Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kleis's Korner Gear Review - Trout Hunter Tippet Material

I recently did a test comparing the new Trout Hunter tippet material to Rio Fluoroflex, and Orvis Mirage Fluorocarbon.  I tested all three brands for knot strength, diameter, and flex in 5x and 6x.  One of the things that stands out right away is the packaging.  Trout Hunter comes in a sealed waterproof and UV resistant package.  I'm not sure how much that helps because I have always been under the impression that fluoro doesn't have a shelf life which to me makes packaging obsolete. 

I will say that right out of the package Trout Hunter seemed to be very supple.  The other thing that stands out is the price tag.  Trout Hunter carries a hefty $22.95 price tag.  Upon close inspection you will notice however that Trout Hunter comes in 50 meter spools where as Orvis Mirage comes in 30 meters, and Rio comes in 27.4 meters.  Fifty meters means less trips to the shop to pick up tippet material which is a feather in Trout Hunters cap.

The math turns out to be 55 cents/meter for the Rio, 46 cents/meter for Trout Hunter, and 33 cents/meter for Orvis which means that even with the high retail price point Trout Hunter is still a great deal.  As for knot strength I did my test by tying double surgeons knots in the 5x and 6x for all three brands and then pulling until the tippet broke so my entire testing process was done by feel and was not done with any real scientific measurements.  The Rio and Orvis have great knot strength and seemed to be comparible.  I had to use slightly more strength to get the Trout Hunter to break at the knot.

To measure the diameter of the tippet I used the Fishpond Tippet Gage.  The 5x and 6x for all three brands fit in their designated spots on the gage.  The Rio seemed to be a little bigger and was a slightly tighter fit than the Orvis which I'm told Rio is made larger by design.  Trout Hunter is closer to Orvis in size.  Again I measured tippet flex by hand and didn't use any other forms of measuring.  Rio definitely lived up to its Fluoro Flex name and was noticeably more flexable than both Trout Hunter and Mirage.  Trout Hunter came in a close second, and the Orvis Mirage was the least flexable of the three. 

Trout Hunter also makes 6.5x which is the first time I have ever seen tippet done in half designations and it fits easily in the 7x slot on the tippet gage.  It also seemed to me to have the same knot strength as the Trout Hunter 6x so if you're concerned about spooking a leader shy fish then 6.5x is the obvious choice.  The flex was the same as the other Trout Hunter tippet sizes.  Flex in tippet material does play a role in setting the hook and playing fish.  Some anglers prefer more flex while others prefer their leader material to give less.  I personally like the middle ground. 

Please keep in mind that this review is in no way a knock on those other brands becuase they all offer unique features and value and are great products.  Orvis is the most affordable and is still excellent tippet material.  Rio has the most flex if you want your tippet to be more forgiving.  Trout Hunter is simply another great option that you should definitely consider if you're looking for a good all around tippet, especially if you burn through spools as fast as I do.

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