you have another suggestion for the tippet side knot that wouldn’t require removing the leader from the fly line to put a loop over?

    • I never use clinch knots anymore but prefer improved clinch knots because of the extra insurance, it’s what I use to connect tippet rings and I haven’t lost one yet. If you haven’t tried the improved give it a shot, I like it much better. My other go-to knot is a Davy knot for tippet to fly connection, but I don’t use them with my tippet rings so I’m not sure if that would be a good one to use or not.

      • I’ve seen reports of Davy knots having a lower breaking point than wind knots… My improved cliches are hit and miss too haha! But better than they used to be. Still can’t beat the strength of my palomar though.

        • Check out the Orvis knot. It is low profile(making it perfect for that size 24 black beauty) and gives a higher percentage of the tippet’s actual strength. The only catch(pun intended) is that it is slightly more complex than the clinch knot. I use this knot on big trout. More often than not the line breaks before the knot.

  3. Awesome post! I just started using tippet rings this last winter because I was tired of tying blood knots in the freezing cold. My fingers turn into worthless frozen stumps making it super frustrating to tie blood knots, especially when I was on a pod of feeding trout. I still use the blood knot on occasion but have found the tippet ring to create efficiency and bring more fish to the net. A fierce combo is to use tippet rings with a nymph rig holder (you guys blogged about these not to long ago) with pre tied rigs for even more efficiency. -Tight Lines!

  4. gonna try them for nymphing – bet they would work well with a fluro butt section , and if you wanted to quickly throw a dry setup , tie on some mono tippet ? not ideal – but when you need a really quick change out – could be possible ?

  5. There are many tippet rings on the market, And I use them.
    that being said.
    My favorite way to save leaders is to tie perfection loop on the leader, and perfection loop on the tippet. Then use a loop to loop connection. This system has worked well for me in most situations. Even on finicky trout.


    1 saves leaders.

    2 the perfection loop is very strong.

    3 quick and easy.

    4 can be used to quickly change out pre-rigged flies.

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