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Nylon Copolymer

Published: 13th April 2021 | Author: Fulling Mill

Nylon copolymer has been around since the mid 1930s. That’s quite a long time compared to fluorocarbon.

At first it was very stiff and didn’t knot well. However, it did have properties that dacron (which was popular at the time), silk and braided horsehair didn’t—that’s abrasion resistance. These days, nylon copolymer is a staple in the world of fly fishing. Most anglers are introduced to this type of line from the get-go as anglers mostly use nylon for dry fly presentations due to its ability to float. 

Modern Nylon Copolymer

With different manufacturing processes nylon has become incredibly versatile. You see things such a “bi-color” or “tri-color” indicator lines these days for the ever-popular methods of modern nymphing. This is achieved by certain modern chemical processes during the manufacturing stages. Additionally, low light refraction coatings (like on the fluorocarbons you see today) have been introduced to take away glare that would otherwise create a very shiny product and reflect sunlight. How far we’ve come!

Our Masterclass Nylon is a new product—as new as our fluorocarbon. As a result, it benefits from all the modern processes and technologies.

All of our Nylon Copolymer spools are now equipped with pro bands.

Why Use Nylon Copolymer?

When Should You Fish Nylon Copolymer?

Nylon is best for surface/film presentations such as dries, emerges or wet flies you want near the surface. Some people still run it for streamer applications, but its strength is at or near the surface.

For Europe’s Famous Mayfly hatch you won’t want to be without Masterclass Nylon Tippet.
Photo: Kieron Jenkins

How Do You Size Leader and Tippet?

An age-old rule for this is matching the leader and tippet size to the fly size. So, if you’d be fishing size 12 dries you would be using either a 4x or 5x leader, with 4x or 5x tippet to match it depending on if it’s a heavily dressed bug or something a bit sparse. The smaller the fly the thinner the diameter. As a general rule of thumb, use the following:

Fly: Size 4-8Size 10-12Size14-16Size 18 and smaller
Tippet: 2-4x3-5.5x5-7x6-7x

Sometimes you may want to fish delicate drifts at distance, for which you can use a heavier leader with lighter tippet. In this case you might use a 3x leader and 5x or even 6x tippet that’s connected with a tippet ring. This will give you better turnover power at distance.

The smaller the fly, the thinner the diameter.

When Should You Change It Up?

You can get away with heavier tippets on days that are heavy with cloud cover or when the light is fading quickly. Fish don’t seem to be so shy to leader flash at those times. If the venue you’re fishing is a highly pressured one, going smaller and lighter with your tippet sizing is usually a problem solver. These fish would be educated to seeing fishing line on a daily basis so give yourself the advantage and go smaller.

High current speeds also pose a bit of an issue at times with microcurrents and surface tension. You’d be struggling while fishing say… a high gradient stream with 3x and a size 10 beetle. If you were to downsize your tippet sizing to say 5x and a size 12 bug you will notice a different in drift times allowing you bug to be on the water longer and keeping the fly within the strike zone much longer.

An evening casting to rising trout. It doesn’t get much better.
Photo by Aardvark McLeod

What Are Some Special Tips for Using Nylon Copolymer?

Degrease your dry fly leaders. This is one of the most overlooked steps when fishing dries and emergers. Leader flash is a detrimental thing for anglers and can make or break your day. It’s simple to solve, though. Find some soft mud and gently wipe it on your leader, using your thumb and forefinger, gently rub it in and wipe it off. Presto – flashy free leaders!

If you want to learn more about why choosing the right tippet and leader material matters, Rob Edmund shares his thoughts!

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