Gray’s Best 2017

(River Travelers, by Chet Reneson)

ANGLING: RIO Products Tippet Rings

riotippetringsTippet rings are not a new invention. They’re just new to us. European anglers have used these tiny, forged metal rings to create strong leader-to-tippet connections for a generation. This past year, RIO Products—one of the top manufacturers of fly lines, leaders, and tippet—brought them to the United States ($6.95 for a 10-pack). No matter how much confidence you have in blood or surgeon’s knots (I have tied many thousands), joining two pieces of leader material always creates a weak point. Tippet rings allow you to use much stronger terminal knots when adding length to your leader. (I personally use the Orvis knot, but the clinch or improved clinch is more common.) Tippet rings are ideal for any type of subsurface presentation, from traditional nymphing to European-style nymphing to streamer fishing. Because the rings are metal, I don’t suggest using them when fishing sparse, delicate dry flies. They are, however, extremely small, and their minimal weight doesn’t affect buoyant dry flies like Stimulators or grasshoppers. The added connection strength these rings provide will improve your chances of bringing a big fish to hand instead of reeling up pig-tailed monofilament.