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

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Trout Surgery -

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.

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