A tippet ring is a very small metal loop that you tie in between a line and a tippet that lets you change tippets frequently without having to shorten the length of your line or leader, something that inevitably happens whenever you tie tippet to it directly.
For example, I use a hi-visibility orange, flourocarbon line on most of my Tenkara rods, but it’s expensive to replace when it gets too short. By placing a tippet ring between my line and my tippet, I can tie new tippet to the ring when I need to replace it and not to the flourocarbon line, extending its lifetime almost indefinitely.
I’ve known about tippet rings for a while, but never got around to trying one until I tried out a Sawtooth Rod from the Tenkara Rod Company. It comes bundled with a traditional furled Tenkara line (shown above) with a 3mm tippet ring spliced on at the end. It’s a great way to preserve the quality of the furled line, especially for beginners, who will need to replace flies and tippet often when they snag flies in trees and or on submerged wood.
I use a double davy knot to tie my level flourocarbon line and tippet line to the tippet ring. It’s a very strong knot that has a small profile, so it won’t dwarf tiny tippet rings. I’ve even started using it to tie my flies to my tippet because it’s easier to tie and less obtrusive than a clinch or an improved clinch knot.
How do tippet rings fish? I haven’t noticed any difference in casting behavior using flourocarbon lines, furled lines, or on the more traditional fly rod reel line that I’ve been using this spring on ponds and larger rivers. The 2mm RIO tippet rings I use are also tiny, barely the size of a clinch knot in 4x mono, so they have no perceivable impact on casting or floating behavior.
Have you ever tried using a tippet ring? Have I tempted you to check them out?
Disclosure: Tenkara Rod Company provided the Sawtooth Rod mentioned in this post to Philip Werner for review. A full review of this product is still under development.