Classic Tuesday Tip: Setting Up Your Terminal Tackle


Quite a while ago, we featured a video by our friend Zach Matthews, editor of The Itinerant Angler website and host of the podcast of the same name, about how to set up a trout reel. This video focuses on the other end of the setup: the terminal tackle. If you’re new to the sport or would like to get started, this is great stuff.

In this lesson, Zach explains how to add tippet to your leader, how to tie on a fly, how to add split shot, and how to attach a balloon strike indicator. In the process, you’ll learn the double surgeon’s knot, the clinch knot, and a mid-leader slip loop.

If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll need the following items:

1. a knotless tapered leader,
2. a spool of tippet material,
3. a fly,
4. some split shot, and
5. a small balloon or some Poly Yarn for an indicator.

A few notes on the techniques described here:

1. Although Zach is correct in saying that the easiest way to squeeze a split shot is to use your teeth, I agree with a dentist I once guided, who asked, “What fish is worth a chipped tooth?” I use my hemostat to squeeze split shot now.

2. The method that Zach uses to attach the balloon indicator will also work with Poly Yarn. You simply thread a piece of yarn through the loop, and tighten up the knot at the center of the yarn.

3 thoughts on “Classic Tuesday Tip: Setting Up Your Terminal Tackle”

  1. Always good to refresh prior to first day on the water. No matter how many knots you have tied in your life. Thanks

  2. Pingback: Tippets: Setting Up Terminal Tackle, Save Our Stripers | MidCurrent

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