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I use SA for my tippet and Maxima for my butt section. I have fished exclusively in western montana for the last year and I can tell you right now that tippet size does matter. I just got back from a two week trip to Missoula where we fished all the local rivers and the Missouri. The fish on the clark fork wouldn't take anything on top unless it had 6x attached to it. As for nymphing, 4x is the smallest I ever go. I also think color matters too. An example of this would be this from this spring. I was at a lake in northeast Washington that had large cruising trout sipping(sp?) bugs off the surface. The fish were easily visible, because of the clear water and the light color of the lake bottom. Most of the fish could be sight nymphed with long leaders and small flies, also you could fish on top the same way. The one thing I noticed was that if I made a bad cast, and put my leader in front of a fish, the fish wouldn't be bothered, but if it swam near my butt section of chameleon maxima, it would notice it and swim along side of it, and not over, even if that was the same direction the fish was swimming.

I think the tippet size and color matters. Good luck and good fishing
-crump :THUMBSUP
 

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I suppose you are right about the drag free drift, but if 6x makes it work, then so be it, as long as Im not breaking off any fish, than Im all for it. Nymphing I use heavier stuff like you mentioned.
-crump :THUMBSUP
 
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