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A tippet not everyone can afford.

Posted on September 02 2017

I've been fishing a long time.  Back when I started everyone used Maxima 4X tippet material.  It was the go to tippet material if you were fishing dries, swinging wets or roll casting salted minnows.  It didn't abrade or kink up when you tied on a fly and it was tough as nails. The only negative thing I ever heard said about it was that "it didn't mike down to the .007 shown on the spool".  It cost $.25 cents!

I fish more days than most and I use a lot of tippet.  I'm also old and a bit crotchety.  I don't like tippets that seem to abrade when you run them between your thumb and finger.  I don't like tippets that develop little curlicues next to the fly when I get excited and pull a clinch knot tight a little too fast.  Most of all I don't like tippet that breaks in random spots between the fly and the knot to the leader when you've got a good fish on.

This season I tried all of the "new and improved"  brands currently available at trout shops everywhere. Each one of them had one or more of the annoying characteristics set forth above.  As is my wont, I complained to the guys at the Troutfitter just before going on my annual trip to the Owyhee.  Rick was behind the counter and to shut me up threw me a spool of  6X that said "Top Secret" on the label and said "try this".

Went to the Owyhee where the fish start at 17 inches and the rocks that tumble down from the canyon walls all have jagged edges.  I gave the "Top Secret" stuff a try.  It might have gotten a little bend near the fly if I forgot and pulled the knot tight too fast but it was perfectly straight if I wet the knot or just took my time pulling it tight.  It never abraded from the rocks.  I averaged 25 fish a day and not once did it break anywhere but at the knot between leader and tippet (the weakest point) and then only if a fish got the line snubbed around a boulder and had enough power to exceed the pound test.

Came home ready to mortgage the house and buy a lifetime supply. Dave and Rick both laughed and said "It's not on the market yet and the salesman is at a convention in Florida so we can't get any more samples". Well, a couple of weeks ago it finally became available and Troutfitter has it.  It's Cortland's  "Ultra Premium Fluorocarbon Tippet".

You have to look closely at the label to find the "Top Secret" printed under the mask and hat on the front of the spool.  When you turn it over, however,  you'll have no trouble reading the sticker price of  $19.95!  If you're earning the big bucks you should give it a try.  If you like it and go to buy another spool, pick one up for me as a thank you (I'm retired you know).


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