Euro & Czech Nymph Gear

European nymph fishing uses pretty simple equipment in most cases. Here is a list of what I use when I’m out on the river….

Rods

Most 9’ to 11’, 2 or 3 weight rods tend to be the most effective for this style of fishing. My favorite is a 10’ 3 weight for my own fishing. Sage, Echo, Beulah and Fenwick all have rods that fit the bill and the budget. FFP offers Fenwick at the economy level, and Sage at the varsity level. Echo and Beulah in the middle both make awesome rods for a great price. Any of these manufacturers 10’ 3 weight models will take you Euro Nymph Fishing any place you want to go and do it well!

Reels

To balance a 10’ or 11’ rod you’ll likely want to upsize your reel just a little bit. I like a smooth disc drag reel and feel drag is important in fighting a fish well. Abel, Bauer, Lamson and Galvan all make very good reels to balance a European Nymphing rod.

Line

This is the most important part of the system! Euro Nymph lines are special tapers and they are built on ultra light cores. An ultra light line will not sag and will detect the strike better than a standard WF or DT line. Rio, Cortland and Airflo all produce excellent Euro Nymph specialty lines and are worth the investment to do it right.

Sighters

  • Czech Style #1
    FTB King Snake Sighter. Easy to use and set up, just loop it to the line and add tippet.
  • Czech Style #2
    Umpqua Bi Color Sighter .03X. Easy, loop to the line and tie on a tippet ring and add tippet from there.
  • Hybrid
    Umpqua .03X & Umpqua or Rio 2x or 3x Bi Color Sighter
  • French #1
    Quite a few things will work, but the .03X UFM Bi Color is a great choice, Green or Gold Stren Nylon in 15 to 20 # is also excellent to make a slinky with.
  • French #2
    Umpqua or Rio 2x or 3x Bi Color Sighter

Tippet Rings

For attaching 4x, 5x or 6x tippet to a heavier sighter it is the absolute best way to secure a good connection. Cortland/Climax and Rio make excellent rings that are standard of the industry.

Tippet

It’s all Fluorocarbon in this game. Fluoro is over 90% invisible in the water and is stronger than nylon material in the same diameter. There is no other choice for effective nymph fishing. 4x, 5x and 6x will be all you really need in most cases. Rio and Trout Hunter are my 2 favorite fluorocarbon tippets. 4 pound Seagaur makes an excellent and cheap tippet section but has inconsistent measurements so beware if you need to really be spot on with tippet diameter.

Rio Euro Nymph Leader

Rio makes a leader that is a Hybrid type so you don’t have to. Basic in design, and perfect for fly fisher’s who don’t want to tie up their own. You know who you are!

Snake River Mud

Rub some on your tippet to help it sink and be even more invisible. When the fishing is tough this makes the fish more confident your fly isn’t a fake.

Micro Shot or Soft Weight

Not often needed because a long, light tippet with 2 bead head nymphs goes down and dirty pretty quickly, but every once in a while a little extra weight does the trick.

Flies

There are so many nymphs that will do the trick for this style of fishing. Check out the Euro Jig style flies and the Double Tungsten Micro nymphs. A fly called the Frenchie is a commonly known pattern for this technique, but don’t forget about your old favorite nymphs like PT’s, Micro Mayflies, Prince, Rainbow Warrior and Possie Buggers.

Landing Net

When you are landing a large fish on 5x tippet you quickly realize how much easier this is done with a good net.

Wading Staff

You will wade in some faster water than you are used to, so you can fish that one perfect pocket. A staff will give you confidence to be there.

4 thoughts on “Euro & Czech Nymph Gear

  1. Hi what size tippet rings are acceptable and how about the new redington hydrogen euro rods? Also what rod line would you get if you also wanted to have a Versitle rod for nymph fishing indicators and euro style.
    Thanks.

    • Hello Brendan, thanks for your email. The 10′ 3 weight Hydrogen is actually a great rod for both Euro and Western Style Nymphing. I brought that rod to Chile this winter and used it on some of my favorite small streams there. Throughout the day, I can use it for Czech style, change lines and add an indicator and even fish dries with it.
      It is awesome.
      For Dries and Western Style Nymphing I like the WF3 Rio Gold, and for Euro Nymphing I like either the Rio Euro Nymph line or our Just the Tip loop to loop 20 foot Euro Tip with an FTB sighter.
      I like the Rio 2mm Tippet Rings.
      I can help you with any of this if you want to buy any of it.
      Thank you,
      Jeff

      • Thanks for the info, I was wondering if the 3wt is still ideal for larger western rivers, and is versatile enough to fish larger nymph rigs when fishing indicator style. I read the nymphing rods are set up where the tip is a 3 wt but the butt section is heavier, so it has more of a backbone, is that true with all euro nymph rods and why a 3wt would suffice for even larger rivers? I also didn’t know the pros and cons between the 10 and 11 ft nymphing rods. I didn’t know what your preferred rods are and if it’s worth splurging for an expensive rod. I have an expensive Loop OptiStream 9ft 5wt and it’s sweet but obviously don’t want to do that again, but don’t’ know if it’s a rod I will be doing most of my fishing with if it’s worth it.
        When fishing out west, what percentage of fishing can you not euro nymph because of the conditions? I’m just trying to get a sense of how much you can do it, if this is the ideal way to nymph. I like have the versatility of being able to switch types of fishing and don’t want to lug around several rods to fish throughout the day.

        Sorry I have a lot of questions but really would like to make a good decision before getting a rod since I really can’t afford to buy several rods or find out mine can’t do what I thought it could.
        Thanks again,
        Brendan

      • I totally get it you want to be efficient with the dollars spent. I am buying a new boat and going thru a lot of the same thought processes. I don’t want to leave anything on the table and neither do you.
        Most of these new 10 and 11 foot rods have a pretty fierce butt section (lot’s of power) but with a sensitive tip (so you can feel the takes better). I have had no problem landing pretty large fish with my Euro Nymph rods. I have the Echo Shadow II 10′ 2 wt, 10′ 3 wt, the Beulah Platinum 10′ 3 wt and Winston Super 10 10′ 4 wt. I recently sold my Sage ESN 10′ 3 wt and Redington Hydrogen 10′ 3 wt for some boat money along with a bunch of other rods and reels.
        I fish the Deschutes and Crooked here in Oregon mostly with Euro techniques. They are fast, relatively big Western Rivers and all of these rods work great. No issues. If I was trying to fish way out in the current of the Lower Deschutes, in a place I can’t wade to, then I would likely go to my Sage X 10′ 5 weight with an indicator. But in places I can get over the fish, or at least close to them, I am going with one of the 4 rods above because I much prefer to pick them up Czech style.
        I prefer the 10 foot rods over the 11 footers. My Echo Shadow II 10′ 3 weight with the Competition Kit does have the ability to extend to 10 1/2′ or 11′ which I occasionally use. I usually think an 11 foot rod feels terrible.
        I feel like Euro Nymphing brought me back to nymphing. I was bored with indicator fishing. I dream of Euro nymphing. I want to do it every time I go to the river and I choose places and times to go fishing so I can fish that way.
        Lastly, I fish my 3 weights way more than any other rod weight for Euro. They are more sensitive than a 4 wt and more powerful than the 2. I like the 2 and 4, they’re great. But the 3 is perfect in my world.

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