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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Peebles, Scottish Borders
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    Default Droppers Dilemma!

    It did occur to me today, that there must be many ways of tying on droppers. I tend to experiment a lot, and today was no different. Other anglers I meet rarely have the same set up, and propose different theories as to why they have their particular one.

    Some of the variations are as follows.

    Level leader/Tapered leader

    Tied on by blood knot/water knot etc

    Tied on by tippet rings

    Long droppers/short droppers

    How far spaced apart

    Stiff monofilament for droppers or Soft

    How many droppers - One, Two, or Three

    Muddler/wake creating fly on the dropper or none

    Today, I fished with a 14ft level leader, with one dropper, spaced 5ft from the point fly. The dropper was attached via a tippet ring with a stiffer fluro, It was a muddler

    It would be interesting to hear how others set their rig up, bearing in mind that I am mainly referring to still water wild brown trout fishing, from the bank, which I suppose is really quite different from buzzer fishing for bows.

    Any new ideas much appreciated.

    Thanks.



    Douglas
    Last edited by eddleston123; 23-07-2017 at 05:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sheffield
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    6,693

    Default Re: Droppers Dilemma!

    Stiff leader/tippet, dropper 3-4", figure eight knot with a 2 turn hitch for dropper to stand off, point fly and single dropper these days 4ft apart if it's rough, 5-6ft if it's calmer. Used to fish 3 flies but age brings more tangles for me(better than blaming my casting).

    Forgot to say, I usually start with a 10-12ft leader but will lengthen or shorten depending on conditions, no hard and fast rule there.
    Last edited by bumble54; 23-07-2017 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
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    6,713

    Default Re: Droppers Dilemma!

    Depending on wind speed etc I rather suspect I'd use the same leader set up that I normally use.

    Level leader 18'
    2 droppers @ 6' intervals.
    Fig 8 knots.
    Droppers 6-8" long
    Fly set up would be slimmest/heaviest on the point, slightly bulkier on the middle, bulkiest on the top. A brown trout loch team that has served me well in the past would be Watson's Fancy on the point, Black Pennel with yellow tail on the middle, Bibio on the top.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Droppers Dilemma!

    Overall leader 18'
    Leader butt 6' level nylon needle knotted to fly line (12lb nylon on a 4wt and 15lb on a 6wt seems about right for me).
    The rest of the leader made up of level 6lb nylon attached to the butt section with a three turn water knot.
    Two droppers again using three turn water knots (although I've nothing against a figure eight knot). Droppers spaced at four to five feet. Droppers not more that 7" to start with.

    I see no need to faff about with rings or different materials for the dropper lengths, just use one reliable nylon (or fluoro if you must) for everything. Just keep it simple.

    Usually the bushiest fly on the bob but not too worried if I find I have a bumble on the point too. I don't put really slim things like Butchers on the bob but I'm sure the trout wouldn't mind if I did.

    I'll use the above set up in any wind up to a full gale but in calm conditions I will cut away the point section leaving me with a shorter two fly leader.

    Someone will pipe up to say my leader butt must get used up as I keep retying the leader. Well it does but very slowly, the initial 6' butt section might be down to three feet by the end of the season (fishing three days a week) but it still works. So I just renew it every year before the season starts.

    Some people use much shorter leaders and some are happy to have the top dropper only three feet (or less) from the fly line. Well they catch fish like this so good luck to them but nobody fishing a stream or river would ever have their fly so close to the fly line so I don't see what the loch fisher gains from it. Surely it makes sense to get a bit of distance between the fly line and fly?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Peebles, Scottish Borders
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    Default Re: Droppers Dilemma!

    Quote Originally Posted by somerset salmon View Post
    .

    Some people use much shorter leaders and some are happy to have the top dropper only three feet (or less) from the fly line. Well they catch fish like this so good luck to them but nobody fishing a stream or river would ever have their fly so close to the fly line so I don't see what the loch fisher gains from it. Surely it makes sense to get a bit of distance between the fly line and fly?


    When I think back on this (60's) a 9' leader (or cast as they called it then) was the norm, with a point fly, then 3ft to the middle dropper, then another 3ft to the top dropper (or bob fly) - That only left 3ft or less to the end of the fly line!

    Now everything seems to be doubled, which makes perfect sense to me.


    Douglas

    ---------- Post added at 08:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by BobP View Post
    Depending on wind speed etc I rather suspect I'd use the same leader set up that I normally use.

    Level leader 18'
    2 droppers @ 6' intervals.
    Fig 8 knots.
    Droppers 6-8" long
    Fly set up would be slimmest/heaviest on the point, slightly bulkier on the middle, bulkiest on the top. A brown trout loch team that has served me well in the past would be Watson's Fancy on the point, Black Pennel with yellow tail on the middle, Bibio on the top.

    That sounds like a good traditional wet fly team to me.

    I would tend to fish with shorter droppers, due to longer droppers twisting round the main leader, but perhaps I am using the wrong material.

    What leader material do you use for the droppers. I hear that some anglers prefer Riverge because of its stiffness and ability to stand out from the main leader, but there again, this may stifle the flies natural movement.

    What do you think?



    Douglas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dorset Wilts Borders & Baja
    Posts
    2,314
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Droppers Dilemma!

    You have it in the first post Douglas.Adjust to suit conditions and be fit for purpose.Prefer FLc for droppers in most cases.Length depends on conditions.
    Like you have experimented extensively.After knot hitches good to make dropper stand out but some tippet does not like it at all and will snap.Sometimes attach dropper flies with a fig 8 loop.Can get it real small if you know how.Other times I like the buzzer to stand proud like a fibre optic.Davy knot to a stiff FLc dropper does this for me.No set number of droppers.Washing line often fish four flies but have to live with the tangles from top dropper takers.Reservoir dries use a tippet ring and one dropper in most scenarios.In summary no real set pattern.All relative to conditions and set up on the day.Length of rod/weight/etc.

    Best. JP

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Highlands
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    4,954

    Default Re: Droppers Dilemma!

    I fish a 11 ft set up 4/ 6 8/ with 2 ft of 12 pound to the Fly line, this serves me for my wild loch fishing, I use an orange Invicta, Claret Bumble,(or kate McLaren)and a Zulu( usually purple) on the top, I ring the changes from there, I have my casts on cast holders and I use a Figure 8 knot as my joining, works for me, easker1

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Wiltshire
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    Default Re: Droppers Dilemma!

    I've started using Gigafish Ultra from Sportfish. 0.20mm gives you 9.9lb bs. You'd probably land a ferox on that!

    I'll drop to around 13' if using dries and only use 2, again about 6' apart which gives a good "spread" if you see a fish tracking upwind.

    I also remember the standard 9' leader (cast) with two droppers at 3' intervals, but they were predominantly used for boat fishing which was all short-line stuff. I doubt the fish ever saw the fly line so the leader length didn't matter that much.
    Last edited by BobP; 24-07-2017 at 03:08 PM.

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