The finest of pliers can struggle to cut braided line, but a damaged tip-top can inadvertently accomplish this task with its eyes closed. A damaged tip-top can ruin a day on the water, or make you stick your favorite fishing rod in the corner to collect dust. In reality, changing a tip-top is one of the easiest repairs in the business, but choosing the correct size can leave a mathematician throwing in the towel.
There are a two different numbers associated with sizing a tip-top, and generally these numbers are built right into the tip-top’s part number.
The HLT(Halide Light Top) designates the style of top. The 8 designates the outside diameter of the ceramic insert is 8mm, and the 4.5 tells us the inside diameter of the tube(part which goes onto rod blank) is 4.5 64ths of an inch(4.5/64).
The style of top can simply be determined visually. Generally, rods with a lighter action can use a light top, where as your larger tops need to use a beefier style.
Tools and Equipment
Using specific tools for measuring ring and tube size can make this process far less painful. A tip-top sizing tool has external protrusions which allow you to place the old top on to it for sizing. The tip-top tool also has holes which you can place the rod blank through to obtain the diameter. Both of these methods will give you the tube size of the tip-top. Using a digital caliper to measure the outside diameter of the ring is the best possible method of accurately determining the ring’s size in millimeters.
Of course, we could always eliminate all the measuring and purchase a tip-top assortment kit!