IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Protective Sheath For Vulnerable Line?


Protective Sheath

I enjoy the challenge of targeting large fish with fly fishing tackle using a light line class tippet, but constantly run into the issue of my tippet becoming chaffed by part of the fish. I use a shock leader in front of the tippet that is within IGFA specifications, but it is not long enough to protect the delicate tippet from the body or tail of the fish. I’ve found that by placing a free-sliding plastic tube over my tippet I can prevent it from becoming chaffed. As the sleeve is not impacting the breaking strength of the tippet, does this mean it is IGFA-legal?


When fishing with light-tackle, drag pressure, line diameter and chaffing are all aspects that make this type of fishing so challenging. Chaffing is one of the biggest issues that light-tackle anglers encounter when targeting larger species of fish on both fly and conventional tackle. Increasing the diameter of the line or tippet by using a protective sleeve (or other device) negates the risk of chaffing and therefore gives the angler an unfair advantage over the fish. Therefore, IGFA rules prevent anglers from using any sort of anti-chaffing guard over their class tippet, mainline or backing.

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Protective Sheath For Vulnerable Line?

Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator

This question ran in ISSUE 114 of BlueWater magazine: JAN / FEB 2016

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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