Can You Use Regular Fishing Line As Tippet?

Whether you’re a novice or a fly-fishing enthusiast with years of experience under your belt, you know that the type of gear you use makes all the difference in the world. Rods, reels, gears, lures; there are so many different types of equipment. While some gear isn’t necessary, there are certain items that you absolutely need, and for fly fishing, both fishing line and tippet are essential.

You can use any type of fishing line for the tippet as long as it is thinner and stronger than the main line. A fluorocarbon line will give you the best results being almost invisible in the water.

The type of line you choose is crucial to the success you’ll experience on the water, but with so many different types of fishing lines on the market, trying to decide which to choose can be difficult. To help you make the right decision and determine whether or not you can use fishing line for tippet.

What Is The Tippet?

First and foremost, let’s define what a tippet is; before we do that, however, you first need to understand the basics of a fly-fishing setup.

Fly fish lines are comprised of several components, including a backing line that is tied to a fly line.

The fly line is then tied to a leader.

The leader is tied to the tippet, and the tippet is tied to the fly.

All of the working components of a fly fishing setup have their own purpose.

The tippet is the end part of the fly line and the part of the setup that the fly is tied to.

It’s the thinnest part of a fly setup, which makes it possible for the fly to drift and move in a natural manner on the water without disturbing and scaring off the fish you’re trying to target.

Is The Tippet And The Fishing Line The Same Thing?

Tippet and main line on a fly rod
Tippet and main line on a fly rod

Tippet is a type of fishing line that is specifically made to be used for fly fishing.

Typically, the tippet is comprised of either fluorocarbon or monofilament, and its pound test is much thinner than the traditional fishing line.

It’s because of the tippet’s thinness that enables it to quickly sink into the water and remain submerged within it, features that make it well-suited for fishing subsurface species of flies, such as fishing nymphs.

Though a standard fishing line can be used for a tippet, it really isn’t the best choice.

The reason is that the standard pound test diameter is a lot thicker than the tippet, and as such, it’s difficult to cast a fly with a traditional fishing line, and chances are, it’s going to float on the surface of the water.

The tippet that’s used for fly fishing is different than what is used for other types of fishing.

Fly fishermen tend to use tippets that are both lighter in weight and made of material that is thinner and smaller in diameter.

These characters allow the fly fishing line to “dance” on the surface of the water when it’s cast as opposed to being weighed down by knots or other types of weights on the end of the pole.

This allows for increased flexibility, yet it still puts something behind the fly, making it possible to recast quickly if something goes awry.

Can Standard Fishing Line be Used for a Fly Leader?

Fly Fishing Line Setup Diagram
Fly Fishing Line Setup Diagram

Technically speaking, yes; in fact, a lot of fishermen support their fly fishing leaders to support their fishing lines.

The reason is that a standard fishing line is much more cost-effective than a fly line; also, when you’re tying knots, it’s easier to manipulate.

The main downside of using a standard fishing line for a dry fishing leader is that it isn’t as durable as a fly line. Also, it doesn’t float.

As such, there’s a chance that you will lose some of the fish that you otherwise would have caught if you were using a fly line instead.

If you’d like to utilize a fishing leader line, make sure that the fishing line will be able to suit your objective, which depends on the type of lures or fishhooks that are being used to work best with a specific section of the leader.

What are the Different Types of Fishing Line?

A braided line and a monofilament line
Braided line (left) and a monofilament line (right)

There are several varieties of fishing lines on the market, but the three main types include monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided.

Let’s take a closer look at each type:

1. Monofilament Fishing Line

Of all the different types of fishing lines, monofilament is the most commonly used.

Made from a single strand of nylon, the monofilament fishing line is extruded into a thin, durable line.

Monofilament fishing line is durable and easy to manipulate, and its surgeon knot-holding properties are decent, too.

Also, the monofilament fishing line is relatively inexpensive.

If you want to learn how to make the surgeon know check the video below:

2. Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Made of fluoropolymer, which is a synthetic polymer that contains fluorine, fluorocarbon fishing line is pricier than monofilament fishing line; however, it does offer some key benefits, which may make the added expense worthwhile.

For instance, fluorocarbon fishing line is much is a lot less visible in the water than monofilament fishing line, and its abrasion resistance is a lot higher.

READ: Can You Use Fluorocarbon Line As A Leader?

3. Braided Fishing Line

Finally, there’s braided fishing line, which is comprised of several strands of material that are braided together.

Because it’s made of several strands and those strands are braided together, this is the most durable of the three types of fishing lines.

While the increased durability is a plus, on the downside, it’s denser, so it’s more visible in the water and could scare fish.

Additionally, handling braided fishing lines can be tricky.

What Kind of Fishing Line Should Be Used for Fly Fishing?

Visibility is the most important thing to consider when choosing a fly fishing line.

You want to use a line that is the least visible in the water, otherwise, it will scare fish away.

While any type of fishing line can be used for dry fly fishing, a tippet is the best bet.

That’s because the fly fishing line is usually made of monofilament and fluorocarbon, so it’s a lot thinner, yet it’s more durable than a traditional fishing line.

Final Thoughts

While technically speaking, the fishing line can be used for tippets, for the best, tippet should be used.

If you are going to use a standard fishing line, opt for something that has the lowest level of visibility possible.

Tight lines, bend rods, and may all your fishes come true!