Q My friend often uses a midge-tip line while I only have a floating line. What are the main advantages of a midge tip and is it worth buying one?
Oscar Stoneleigh, via email
AA midge tip is a floating line with a slow-sinking end section, usually 3ft-12ft long. If fish are taking Nymph patterns or Buzzers confidently, there will be little difference in catch rates between a floater and a midge tip, but when trout are only “mouthing” the flies, a greater number will hook themselves against the increased sub-surface resistance of a midge tip. When fishing the washing-line method (a buoyant fly in the point position, nymphs on the droppers) you should experience better hooking with a midge tip than the “taps” you may get when using a floating line – again, the sinking tip’s extra resistance helps to set the hook. When straight-line nymphing, the sinking end of the midge tip digs in under the surface, reducing drift speed so that the Nymphs fish deeper and slower – often essential to imitate natural insects. When pulling lures or wet-flies near the surface the extra inch or two of depth gained with a midge tip can make the difference between a solid take and a frustrating boil at the fly. I am sure a midge tip will make a major difference to your fishing and may reduce your use of a floating line to dry-fly only. Which midge tip should you use?
• 3ft or 5ft/6ft slow tips are good for summer nymphing and the washingline method.
• A 6ft fast tip is ideal for cold-water nymphing or lure fishing from the bank.
• A 12ft fast tip is best for getting nymphs deeper or holding a washing line at a certain depth.
• There’s also a 12ft slow tip. I don’t have one and can’t think of a use for one – I may be missing a trick.
“The sinking tip’s extra resistance helps to set the hook”
A midge-tip line is as useful on wild waters as it is on stocked. It’s a good sea-trout line, too.
The midge tip is often used with the washing-line method.