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MartinlfJanuary 31st, 2007, 5:32 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
OK, here's my logic; let's see how it stands up:

According to Scheck, "If you use the Bimini tippets described in the previous chapter or the ligature knot covered in chapter 3, then you can use better line-to-hook knots ó with nylon. With fluorocarbon, which makes poor line-to-line knots, only a Bimini tippet will let you use one of the stronger tippet-to-fly knots."

So, if I'm using the ligature knot, according to Scheck, the nonslip mono loop or the 16-20 should be good. Now consider the beginning of this article from one of the links above:

"Use a Stronger Tippet Knot by Kent Hull

You should use this knot instead of a surgeon's knot, especially if you're using a fluorocarbon tippet. Why? Because using a surgeon's knot, any breakoff will almost always occur at the tippet knot (unless you're using a very weak hook knot). If you're using strong tippet material such as Rio, Dai-Riki or Frog's Hair, this tippet knot will let you make use of the full strength of the tippet you paid for. And if you're using fluorocarbon tippet, you don't want to break off at the tippet knot. Fluorocarbon is forever, so any broken-off tippet will be in the lake or stream for many, many years to pose a threat to wildlife. This knot is the strongest known knot for tying on a fluorocarbon tippet, and is second only to the ligature knot for nylon. In 6X tippet material, this can mean a full pound more strength than a surgeon's knot. (American Angler Vol 27 Issue 6, pP 61-64). (This Rod Tip would also have described the ligature knot if I had succeeded in learning to tie it consistently so it wouldn't slip.) This is called the Orvis tippet knot, because it won a contest run by Orvis about fifteen years ago to discover a new and stronger knot."
http://www.santacruzflyfishermen.org/scff92/RodTips.html

I'm still using Rio Fluoroflex plus, but I recently bought some Frog Hair to replace it as it is used up. The Non-slip Mono Loop has been one of my knots of choice for several years now and I can't remember ever breaking a fish off with it since I started using the Triple Surgeon's knot--either losing the tippet, or breaking at the knot. I have popped a few fly knots on very light tippet by too quick hooksets on dry flies, probably using a clinch. The only fish I remember losing the tippet with was the now famous rainbow years ago on the Delaware (not the one that unseated my reel, Gonzo, another earlier avatar). I was using Fluoroflex tippet attached to the leader with a Double Surgeons and a Crawford knot at the fly. An article I read after that led me to use the Triple Surgeons as my tippet knot for subsequent fishing. As cited above, Meck in the Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide 6/04 notes that the Rio knot tests give the following results for Fluoroflex 4X tippet to Powerflex 3X leader: Double Surgeonís 73 percent; 5 turn Blood 81 percent; Triple Surgeonís 88 percent.

If I have not been breaking fluorocarbon at the leader to tippet knot using the triple surgeons plus either the Non-slip Mono Loop, the Clinch, or the Crawford, it seems reasonable that if I use the Orvis tippet knot or the ligature knot I will improve my leader to tippet strength considerably, and should still be able to use these knots without problems. This should also make use of the 16-20 knot or Trilene work at least as well for me as the very strong Non-slip Mono Loop and Crawford have in the past, not breaking off tippets, and very rarely, if ever breaking off a fish at the knot. I hope to use this to my advantage fishing Tricos and Midges, when I'm using the lightest tippets, but will have to do some experimenting as on its website Orvis says the Orvis tippet knot is best with larger diameters. When I get Scheck's book I'll investigate the ligature.

Bottom line, I really like the Non-slip Mono Loop for nymphing and for streamers at times, and since I've learned to tie it, it will be hard to stop using it. I need a better tippet knot than the Triple Surgeons. For now I plan to test the Orvis tippet knot and the ligature knot (using the Kreh test described by Scheck and others) against the 16-20 and the Non-slip Mono Loop. If I get fly knot failures rather than tippet knot failures with lighter tippets I'll have a bit more secure connection fishing tiny flies, when I most need it. Too much work? Perhaps, but with snow blowing outside and all the papers graded for now, what else do I have to do besides tying flies?

I just noted in the newest FlyFisherman magazine that Lefty has a new book on knots coming out; perhaps he can provide a bit more information and fulfill Gonzo's quest for the strongest and easiest knots that balance.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOFebruary 1st, 2007, 12:10 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Sounds like a good game plan, Louis. Let me know how your experiments work out. Let's hope that Lefty's new book discusses knots as part of a system, rather than just considering each knot in isolation.

Realistically, as long as one is not trying to land very large fish on extremely light tippets (a situation I try to avoid whenever possible), there is nothing wrong with using whatever knots we like and can tie well. It is only when those knots fail to perform that we start looking for other options. If we are regularly trying to land four pound trout on two pound tippets, then we are asking for trouble, and better knots only increase the margin slightly. Breaks most often occur with heavy-handed hooksets or sudden surges that catch us unprepared. In either case, improvements in our hooking/fighting techniques are likely to yield greater dividends than stronger knots. (Provided, of course, that the knots we are using are well-tied.) The other common culprit is failure to pay attention to the condition of our tippet as we fish. No knot performs well with a nicked or abraded tippet.

My larger concern in terms of the strength balance between the tippet-to-leader knot and the tippet-to-fly knot has to do with the times when we are hopelessly snagged. Unless the knot at the fly is the weak link, we add needless litter to an already bad situation.
Shawnny3February 1st, 2007, 3:10 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
...and we have a lot more re-rigging to do. Even selfish motives sometimes lead us to practicing good environmentalism.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
BjanzenFebruary 4th, 2007, 9:24 pm
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13
Has this thread made anyone re-think their knot???

I know it has me. I have enjoyed learning the Davy and Orvis knots and now I need to try and balance my "system" more. My Clinch fly knot failed frequently and now I believe it was the weak link which was fine but maybe too weak. Now I am trying different dropper and leader/tippet knots.

I have been fishing multiple flys for several months and need some recommendations. I like fishing a large foam fly(indicator)with a weighted nymph and then a dropper below that. My current knot setup is Perfection loop - 0X - Orvis Tippet knot - 3X - Davy - Dry -Orvis on bend- 4X - Davy - Nymph - Orvis on bend - 5X or 6X - Davy - Dropper . I hope this makes sense.

I did learn the Orvis Tippet knot today and like the results. Seems to hold much better than my double and triple surgeons knots.

Someone please stick their neck out and guide me here. Thanks alot, Barry
MartinlfFebruary 6th, 2007, 10:18 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Yes, Barry, reading through the thread, the websites, and reviewing several articles have initiated a change in my thinking about knots. I have to give Scheck (see the above thread) a lot of credit. Iíve read many articles and websites, and he is the only person so far who brings up the need to balance tippet and fly knots. He may have picked up on this only recently. A January-Frbruary 2003 American Anglerarticle he wrote mentions the 16-20, Orvis fly knot, and other strong tippet to fly knots, but says nothing about leader to tippet knots. After reading Meckís June í04 Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide article reporting the findings of the Rio tests, I had settled on the triple surgeons for leader to tippet, and the Clinch, the Crawford, and the Non-slip Mono Loop for most of my fishing. Testing tippet knots was the defining moment in my recent thought process. The most important change I will make in the future will be my leader to tippet knot, but more on that later.

First, here are a few preliminary observations from my own knot breaking experiments:

I like fly tying better than knot tying, but the basementís too cold to tie flies now, so knots will do until this arctic blast subsides. A Piano leg is good for looping the base of a leader for tippet experiments. Cats are naturally attracted to experiments with leaders. Itís even easier to lose hooks in the living room than at the tying desk, so break off the points if you experiment in a living area. Frog Hair is very strong. So is the 16-20 knot, but it is hard (for me) to tie consistently in the 5 wrap version Lefty recommends for 4X and smaller. It also uses an awful lot of tippet per knot. One tier recommends starting with five inches! The very strong Orvis knot is easier to tie consistently, and I can tie it with about two inches of tippet left over. The Trilene and the Seven-turn Clinch, by the way, waste almost no tippet. (In a kind of reverse snobbery I had ignored the Orvis knots for a while; this thread forced me to learn them, and I'm impressed.)

In more detail:

By using two different knots to tie blunted hooks to each end of a short piece of tippet and using pliers or vise grips to pull the hooks in opposite directions, one can productively test knot against knot. Iíd recommend anyone considering the Davy knot to test it like this at least five times against the Seven-turn Clinch knot (not Improved, which weakens the knot), or any of the other knots mentioned above. My understanding from othersí reports is that the Davy is a weak knot that fails more frequently than the Seven-turn Clinch. Iíd be very interested in hearing the results.

One way to test leader to tippet knots is to tie 5X tippet to each end of a short section of 4X, using a different tippet knot on each end, for example, an Orvis tippet knot and a Triple Surgeons knot. Then tie hooks on to the ends of the 5X with an Orvis knot and pull apart. When I tried this using 4X Frog Hair and 5X Flouroflex Plus, the Orvis tippet knot proved stronger than the Triple Surgeons, but not stronger than the Orvis fly knot. Many combinations are also possible if you want to find the strongest fly knot that will usually break before your tippet knot breaks. For example, one can use an Orvis tippet knot for both tippets, then an Orvis and a Trilene (or a Trilene and a Clinch) for the hooks.

A couple of days of tying knots and testing them also can teach one a lot about using oneís fingers and how tight to pull knots. In the American Angler article cited above, Scheck recommends that folks do their own tests with their own tippet material because different brands and types perform differently. I learned a lot about the way I tied knots, and that some needed improvement. For example, I found that I had been tying the Non-slip loop wrong at times, and that the direction wraps are made and how the end of the line passes into each opening is crucial. I also found that, for me, many knots that require loops around doubled line, such as the 16-20 and the Crawford, are best controlled by making the loops between pinched fingers that can hold the loops in place. Slightly decreasing the pressure between the fingers allows one to slide loops into place.

Art Scheck certainly did his homework, and his words bear reviewing. Though I did not test everything he did, each of Scheckís assertions that I tested was replicated exactly as he described. I would only add the following points:

He did not test the Crawford knot. It tests about the same as the Seven-turn Clinch, and stronger than the Six-turn Clinch, but weaker than the Orvis fly knot or the 16-20 knot. He does not mention the Eugene knot, another knot Kreh considers like the 16-20 knot extremely strong, and to me it appears a bit easier to tie. Iím not sure whether or not to make additional turns in 4X and smaller, though.

http://www.flyfisherman.com/skills/lkknots/index15.html

http://www.rackelhanen.se/eng/10066.htm easy forceps version

The ligature knot did not test stronger than the Orvis tippet knot for me, but that may have been because I was following directions from the sites I found and posted above. It is possible that I was not tying it like Scheck does. I hope I can learn to tie it well, because without it, unless I want to risk leaving tippet in the treetops, even though I am switching to nylon and using the Orvis tippet knot instead of the Triple Surgeons, Iím stuck with Clinch or Crawford fly knots, especially with lighter tippets. A Perfection loop to Perfection loop may be another possibility with nylon tippets. Some claim it tests at ďnearĒ 100%, but this claim is also made for the Orvis tippet knot, and my tests replicated Scheckís finding that both the Orvis fly knot and the 16-20 knot are stronger than the Orvis tippet knot with both nylon and fluorocarbon. In one study the three turn Surgeonís loop tested at 95% of the line strength and the Perfection loop tested at 90%. It might be good to see test results for perfection loop connections compared to different tippet to fly knots.

I would entirely agree with Gonzo that hooking and playing skills are much more important than knot skills, but with the lighter tippets that are sometimes necessary (though not as often, perhaps, as one might think) having good hooking and playing skills and a strong light tippet and the best balanced knot system would often increase oneís odds of hooking and landing a Delaware River rainbow rocket in low clear water, without risking litter, or tiring the fish more than necessary. Under most conditions better knots will make little difference; under tough conditions they may make all the difference. Iíve ordered Scheckís book to learn what he can teach me about the ligature knot. If I can learn to tie it well, it may hasten my return to nylon tippet material and increase my use of the Orvis, Trilene, and the Non-slip Mono Loop knots for leader to fly.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
BjanzenFebruary 6th, 2007, 1:40 pm
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13
Louis,

Thanks for your HUGE response. I will digest that for a few days and let you know what my tests are showing me. I have found some interesting things.....will share later.

BTW, I think the Easy Blood knot and the Ligature are similar.
http://www.frontrangeanglers.com/newsletter/aug04/simplebloodknot.htm

The Ligature is tied like a square knot with tags coming out the same sides of the end loops. The Easy Blood knot is the opposite. I have played with these but can't manage without a third hand. Wouldn't try one on the river.

Barry
MartinlfFebruary 7th, 2007, 11:31 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Barry,

You're right, thatís basically the same knot as the Ligature knot I have been trying to tie, though the last and penultimate pictures on the site are not in agreement. See the bottom left wraps. So far I havenít been able to tie it stronger than the Orvis fly knot or the 16-20. Scheckís book should arrive today, and I intend to spend some TV-couch-knot-tying time over the next few days, hoping to discover any secrets he has to share about tying the best Ligatures.

The 16-20 is still giving me trouble, but Iím making headway. It seems the strongest of the bunch, if it clicks and sets properly. The Orvis knot is a mighty strong knot too, but the 16-20 beats it if tied right. At this point Iím pretty set on the Orvis for routine tippet to fly, once I have a strong enough tippet knot, but recent ties of the 16-20 have been using about the same amount of tippet as the Orvis. If I could only learn to tie it consistently with the right number of wraps, I might reconsider.

I did come across another tippet knot to try, which Iíll test against the Ligature knot. Itís called the Slim Beauty, and though designed for the salt and bite to class tippets, it may work on freshwater trout applications. Hereís the clickable link, if youíre interested. If you test the Slim Beauty, let me know what you think.

http://www.midcurrent.com/articles/knots/slim_beauty.aspx

An easier way to test just tippet knots vs. fly knots than what I describe above is to take a piece of 4X, tie a hook to one end with an Orvis or 16-20, tie 5X to the other with your tippet knot, and finish with your fly knot on the end of the 5x. Put the hooks in Vise-grips and pull apart to see which knot is the stronger. The 4X Orvis or 16-20 should never break if tied right. See second tidbit below.

Two tidbits from Lefty Kreh

http://www.floridasportsman.com/HowTo/H_9707_Tie/

On clinch knots:

"There is an important little trick when closing any type of clinch knot that makes it easier for you and improves the knot's strength. After the turns have been made around the standing line, the tag end is inserted through a gap in the knot and the knot is ready to be drawn tight. You can ensure a better closure if you take the tag end and gently pull on it until there is no gap between the tag end and the spiraled coils. If the tag end lies flush against the coils and you wet the knot, it will almost always close easily and firmly. [Always end by pulling on the standing line to finish closing the knot.]"

On testing knots:

"Grip each hook with a pair of pliers. Firmly gripping the hooks with the pliers, begin to slowly bring the hands apart until one of the knots fails. Repeat this test 10 times, because some knots are very good on a steady pull but fail when a slight jerk is placed on the knot. Tie another 10 samples of the two knots to the hooks and this time hold the pliers firmly and jerk each of them apart. After testing 20 knots (10 steady pulls and 10 jerks), you will have an indication as to which knot is best."

Also, if I didnít mention it previously, thereís a little creek near Sewanee that has wild fish in it. Let me know if youíre interested, and Iíll PM you more information. And if you get over to fish the Elk River tailwater below the Timís Ford Dam some day, Iíd be glad to hear a Tennessee fishing report. Hope youíre not iced in as bad as we are here: nights have been in the single digits.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOFebruary 12th, 2007, 12:12 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Louis-

Thanks for the update on your "knotty" experiments. For those (like me)who find loop-to-loop connections to be a very convenient way of connecting, changing, and conserving leader/tippet material, I thought I'd mention that using the non-slip mono loop knot for connecting tippet to leader creates a nice strength balance when the clinch, improved clinch, or Duncan loop (uniknot) is used to attach the fly. Breaks will consistently occur at the fly knot, and these knots provide quite satisfactory strength for all but extreme (very big fish/very light tippet) situations.

Unfortunately, this method of connecting the tippet is not strong enough to allow the use of the same knot (non-slip mono loop) for attaching the fly without risking a break above the fly, and this is probably true of the 16-20 as well. I haven't tried the Orvis knot to see if it will work with this system. However, because one varies the turns on the non-slip mono loop knot to achieve full strength (7 turns are usually recommended for trout-size tippets), it may be possible to achieve the proper balance by using fewer turns when attaching the fly. Just a thought.
MartinlfFebruary 12th, 2007, 5:14 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Well, I've just about reached the end of my rope on this knotty thread. OK, possible bad puns and mixed metaphors, but my copy of Art Scheck's book arrived today and with the exception of a few final observations, I'd like to encourage anyone who has read this thread with interest to just buy it. It's less than 14 bucks, and I've never spent better money on anything else for flyfishing. (Some things have been just as valuable, but none more so.) IMHO Scheck is both smart and wise, and these aren't the same to me. He offers a lot more than knot sense in his little book.

Scheck's Book

Some conclusions derived from his thorough and thoughtful tests and my own observations: Use monofilament, not fluorocarbon. Forget the Slim Beauty knot. Use a Ligature knot or Scheck's loop to loop system to connect tippets. (Gonzo, he describes what appears to be an absolutely foolproof system that he uses for looping tippet to leader.) With either the Ligature or Scheck's loop system primarily use the Orvis knot, or the Non-slip mono loop for the two strongest fly knots, or the Trilene for heavy tippets and big eyes. I'll use the 16-20 sparingly, and only when I know it has clicked and set right.

Scheck provides many helpful tips on how to tie the knots to maximize their strength and minimize your frustration, so I've finally got the Ligature down. It does take a bit of practice, but it is much stronger than any other tippet to leader connection, excluding his loop system. With strong tippet knots in place, he also recommends a different number of wraps on the Non-slip loop than Kreh, and at this point I'm inclined to trust him: 3X 6 wraps, 4X 7 wraps, 5 and 6X 8 wraps, 7X 8 or 9 wraps. He only recommends 3 wraps for the 16-20 in all diameters, and the extra wraps Kreh advises for this knot do not work for me, so again Scheck's advice seems best.



"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
BjanzenFebruary 13th, 2007, 6:07 pm
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13
Louis,

Thanks for your recommendation on Art's book.....I ordered a copy a couple of days ago. I am looking forward to finding a easier way to tie a tippet knot. I have had problems in the past with blood knots and settled for the surgeon knot.

With all this discussion, I have been evaluating and testing and evaluating again. I have found the Orvis tippet knot to be stronger than the surgeon and the triple surgeon. Several times the tippet failed first. For fly knots I have settled with three based on ease of tying and strength. The strongest seems to be the 7 turn Clinch followed by the Orvis and then the Davy. Out of 10 relative knot tests, the Orvis held 3 times, the 7T Clinch held 5 times and the tippet broke the other 2 times. I tested the Perfection loop against the Orvis tippet knot and it seemed stronger.

For the time being based on my limited tests and tying abilities, I am going to use the Orvis tippet when needed (I rarely need a leader to tippet knot because I use furled leaders with perfection loops) and a 7T Clinch on droppers and a Davy on the fly. There may be more to share in the near future but these have been my current conclusions.

Also,.....I would be happy to have some more info on the Sewanee wild trout stream. I know the area a little. My brother went to Sewanee for a year. You may have told me about this before.....I have a poor memory. I still haven't fished the Elk yet. I am lucky enough to have several good options closer. I am two hours or less from the Smokies, the Tellico, the Hiwasee and the Toccoa. Will get over there some day though.

Barry

MartinlfFebruary 17th, 2007, 5:11 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
One of Scheck's best tips on the Ligature is to use water, not spit, to lubricate it, and to pull the tag ends a bit until the line wraps around itself (this is when I dip it in water), then the standing line, then alternate, giving the tag ends or the standing lines a pull each time they skew inward, until the knot is almost set, and finish with a firm pull on the standing line. Look at the knot and his photos after each pull. It does, as he says, take some practice. I've been tying it nightly, during the news, using 4X as he recommends. I've moved down to 5X and on to 6X and it's setting up fine now. Don't start with the tiny stuff--it's too hard to see what's happening with the knot.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CaseyPMarch 23rd, 2007, 1:37 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
been out for bonefish and the guide used a Duncan Knot on the 10 lb. tippet. the heavy fly could move nicely on the loop. has anyone used this on lighter tippet for trout? it involves using pliers or hemostat to pull on the tag end just so, which makes me think it's too fussy for small diameter tippet.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfMarch 23rd, 2007, 3:43 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Casey, on lighter tippets, I believe the Duncan is not as strong as Lefty Kreh's non slip mono loop. You just have to be sure you learn to tie it right. Art Scheck's book has diagrams, and so does the internet. See the knot demonstrations on the Orvis site, for example. Lefty and Art say it tests at about 100% of line strength. I've had good luck with it but have tied it wrong several times and had it fail. I'm actually having a non slip mono loop seminar in front of the TV tonight.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfMay 12th, 2007, 8:54 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Shawn, I thought of you as I started using the Trilene knot this season since it uses less tippet than the Orvis, which I am also using at times. I do need to do some work to avoid leader curl with it though. Perhaps lubricating it with water instead of saliva will help some. The ligature is working well so far for a tippet to leader knot.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3May 13th, 2007, 6:44 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Yeah, Louis, I tend to shy away from most clinch-style knots when using light tippets because of the curling problem. I usually use the trilene knot when fishing streamers, and the lightest I'll go is 4x. It is definitely my favorite knot for bass fishing, when I'm tossing huge flies and having to land 10 pounds of seaweed with each fish. For bass fishing I tie my flies directly to Maxima tippet (the same stuff I use to tie my leaders) because it is so stiff and resists abrasion.

Have you tried my mid-leader loop connection yet? I don't swing soft-hackles very often, but I was just thinking the other day that it might be a good knot for attaching a series of soft-hackles to the line, as long as the flies are tied on hooks with turned-up eyes and the loops are left just large enough to give the fly the freedom to orient correctly. I might try that one of these days just to see if I can make it work.

Take care,
Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
MartinlfMay 14th, 2007, 5:02 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Hi Shawn,

I haven't been fishing droppers much at all this year. The one day I did it, I was using 4X and simply left one of the tags long on a blood knot. A very big fish wrapped me up in some rocks and broke the blood knot, wouldn't you know it? I'm still thinking of a strong way to tie in a dropper that will match the Orvis or Trilene knots for tippet to fly. How's that boy coming with the fishing? I'm sure he'll be hooked for life soon.

Best
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfJuly 5th, 2007, 5:44 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Well, after field testing the Orvis knot for half a season, I've decided that either I don't tie it well, or it fails after some wear and tear, unlike the Clinch, Trilene, and Improved Clinch. I'm trying to learn to tie the Trilene knot without kinking up my tippet when pulling it tight, and had good luck again with it and the 7-turn Clinch recently landing some nice fish with no break offs. I may try to learn the 16-20 knot well enough to tie it consistently and give it some testing, but it looks like I'm going back to the 7-turn Clinch and trying to improve my tying of the Trilene knots for now. They are easy, don't use a ton of tippet, and seem plenty strong the way I tie them. My Non-slip mono loops also seem to be performing well, with very few failures, if any. I can also say that the Ligature knot, though it's not as easy as a Surgeons knot to tie, has proved to be very strong so far. My experiences with the Orvis knot have made me curious about what works (or doesn't work) for others. Have you had any bad experiences with a knot? What tippet to fly knot do you use?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3July 5th, 2007, 6:12 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Louis, thanks for showing me how to tie the non-slip mono loop correctly. Since you showed me, I've had very good luck tying it, and in my first few days fishing it it has only failed under extreme duress (fly in top of tree being yanked on and cursed at). The biggest problem I have with it is that it is ugly. I haven't noticed it producing fewer strikes (confirming that they are, after all, only fish), but it just looks so bulky and obvious, the opposite of my beloved turle knot (which I have had problems failing). So I have a mental block with the non-slip mono loop. But very strong, to be sure. I'm sure I'll use it often.

I'll have to give the ligature a shot.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
MartinlfJuly 5th, 2007, 10:23 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Hey Shawn, several very experienced fishermen have publicly made the claim that fish don't mind the bulk of the mono loop and that they do respond well to the action it provides. As you know, I take a somewhat scientific approach to the idea of "proof" but I'm inclined to believe them until my own experience proves otherwise. So far fish have not seemed to mind the bulk of the knot. I don't know if Gonzo uses it with tippet to fly, but he might be a good person to ask if he does.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOJuly 5th, 2007, 11:24 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Shawn and Louis,
I've come to really like the convenience (and frugality) of loop-to-loop connections. I nail knot a short (about 6") permanent section of heavy mono the the tip of the fly-line and use perfection loops for attaching the leader. This makes changing leaders a breeze. The perfection loops are plenty strong enough for the heavy butt section, but are miserably inadequate for tippet-to-leader. There, I use the non-slip mono loop knot. It is by far the strongest and most reliable loop knot I have used. For tippet-to-fly, I usually use the seven-turn clinch (or seven-turn improved clinch). This may not be the strongest knot possible, but it is easy to tie well and has served me admirably. If a break has to happen, I want it to be at the fly.

By the way, my one-armed fishing buddy used to be very compromised by having to use perfection loops for the leader-to-tippet connection. (It was the only loop knot he could manage to tie without undue frustration.) When a break would happen, it was usually at the lower tippet loop, leaving the entire tippet attached to the fly. Recently, he has switched to using those tiny metal rings that Feathercraft sells. He attaches leader and tippet to either side of the ring with the seven-turn clinch and uses a five-turn clinch for the fly. This is so convenient and has worked so well that I'm considering using it.

PS--When I want a loop for connecting the fly, I usually use the Duncan loop (uni-knot). I don't use the non-slip mono loop, partly because I haven't learned to tie them small (as Louis has) and partly because I worry that it's too strong. (I don't want breaks higher up on the leader.)
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