I prefer to tie the dropper off the eye of the anchor or DRY. I will go 12" to 18" on rivers and stillwater up to 5'. The trick is slightly side arm and slow down your cast. Make loops a little larger.
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Tying the nymph tippet to the bend of the hook helps prevent that from happening but when you bend the barb down for catch and release you can occasionally loose the nymph and the tippet off the hook. A novice fly fisherman will probably find this method easier to cast and less troublesome.
Using a stiffer tippet material for the nymph will help also. some tippet material is quite supple and others more stiffness. More supple tippet should mean more "natural" movement of the fly but stiffer material means I spend less time unravelling and more time fishing.
It just boils down to what your prefer to do and probably not much more than that, either way.
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