After helping folks select the right Skagit line and tips for their Trout Spey rod, one of the most common questions we get here at Big Sky Anglers is “What leader do I put on this sink tip?”
I’ve answered this question enough times that it makes sense to put this bit of information out there on the blog. There are, of course, several ways to rig a sink tip leader system, but this one has served me, many of my fishing buddies, and many of our customers very well for over a decade. It is simple, protects against line twist, and makes changing and adding tippets very fast and easy without damaging the factory loops that come on the ends of most sink tips. I’ve had these leaders last for a year or more of steady fishing with only refreshments to the tippet portion. So, without further ado, here is a list of components you’ll need to get rigged up!
- 25 pound Maxima Ultragreen
- SPRO Power Swivels (Size 10 or 8) or equivalent – super small and strong micro barrel swivels
- Your Favorite Tippet Material for Swinging Streamers
You may have already guessed by now how this rigging works, but in case you have not, here is how I like to set it up.
The 25 pound Maxima Ultragreen will serve as a butt section for this simple leader. Both 20 and 25 pound work well, but I prefer the thicker 25 pound because it tends to cut less into the loops that come on the ends of sink tips from the manufacturer. Pull 24 to 30 inches of the Maxima off the spool, and tie a smallish loop knot into one end. This will leave plenty of extra for tying knots so don’t be stingy. My preferred loop knot is the Steve Huff Double 8 Loop, but a Double Surgeons or Perfection Loop would also work. If you like, coat the knot in some sort of UV cure resin for added durability. This loop will be connected to your sink tip via loop-to-loop connection. If by chance your sink tip lacks a loop, you can easily connect this butt section to the tip using an Albright Knot. Avoid using a Nail Knot as they are prone to pulling the coating off the sink tips.
To the other end of the Maxima butt section, attach one of the SPRO power swivels using a Clinch Knot. To get this knot to seat properly you’ll need to moisten the loose knot and put a scrap section of Maxima through the other end of the swivel, doubled over, so you have something to pull on to tighten the knot.
All that is left to do now is add your preferred tippet material to the leader by clinch knotting it to the empty end of the power swivel! The great thing about the swivel connection is that you need not worry about making a huge step down in diameter, a change in leader material brand, or a change from nylon mono to fluorocarbon tippet! For trout, most of my streamer swinging is done with Flourocarbon tippet material in the 2x to 0x diameter range or the 8 to 15 pound test range with lengths varying from 3ft to 8ft depending on the application.
Here is a photo of the completed rigging. I hope you find this useful in your own fishing!