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Fly line to leader


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10 replies to this topic

#1 salty fly

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:58 PM

So, For over 20 years I have been flyfishing and apparently still can not tie my leader to my flyline. For years I have been useing knotless systems, lately it's been braied mono loops.Well this weekend,camping at Santa Margarita Lake, I hooked into a real pig,I was working at this beast for around an hour,chucking every bug i had at it. Down to my last pattern,I was watching him work around in a circle,eating somthing out of the weeds,I did a little flip, got the bug right in his face he moved for it but no, he backed up and off for a lap.Next time I was ready for him, had my fly right on his nose let it just sit in the mud and weeds,he saw it moved in,still I paused,he came in, I gave just a little twitch to let him know its alive and BAM! It was on he started diveing, gave him some line and got it on the reel and then SNAP.I was like what now, I broke off a fly earler that day,striped all my line in and my fly,leader and mono loop was gone.Now this has happend twice,The shrink wrap that comes it the packs,I dont know if it gets loose or it is just not good.My fly line in new just made it a few weeks ago.Anyway mabey i need to tie new knots or smothing else I dont know.I have tryed to wrap thread and a little drop of zap,insted of the shrink wrap, that seams to work good.Both ways are really strong.I just cant that big old fish ripped off my loop. looks like I am going to try something else. Any thing you guys have would be great.

Thanks,
Keep on chuckin'
Bryan 'salty Fly'


keep on chuckin'
Bryan Hibbert

AKA'Salty fly'

Surf fish bum


#2 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:34 AM

Since you're operating in freshwater.... this may seem a bit extreme, but here's how I set up all my fly lines (7 all the way up to 13wt) connecting leader butt to fly line....

But first a little backstory. I've been a full-time guide now for about 15 years in the saltwater portion of the Everglades and go after fish every way with every kind of gear (if I restricted myself to fly only... I'd have given up long ago). I regularly get fly anglers who are making their first or second trip to the salt. Many show up with good quality gear that was carefully set up by their local fly shop, including backing, and leader to fly line connections. After a few failures I learned the hard way to physically check their connections. If and when they fail (all too often) I quickly set them up correctly and we're off to the races. Here's the check I do for leader to fly line connections - I take two wraps on each hand (one with fly line, the other with leader) so that my two hands are close together. Make fists, then pull slowly across my chest until the line hurts my hands... Any connection that survives this test (I'm pretty sure I'm putting over 15lbs of pressure on those knots) is ready for what we might be able to do to it with a big fish.


For connections all I ever use is a single seven turn speed nail knot on floating lines, and two of those nail knots in a row on intermediate or monocore lines ( a single nail knot will not hold on an intermediate line in my experience). There are other knots that are as strong but very few that make a small neat connection that should go back and forth through the guides under heavy pressure without snagging, etc. As far as butt section sizes, I routinely use 40lb mono (usually Ande premium in any color) for 7 through 9wt lines, 50lb for 10wt, and 60lb for 11 & 12wt lines. Since I need a quick change leader system, the butt section always ends in a surgeon's loop with four feet of butt for 7 to 9wts, five feet for a 10wt, and six feet for an 11 on up.

Once you're set up properly with knots you have confidence in.... you're still not done. In use your leader and connections are going to take a beating from everything they make contact with. I try to inspect my leader to fly line connection every day (and certainly after encounters with mangroves and other things that are hard on anything they touch). Whenever I've forgotten to do this checking I'm just gambling whenever an angler hooks up on a big fish...

Hope this helps

Tight Lines
Bob LeMay
Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#3 salty fly

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:04 PM

Capt. Bob

Thanks for the tips.Do you have a good link for the speed nail knot? Its probley on youtube.I have been using perfection loops when make my leaders.I fish the surf also and use the same set up for bulding my leaders.I think I will use the nail knot for connecting my leader to my fly line and bulding my leaders.So, looks like I need to learn A new knot.Again, thanks.

Keep on chuckin'
Bryan 'Salty fly'


keep on chuckin'
Bryan Hibbert

AKA'Salty fly'

Surf fish bum


#4 jhammer

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:30 PM

I always use an Albright knot and some Zap-A-Gap. Never had a breakage yet. Even with a 26lb King I caught in the PM.

#5 agn54

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:50 PM

Ditto what Capt. Bob said about the nail knot. If you buy a nail knot tool, it makes it much easier and comes with illustrated instructions. The tool only costs a few bucks.

#6 JSzymczyk

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 05:41 PM

I use a whipped loop on most of my lines. When done correctly, it is stronger than the fly line itself. I have tested this over and over to breaking on many lines, new and old. I normally then tie a double surgeon's loop in the butt end of my leaders and loop-to-loop them on. I pre-tie the surgeon's loops at home, because there is no way to fully seat the knots without pliers and a fixed point to put the loop over. By that I mean I am tying a knot in very heavy mono at the butt end of the leader.

On the lines I don't use a whipped loop, I have come to really like the Whitlock no-knot zap a gap method. Also very strong when done correctly, and it definitely stays stronger than any sensible tippet for at least a few years. I might be in the minority, but I get a long life out of most of my leaders- I use either a loop-to-loop or a mini tippet ring to add tippet, so my tapered leaders don't get short on me. I can usually get a good part of a season out of one leader, although I don't get to fish as much as many people do.

The way I see it, the tippet (excluding bite tippet) should be the weakest link in your system. Tippet should fail long before anything else.

the gales of November remembered...


#7 stanbiker

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:01 PM

After loosing a couple of leaders, I stopped using the braided mono connectors as well. Now, I just nail knot a piece of 20# or 25# mono to the fly line and tie a perfection loop in the end of the mono.

For nail knots, rather than buy the tool, I use a large darning needle. It's cheap and easy to carry with you, and no big deal if you loose it.

#8 flytire

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 03:19 PM

hers what i do with the braided connectors

Posted Image

i've gotten sh!t about using glue and the heat shrink tube and the knots, but at the end of the day it all holds together!

the connector uses the chinese finger cuff principle. yea right!

Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner and experienced tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

Fly tyers can be masters at making things complicated!


#9 Possumpoint

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 06:37 AM

Thanks to all who have posted suggestions on knots. Had fun looking up the knots and practicing. Now have to decide which method to use on my stuff.

#10 morfrost

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:21 AM

When using the braided loop connector, I find it's almost impossible to get the end of the fly line right tight against the inside of the loop connector. There's always a small gap inside, and that creates a hinge point. To combat this I use a very small vinyl plastic tube. Actually, it's food grade TYGON tubing, 2 mm in inside diameter. This I slip over the braided loop when I install the line inside the braided connection, then slip it down over the point where the line meets the braided loop. This stiffens up the hinge point. The whole deal is still flexible and the tygon tube stretches to maintain itself in place. I finish the connection with a needle knot over the end of the braided connection.

I paint all threadwork and potential steps and bumps with Shoe Goo thinned with toluene.

#11 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 05:02 PM

Although I use one particular leader to fly line connection, any knot that you're handy with will do.... Just make sure after you rig up that you make a point of testing those knots until it hurts your hands. Much, much better to have it fail in your hands than with a great fish on....

Tight Lines
Bob LeMay
Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666