How to Tie a Dropper Rig

Written by zach lazzari
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How to Tie a Dropper Rig
Nymph droppers are ideal for fishing deep river runs. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The dropper rig features multiple flies on a single leader. The system is not required for catching fish, but it does add more options and increases success. Anglers use dropper rigs with dry flies, nymphs and streamers. Dropper rigs usually imitate an emerging and adult insect, and a double streamer rig imitates baitfish in a chase. Because the dropper rig is prone to tangling, you must cast it with proper technique to avoid tangles.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tapered leader
  • Tippet
  • Line clippers
  • Flies

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Instructions

    Nymphing Dropper

  1. 1

    Attach a leader to the fly line with a loop-to-loop connection. Slide the leader loop over the fly line loop and pull the leader through the fly line loop. Pull on the leader and fly line to tighten the loop.

  2. 2

    Cut 2 feet of tippet material from a spool. Use tippet that matches the diameter of the leader. Tippet is a uniform diameter, whereas the leader is tapered.

  3. 3

    Tie an overhand knot in one end of the tippet. Connect the same end of the tippet to the leader with a surgeon's knot. Overlap the tippet and leader and fold the two to create a loop. Pull the end of the leader and long end of the tippet through the loop two times. Pull on each end to tighten the knot.

  4. 4

    Clip the tag end of the tippet. Use the knot to locate the tippet and prevent cutting the leader. Tie the tag end of the leader to the lighter nymph with a clinch knot. Place the leader through the hook eye and twist the fly to create seven turns. Place the end of the leader through the opening at the base of the turns and pull on the leader and fly to tighten the knot.

  5. 5

    Tie the end of the tippet to the heavier nymph with a clinch knot. Fish both flies below the surface of the water.

    Dry Fly Dropper and Streamers

  1. 1

    Attach a leader to the fly line with a loop-to-loop connection. Cut 2 feet of tippet from a spool and attach the tippet to the leader with a surgeon's knot. Clip the tag end of the leader and tippet from the knot.

  2. 2

    Tie the end of the tippet to the dry fly or larger streamer with a clinch knot. Cut a 1 foot section of tippet from a spool. Tie the tippet to the bend of the hook with clinch knot.

  3. 3

    Tie the second dry fly, nymph or streamer to the end of the tippet with a clinch knot to complete the rig.

Tips and warnings

  • Add a third fly if desired. Fishing three tandem flies is not legal in every state, but it is effective in rivers and lakes.

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