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Varivas Nylon tippet Review

Allan Liddle

Our expert Allan Liddle has been using the Varivas nylon tippet range and has provided us with his thoughts on the products.


Based in Moray in Scotland’s North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles. A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there’s nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn’t slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.

Allan has also represented Scotland at international level, is a GAIA qualified trout instructor and a has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine for almost twenty years.

Leader choice is a very personal thing and we’re all often looking to ‘improve’ on what we currently use which isn’t always as successful as we’d hoped.

I’ve certainly tried many different ones and kept returning to a tried and tested brand that served me well for years, confidence and familiarity certainly held sway over the opposite and I learned to work with the cons for the most part.

That said when I was given a couple of spools of VARIVAS Supertippet Masterspec nylon to try I was immediately impressed by the strength, diameter and suppleness, or rather the balance between being too supple and ‘soft’ giving strength and tangle, twisting issues against way too stiff and ‘dead’ which certainly effects the way your fly can ‘fish’.

Instantly drawn to the 4X 5.1lb (1kg) breaking strain as a general all-purpose river and loch wild fish nylon I have been very impressed.  At 0.165mm diameter it’s not the thinnest, but then again not the heaviest either and fits in perfectly for me and the wild fish I love to target.  The clean and clear ‘colour’ of the Masterspec is also something I really like as is the knot strength, so all in all it ticks all the right boxes except perhaps one, finish.  This is a nylon that has a ‘glossy’ hue and as such reflects light where I much prefer a ‘matt’ and more ‘muted’ finish.  Easily rectified however as I religiously treat all my leader material with a de-grease paste (essentially Fuller’s Earth and washing up liquid) which dulls the finish sufficiently, and as I always do this no matter the leader then it’s something that’s just second nature to me anyway.  Or use the fellow Partridge Pro Team Member Paul Proctor’s tip of rubbing the nylon through a blade of grass from the waterside, which works a real treat.

Varivas tippet
Varivas tippet 4x

Photos supplied Allan Liddle

If, however, I feel a thinner, lighter approach is required then the 5X 4.7lb (0.8kg) step below is the one I reach for with a diameter of only 0.148mm.  Still treating it with the afore mentioned de-grease treatment and my go-to nylon of choice now when fishing those very clear waters with very shy trout which is, thankfully not something that I encounter much up in the north, but it does happen and when so I reach for this.

Carrying a handy 50m on each spool and these with a very handy colour coded label and retaining band (brilliant as it stops the nylon peeling off in the pocket) and made in a way that allows the spools to clip together, very handy for storage in the pocket and accessing exactly what you need when you need it.

The final excellent touch is the UV proof packet each spool comes in meaning no matter how ‘old’ it might be or where it has been stored (perhaps in exposed daylight) you know that the nylon has not been compromised before you get it.

Varivas nylon tippet is great and my number one choice now.

Varivas tippet super

If you want to try some Varivas nylon tippet yourself why not visit our shop where you can see the whole.