Learn Leaders and Tippet for More Trout

The Best Tapered Leader and Tippet Material

You can spend countless hours field testing every tapered leader and tippet on the market, or you can go straight for the best with Rio Powerflex Plus Leaders and Powerflex Plus Tippet. (These are links to Amazon so you can check prices)

In this article, we walk you through why the Rio Powerflex Plus is so good and show you how it stacks up against other popular brands of leader and tippet in a comparison chart.

Rio Powerflex Plus Material is the Same Diameter But 20% Stronger

Think of the Rio Powerflex Plus as an upgraded version of Rio’s original Powerflex Trout leader and tippet.

The additional strength of Powerflex Plus is owed to a brand new nylon copolymer material called VHT Nylon. This new material maintains the same diameter, flexibility, and knot strength of Rio’s original Powerflex leader which was already above industry average but offers a significant increase in breaking strength.

Rio Maintains True-to-Size Line Diameters

According to Yellowstone Angler’s epic “2012 Tippet Shootout” in which the diameters of all the top tippets were measured with a micrometer among other tests, Rio’s line diameters were consistently “at or under industry average/advertised size…”

This small detail is reassuring considering some line manufacturers fudge the numbers to make their lines seem stronger and thinner than they actually are.

Rio Powerflex Plus Leaders Have Stiff Butt Sections for Excellent Fly Turnover and Supple Tippets for Delicate Presentations

The Rio Powerflex Plus features a slightly stiffer butt section than the original Powerflex Trout leader, resulting in better loops when casting larger flies. At the same time, the tippet is flexible enough to fish small dry flies with confidence.

Rio Powerflex Plus Tippet Comes in 50 Yard Spools

While a spool of Rio Powerflex Plus tippet seems expensive compared to the original Powerflex or tippet from other brands $9.95 vs. $4.95 keep in mind that each spool is loaded with 50 yards instead of the standard 27 or 30 yards. Additionally, Rio makes their Powerflex Plus tippet material more cost effective by offering 3-packs. You can find these at Amazon here ->Rio Powerflex Plus Fly Fishing Tippet 3 Pack

Best Monofilament Knotless Tapered Leader & Tippet Material Comparison Chart

Brand/ModelTippet Diameter Tippet Pound Test Butt Diameter Leader PriceTippet Price
Rio Powerflex Plus5X (.006)6 lb.022$9.95 / 2-pack $9.95 / 50 yard spool
Rio Powerflex5X (.006)5 lb.022$4.95 / 1-pack$4.95 / 30 yard spool
Scientific Anglers Freshwater5X (.006)4.4 lb.020$7.99 / 2-pack $4.99 / 32.8 yard spool
Orvis Super Strong5X (.006)4.75 lb.024 $7.95 / 2-pack$4.95 / 32.8 yard spool
Maxima Ultragreen5X (.006)3 lb.020$4.79 / 1-pack$3.50 / 27 yard spool

Great All-Purpose Leaders and Tippet for Freshwater Fly Fishing

Unless you’re practicing some super technical, highly abstract fly fishing techniques, the Rio Powerflex Plus knotless tapered leader will serve you well for all your freshwater needs. Available in 0X through 7X and lengths of 7.5, 9, and 12 feet, flies and fish of all sizes can be cast and caught with the Rio Powerflex Plus.

And since its always a good idea to use the same brand of tippet as your leader, bring along extra spools of Rio Powerflex Plus tippet and you’ll have an extremely strong setup that will help you bring more fish to net.

Guide Tip: Tippet length, material, “X” size…lots to learn. I’ve summarized it all in What is Fly Fishing Tippet + Tips to Catch More

Tying Knots in Leaders and Tippet

As a fly fisher, you need to become a good knot tier. I use three knots primarily; double surgeons, clinch and nail knot. When needed I’ll use a blood knot and perfection loop.

Years ago I put together a playlist on Youtube. Describing these knots and more.

Tips for Leaders and Tippet And More Fish

Okay, here’s a little secrets – odds are a fish won’t take a fly if they see the line and if it’s moving unnaturally. Longer, thinner leaders and tippet will increase hook ups. You’ve got balance breaking off with successfully netting.


  • Technique, learn to cast and mend for a great drift.
  • Position yourself to make the first cast perfect.
  • Observe – rising fish? go with a dry. No rise – dribble a drag free nymph along the bottom.

Learn more FLY FISHING TACTICS with these articles

Are you read to learn even more? I offer a FREE video dry fly fishing workshop that includes downloads, casting and fly selection it’s easy signup with this link – How 2 Fly Fish

Hi David Humphries Owner of Guide Recommended. I love everything to do with fly fishing. Casting, Tying, YouTube, writing about it and even teaching. I’ve got a FREE video workshop teaching how to dry fly fish at this link How to Fly Fish

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