Mirage Pure Fluorocarbon Tippet

Our saltwater fly fishing tippet offers strength and abrasion resistance.


Tippet ideal for all saltwater fly fishing, plus steelhead and Atlantic salmon. Also for freshwater nymphing where trout are leader-shy. Refraction index on Mirage™ is very close to water which makes it near invisible to fish. Often you can go up one tippet size and still gain the same results, plus it tends to sink, making it an excellent tippet for nymphing and streamer fishing. Mirage offers superior abrasion resistance which is critical in many big game and saltwater applications where structure and hard mouths can cause increased abrasion. Fly fishing tippet has line retainer on each spool.


Overall: 4.8/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 4.8 / 5 based on 78 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
4 stars 4-star:
3 stars 3-star:
2 stars 2-star:
1 star 1-star:

76 of 78 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Good Pike leader material - 4/7/2014
    By: from Quebec, Canada

    According to the description of this product, it offers a really good abrasion resistance. That's what I'm looking for to make my pike and musky leaders, from butt to tippet to bite guard section. In Canada, when you hook a Northern Pike just above a weed pad, you know you'll have to deal with weeds.

  • 4/5 stars 4/5

    Good tippet - 3/24/2014
    By: from midwest

    I've purchased this tippet before and while it's not the cheapest, it's been my go to for durability, clarity, and overall casting performance. Spend the money. =)

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Great product - 3/14/2014

    I've used many Tippett materials none as nice as Orvis easy to work with VERY STRONG

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Reliable - 1/30/2014

    Been using the Mirage 4x for about 3 years now. In that time I have had 3 knots come lose on me (and that was probably my doing) and only 1 line break that didn't come from me getting hung up in a tree. Most people I fish with use other companies 5x or 6x on the crystal clear Missouri streams and have told me time and time agian I need to get away from using the 4x. 9 out of 10 times I out fish them. I am slowly but surely getting them to switch to this product.

  • 4/5 stars 4/5

    great for above freezing but... - 1/24/2014

    i have been using the 4x and 5x for about 7 years. this is an excellent product.. but i have found a couple of flaws with this Orvis product . first and foremost is that as one of the reviews stated at times it breaks for almost no reason even when tying the suggested knots. all with non expired spools, this lead me to do a test.. 3 below zero, Swift river (MA)... we could not keep a knot from breaking nor could we keep the tippet from breaking ...we switched to brand "F" in an even lesser pound rating (all we had was 6x) and no breakage... this we tested at many times, all with the same results. and the second, but this may not be a concern any longer...we have also found a great many spools have been wound too tight and actually have cracked the inner spool all but ruining the spool of tippet...i have returned about 12 spools over the years, not an easy task . your closest store to me is almost an hour away..

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    have you seen ths leader in action - it's great - 1/2/2014

    Ive been using Mirage Pure Fluorocarbon Tippet for many years an have great results. I alwasys ask my fishing partner "Can you see my line in the water" It's that good for fishing real clear waters in the Tahoe Basin.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Don't nymph without it - 12/14/2013
    By: from Central PA

    Mirage pure flourocarbon tippet is just so effective when nymphing. It allows you to use the the lightest wieghted nymph to get into the strike zone and keep the most natural drift. I love it and so do the fish!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Best line - 11/11/2013
    By: from Durham

    Excellent product low profile excellent strength Excellent knot hold

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Super-tough and stiff material - 10/14/2013
    By: from Granby, CT

    Orvis Fluorocarbon is outstanding for building heavier leaders as used to turn over large salt water streamers and poppers. Low "memory", it comes off your reel nearly straight. Tying surgeon and barrel knots is a challenge in the heavier diameters; a small pair of shoemaker's pliers is a big help in setting the knots neatly.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Fishing Gear - 8/20/2013
    By: from Idaho

    Orvis does provide the best in quality fishing gear, from rods and reels to leader material and flies. Can't go wrong and even though it is a bit pricey, you do get what you pay for!

Learn More

Mirage Fluorocarbon Tippet

Research shows the superior quality of Mirage fluorocarbon

Tippet is perhaps the most important product we sell to guides. Guides are mercilessly fussy with tippet material, which is not surprising because if your client finally hooks the big brown trout or redfish he’s been trying for all day, it’s not the rod or reel or fly that’s going to make the difference between a bragging photo and the bittersweet memory of a lost fish. Sometimes it’s operator error, but most often fish are lost because of a bad knot or tippet that didn’t hold up.

Don’t you want to make sure that the tippet you use will survive more passes through an oyster bar or when dragged across streamside riprap? This is a good time to check you tackle bag and fishing vest to make sure that you have Mirage leaders and tippet in all the sizes you need for this season.

Dave ChermanskiWe’ve done many exhaustive lab tests that have proven that Mirage is less visible under water, more abrasion resistant, and quicker-sinking than nylon. But lab tests alone are never as compelling as seeing visual proof.

Recently, Dave Chermanski, one of our field testers and holder of 44 different International Game Fish Association world records using Mirage tippet, did some exhaustive studies of Mirage with a high-powered microscope. What he saw and photographed confirms why Mirage is so much better. Thanks to Dave for sharing both his photographs and his findings with us.

Mirage Is Smoother (Photo A)

Compare the surface of Mirage Fluorocarbon in Photo A to nylon. It's immediately apparent that Mirage has a far smoother outside surface. A smoother finish gives you:

  • Less visibility to fish because it has fewer reflective surfaces than the irregular surface of nylon. Fish can always see your tippet, but the less obvious it is the more likely they’ll be to take your fly.
  • A smoother surface has higher abrasion resistance, so when your tippet slides against the sandpaper teeth of a big striped bass, the razor-edged gill rakers of a tarpon, or along an oyster bar on the bottom, the less likely it will weaken and break.

Mirage Is Less Visible (Photo F)

Mirage fluorocarbon has an index of refraction very close to that of water. Mirage fluorocarbon has an index of refraction of .09, nylon is 1.53. The closer a material’s index of refraction (the lower the number) is to that of water; the less visible it is when submerged.

Photo F

Mirage Is Denser and More Uniform (Photo B)

Photo B

Compare the uniform cross-section of Mirage Fluorocarbon in Photo B to the irregular cross-section of nylon. Mirage fluorocarbon is also 65% denser than nylon for an equivalent diameter. A more uniform cross-section and a smaller diameter (for the same break strength) give you:

  • A faster sink rate because there is less water resistance. Your fly gets a bonefish fly to the bottom quicker without adding extra weight to the fly, thus you get a more delicate presentation.
  • The denser material breaks the surface tension quicker, getting your fly below the surface quicker.
  • The denser material does not hydroplane toward the surface when you retrieve a fly, giving you a more lifelike retrieve for baitfish and crustacean imitations.
  • A smaller diameter is less noticeable to the fish, so your fly looks more natural and you get more strikes.
  • More uniform strength and better knot strength. Those little pits and bumps in nylon make your knots less consistent and more prone to breakage due to weak spots. You’ll land more of the fish you hook.

Mirage Has Higher Abrasion Resistance (Photo C)

Photo C

Chermanski pulled each piece of material once over the edge of 80-grit sandpaper. (Photo C) This is similar to stripping in line over a rough tip-top or stripping guide, having your leader brush against a piece or coral, or being chewed by the sharp teeth of a big brown trout or passing along the skin of a shark. As you can see, the nylon is flaking off relatively large pieces that weaken its surface, while the Mirage stays almost completely smooth.

Mirage Is Impervious to UV Light, Gasoline, and Even Battery Acid! (Photo D)

Chermanski exposed 12-pound Mirage and nylon to 9 days of continuous ultraviolet light. It’s easy to see that the nylon has begun to deteriorate and weaken. Mirage is chemically inert, so it is also impervious to lots of nasty things that can get on leaders and tippet, including sunlight, gasoline, insect repellent, battery acid, motor oil, and sunscreen. Tippet that has deteriorated because of chemicals or ultraviolet light is not only weaker, it is also more visible underwater because its chalky surface reflects more light.

Photo D

However, with this benefit comes one big disadvantage—fluorocarbon tippet does not break down in the environment. Never dispose of it in the water or on land—makes sure it gets into the waste stream and into a proper landfill.

Mirage Has Higher Knot Survivability (Photo E)

Chermanski photographed overhand (wind) knots in both nylon and Mirage. The knots were tightened with 4 pounds of pull in 6 pound material. As Photo E shows, the nylon fractured right next to the knot, considerably weakening the connection. Typically, an overhand knot, the most destructive knot you can tie in tippet material because it has the most extreme bend, weakens nylon by about 50% of its rated strength by weakens Mirage only 25% or less.

Photo E

Here’s why:

  • Nylon absorbs water and can lose 15% of its rated strength just by being soaked in water.
  • The rougher surface of nylon, plus imperfections in its surface, makes the material heat up when knots are tightened, changing the molecular bonds in the material and weakening it.
  • The softer outer surface of nylon lets the material cut into itself when a knot is tightened.
  • Mirage has a smoother, harder outer surface and does not absorb water at all. It retains its rated strength when wet, and most of its rated strength when knotted. This means when you tie on a 6-pound tippet with Mirage, you’ll have almost 6 pounds of strength, even with a wind knot in your tippet. A wind knot in your nylon tippet will give you only 3 pounds of breaking strength.

Mirage Is Stiffer

Although nylon stretches more and this helps it absorb shocks, Mirage, being about 30% stiffer than nylon in the same diameter, does offer some fishing advantages:

  • The added stiffness gives you better turnover in windy conditions—a great advantage in saltwater fly fishing.
  • The added stiffness also helps prevent tangles in your leader.
  • If you do get a wind knot while using Mirage, it will be easier to remove than in nylon tippet.

So Why Should I Even Buy Nylon Tippet Material?

Nylon does offer some advantages, especially in freshwater fishing:

  • It’s cheaper. Even the best nylon, Super Strong, costs only about a third of a spool of Mirage.
  • It floats better. For dry flies in pocket water or fast riffles, nylon makes it easier to float a dry fly.
  • It’s more flexible. It situations where drag is very tricky, nylon gives you a more natural float.
  • It’s easier to knot. The stiffer nature of fluorocarbon makes tightening knots trickier than with nylon. You have to be more careful with fluorocarbon, and you must always wet your knots before tightening.

Strength Comparison

Strength Comparison Chart: Super Strong & Mirage Tippets
Size 8X 7X 6X 5X 4X 3X 2X 1X 0X
Diameter .003 .004 .005 .006 .007 .008 .009 .010 .011
Mirage lb. test n/a 2.7 3.6 5.0 7.0 9.2 12.5 14.5 16.5
Super Strong lb. test 1.75 2.5 3.5 4.75 6 8.5 11.5 13.5 15.5

Diameter .012 .013 .015 .017 .019 .021 .023 .025 .027 .030
Mirage lb. test n/a 18.2 20 25 30 39 44 52 60 80
Super Strong lb. test 18.5 20 25 35 40 50 60 65 n/a n/a

Buy it now

Select an item: EE1Y2860
  • 30-meter spool 7X-0X £8.95
  • 30-meter spool .013," .015" £14.95
  • 30-meter spool .017"-.030" £14.95
  • 100-meter spool 7X-0X (0X-70m, 1X-75m) £23.95
  • IGFA tippet 30-meter spool (sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20 lb. test) £10.50
Quantity   Add To Basket