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. I’ve been considering grabbing myself some of these for a while, but I just keep forgetting about them. It would definitely help save some $$$. It gets rough trying to save a leader when it’s been cut down to the butt section. It’s a great idea for those getting into the sport, and learning different nymphing methods. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll be grabbing me some this week!

  2. For sub surface work a small barrel swivel works pretty good too, somewhat easier to find locally in places without a large fly fishing population.

  3. Dont scrimp on what you pay for your leader rings as l have found to my cost that some cheaper rings dont have the rounded profile of the pictured ring, and in fact have leader cutting sharp edges that slice through your knots when placed under any tension.

  4. Carl Crenshaw does my Furled Flouro leaders and I like him just fine…order 1 or a dozen, Carl is great to work with..
    Bob D. Pawleys Island SC
    Trout & Salmon FF Guide

  5. I guess on the last post I should have elaborated a little more…Furled leaders of flourocarbon are teriffic. I use them in 36 and 48″ lengths from Carl Crenshaw. I use the furled leader like this: attach leader “loop to loop” either to your fly line loop or to a mono loop nail knotted to your flyline. At the other end, tie on a transition butt section of about 6-8″ or so, depending on the type of fishing you are doing, and tie either a “loop” to engage your tippets which also have a “loop” or use uni knot or surgeon’s knot to attach your tippets….This method makes for quick and easy change outs, furled leaders for beginning fishermen can save a large amount of money, as they can last an entire season if cared for properly. I find that I can use very long tippets, sometimes 6′ or more when dry fly fishing; this gets me well distant from the knotted in tippet tie in point for delicate presentations! … . Reach Carl at

  6. My favorite setup is a fluoro furled leader with either a tippet ring or micro-swivel with fluoro tippet. Tippet ring for smaller nymph/fly setups and micro-swivel for streamer and heavier fly setups. Tippet rings and swivels shine when having to re-tie in cold weather and low light conditions. When I setup a rig for beginners learning to fish nymphs I find the tippet rings/swivels reduce the frustration associated with snagging/breaking and having ability to re-tie with simpler knots. Surgeons loop, etc. are trickier to tie properly.

  7. I use them for everything now. I tie a tapered butt section with maxima down to 2x in various lengths and then add 3x, 4x, 5x depending on the circumstances. I use the micro rings and haven’t had issues even with dry flies, perhaps they are far enough up the leader that they don’t cause drag (3-5 feet depending on the taper.) The maxima butt sections last forever and cast better than store bought leaders in my opinion.

    The real advantage is that you can quickly change your entire rig from pool to pool. A lot of our southern streams have a wide variety of water types and depth and I will rig a few different terminal tippets with flies attached and wrap them around a piece of foam. That way you can change from a dry dropper rig for shallow riffles and pools to a tight line nymph set up for deep slots to a streamer rig with heavy tippet for long, slow pools with logjams, all with one knot. I’ve found this really increases my productivity because before I wouldn’t take the time to change to a more suitable rig due to the time involved, and I ended up fishing the same setup even in water where it wasn’t ideal. How many times have you been fishing with a dry dropper when you get to a 6 foot deep slot and just fish on through it even though there is no way the fish are seeing the nymph?

  8. I finally tried these and there is no turning back, they work so well. What surprised me is that they have no probably floating in a dry fly application. They aren’t much bigger than the eye of size 16 hook, so it makes sense that floating mono leader/tippet would float them as well. They are great for nymph rigs where you tie tags to them instead of tying blood knots and using the tags for droppers.

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