Extra Shock Absorbers & Light Tippet

by Dave Southall
(Driffield, East Yorkshire, UK)

I've been experimenting with additional shock absorbers when using light tippet (7x) & tiny flies (sizes 20 to 30 CdC midges & midge pupae) for fish in the 14 to 16" plus range. I fish a lot with tiny flies for still water rainbows which are avid midge-feeders & grayling with my 13.5' Amago.

Furled leaders give a small amount of extra tippet protection due to their stretch.

Two feet of #4 pole elastic between the lilian & line works, doesn't affect casting & hooking too much but is far too stretchy, making control of the fish dificult.

Two feet of 14lb breaking strain power gum gives some extra tippet protection & has no adverse effects on casting or hooking. I've still been broken a couple of times by bolting rainbows of around 3lb but power gum is the best so far.

My new Ito is also very good at shock absorbtion being much softer than the Amago.

I'd be interested in the observations of others re coping with sizeable fish on light tippets.

Dave Southall

Comments for Extra Shock Absorbers & Light Tippet

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Oct 18, 2011
Breaking trail, not tippets
by: TenkaraBum

Dave, I think you're breaking trail for the rest of us. I don't know of anyone else experimenting with elastics. I had always thought that the rods were limber enough that something like that wasn't necessary, but I very rarely fish with 7X, and even then only on streams where I do not expect to catch larger fish.

I had thought that the power gum type products were not available here, but it turns out that Rio sells a 9# breaking strength "Shock Gum" for $5 (25 ft. spool). I may have to try some out.

Aug 12, 2012
Power gum
by: Chewbee


I thought about power gum and ordered it before looking for tenkara users on the internet ...
I fish with my amago in a "fishery" where rainbows, brooks and browns are fast runners ... last time on 6X I broke three out of six (when they go away from the bank I cannot run to follow them ;) which I do when they dart sideways.
My test line is :
Braided loop as on a furled line
One foot of 0.5mm Power gum
9 feet of Valcan Orange level fluoro line
4 feet of 6X tippet

I let you know as soon as I have a chance to experiment.

Chris Thank you so much for Tenkara Bum, an independant yet selling site on Tenkara ;) I love your killer bugs, they work pretty well in my fishery :)

Aug 12, 2012
6X tippet
by: TenkaraBum

Good to hear that the killer bugs work!

With the Amago, you can certainly get away with stronger tippet than 6X. I routinely use 5X, and I believe the TenkaraUSA website says that 4X is acceptable (although I wouldn't use it other than for our largemouth and smallmouth bass, whose teeth are very small but very sharp - almost like sandpaper, and will quickly abrade fine tippets).

I have never used elastic, but I would have thought that when the fish runs, it would stretch it to the extreme, just as it bends the rod to the extreme, and when the elastic can no longer stretch and the rod can no longer bend, the tippet pops anyway. Please report back on how it works for you.

Nov 16, 2014
F-C Shock-Gum Sections
by: Anonymous

These are available from feather-craft.com and consist of a 7" elastic section w/loops on both ends that stretch but will not break, adding a pound or more break strength to your tippet's breaking strength rating. Cost is $1.95 each. Here is a link: https://www.feather-craft.com/wecs.php?store=feacraft&action=searchadvanced&advancedsearch_word_modifier=phrase&advancedsearch_words=GD009&x=14&y=11

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