Fly Fishing Tailwaters - Part 3- Rigging 1





First, tie in a two-foot-long, 40-pound butt section to your fly line with a nail or needle knot. Using a blood knot, tie a 9-foot 3X knotless leader to the butt section. Now, using another blood knot, add 3 feet of 3X tippet to the leader. Tie on the first fly. Use 4X instead of the 3feet of 3X if needed and use 4X for the dropper.

Here are three different ways to tie on the two-fly setup.

This works for two nymphs, a dry with a nymph dropper or two dries.

The top illustration shows what is most used with two fly rigs. The problem with this set up is twofold. One, it hog ties the first fly which has tippet restricting it's movement on both ends. Two, when you pinch the barbs on the top fly the tippet for the dropper can easily come off. I also think it may impede the fish from taking the top fly as it acts somewhat like a weed guard does on some bass flies. In this case it becomes a ‘fish guard' instead.

The middle illustration shows a very simple solution to the problem.

While tying the knot for the top fly simply leave the tag end of the tippet long and don't cut it after the knot is tied. Then using a blood knot or surgeons loop tie the dropper tippet on to the tag end of the top fly and then tie the dropper onto the end of that tippet.

The bottom illustration shows a variant of the middle one. To add even more movement to the top fly simply tie it with any knot that produces a loop. I like a Rapala knot because it's easy to tie. Then, using the same tag end of the tippet technique, tie the dropper tippet on just like in the middle illustration.

The obvious first question is doesn't tangle more? After guiding for many years and using this rigging for both experienced and inexperienced fly fishers, I have not found that there's any more or less tangling among these three rigging methods.

All photos and text © Trapper Badovinac. Any use without written permission from the author is illegal.
Part 4  
Back to Tips Page