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WiflyfisherJuly 11th, 2007, 4:45 pm
Wisconsin

Posts: 530
My last knotty comment... :)

While conversing with a close FF friend of mine, one thing that I forgot to mention... IMHO, the differences in rods can also effect the performance of knots and tippets as well.

Time to pull a Jason and go fishin' for a while!
John S.
http://www.WiFlyFisher.com
http://flypatternsfortrout.com/
MartinlfMay 5th, 2008, 12:07 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2267
Hi, here's an update on my take. I may have mentioned that I had Orvis fly knots fail on me last season, and won't use them. Perhaps they had been stressed by use and another knot would have failed also, or perhaps I didn't tie them right, but I lost two nice fish that I didn't believe would have broken a clinch or an improved clinch. I went back to these two and an occasional non-slip loop and have not had a problem. I am using a triple surgeons or ligature knot for tippets (I'm back to mono, not using fluorocarbon for a year now) to tie on tippets and these have been secure. Two very knowledgeable and experienced fishermen (Loren Williams and our own John Dunn--JAD) have me now reconsidering the Davey Knot. I plan to tie and test it and perhaps to start using it. John Dunn also has me looking at the Swisher knot, if I get time for him to teach it to me. http://www.flybassblog.com/ may give correct directions. How does this look John?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JADMay 5th, 2008, 6:03 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
Louis

I can't figure out how Brad Miller can make the knot so hard to tie. I agree with Brad about the knot, In twenty five years the knot has never failed and it is a 15 second knot ( when tied correctly ):)
I to like the Davey Knot but is much slower to tie. I use the Davey knot for dropper flies.
I agree with Doug Swisher when the hatch is on ,if it takes you longer than 20 seconds to change your fly you better get a different knot.

JaD


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
MartinlfMay 6th, 2008, 9:35 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2267
OK, we just need to set aside some time for you to give me my lessons. So hard when fish are begging to be caught, though.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfFebruary 6th, 2011, 7:39 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2267
Bringing this thread back up because I'm now using Davy knots now to tie fly to tippet. It's a very fast knot, used widely in competition due to its speed and strength. Many rate it at near 100%. I also like John's Swisher knot, but believe it's not quite as strong.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3February 7th, 2011, 11:39 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Sad that you're settling on such pathetic knots, Louis. Personally, I refuse to use any knot that fails to give me 110%. To each his own, I guess.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GutcutterFebruary 8th, 2011, 6:09 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 438
as i have been know to say about universally accepted fishing and surgical knots - it's not the knot that fails, it's the jerk at the end of the line...
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
McjamesMay 13th, 2011, 3:44 pm
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Now, essentially the traditional Dropper Loop amounts to making 6-10 turns of leader around itself and then dropping the loop through one of the middle turns. My adjustment is simple: Before starting the knot, thread the line through the eye of your fly, then make your turns such that the fly is dangling from the part that will become the loop. Then, drop the fly along with the loop through one of the middle turns and pull the knot tight. As the knot is being pulled tight, adjust the size of the loop so that it is just big enough to allow the fly swing freely.

As I said, the biggest advantage of this rig is that the fly is very close to the leader but still dangles freely. The biggest disadvantages of this type of rig are that it does not allow you to change the fly easily


Funny I was working thru this very dilemma recently on a trip for shad... I ended up tying those little clips (No Knot Fast Snaps at Cabelas), instead of the fly, into the loop. It worked fine for large flies/shad; not so sure it would work for small wets-nymphs/trout
I am haunted by waters
FalsiflyMay 13th, 2011, 5:59 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 622
Interesting topic Louis, I don’t know how I missed it.

Do you use loop knots to tie on your flies, and do you prefer one over the other?


No and no.

what is your favorite non-loop knot and why?


All my tippet to fly knots are either clinch or improved clinch. I’ve been using them since day one, never questioning their strength or effectiveness. I have no factual information about knot strength other than to say that the clinch works for me. I don’t doubt that other knots may prove to have greater strength, but if anyone has scientific proof that other knots are better at enticing a fish to hit, based on fly constraint, please share that information.

(OK, OK, I've already admitted I'm a little obsessive about this--but it is the ultimate connection to the fish.)


I get your point, but to me, the ultimate connection to the fish is the feel in my hand. Without it, failed knots and parted tippet would be much more common.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
SayfuAugust 22nd, 2011, 2:35 pm
Posts: 560
Several key thoughts that determine the knots I use...clinch knot to the fly other than using a loop knot when the situation calls. I can tie a clinch not (unimproved) with very little leader to trim off so that I can tie a lot of flies to a tippet before I change it. I have an idea how much pressure I apply with the rod when playing a fish, and when I don't come close to the knots strength that is no concern. The same for using a blood knot to join a new tippet to the upstream portion...I don't use up that upstream portion much because I can tie the blood knot with littler to trim off. Less knots to use means better knots for the ones you use from my standpoint.
SayfuOctober 6th, 2011, 9:37 am
Posts: 560
To sum it up for me, I can not ever remember breaking off on a fish. I draw the comparison between how much lb. pressure I am using with the rod to fight the fish, and how much pressure my knots will hold...not exact for sure, but I never exceed my knot strength fighting a fish, and that sure could happen via a nick in the leader, a badly tied knot etc. but just hasn't happened. I break off, and want to break off on a snag at the fly, not the tippet knot, but does often happen at the tippet knot. My concern on knots then is to not have much left over to trim off after tying the tippet knot, OR the fly to the tippet. The tippet then lasts longer allowing me to tie more flies to the tippet, and to not have to recreate a taper above the tippet knot sooner than later. When someone comes up with a new knot, I always look to see how much is left to trim off after the knot is tied (terminal end knots.)
FalsiflyOctober 6th, 2011, 1:57 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 622
To sum it up for me, I can not ever remember breaking off on a fish. I draw the comparison between how much lb. pressure I am using with the rod to fight the fish, and how much pressure my knots will hold...not exact for sure, but I never exceed my knot strength fighting a fish, and that sure could happen via a nick in the leader, a badly tied knot etc. but just hasn't happened.


That is quite the admission; I wish I could claim the same. Although I too try not to exceed my knot and tippet strength I have had numerous fish that have. Every once in a while I tie into one of those brawny beauties with brains that hits the fast water and depart downriver for the next confluence. After retrieving my backing, fly line and leader, more often than not, I’m minus a terminal attachment. I have to admit that my failing is a result of my insistence in using 5x – 8x tippets through the eyes of those #22 – 28 hook eyes. Until I can figure out how to get that 0x through those eyes I guess I’ll just have to figure on a few knots failing.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
SayfuOctober 6th, 2011, 3:27 pm
Posts: 560I thought that to be an important component for how western anglers consider their terminal tackle and Eastern anglers by comparison. I never go lower than 5x for the most part. I always choose to go fly first, and want a bigger hook gape as well because the rivers I fish have plenty of current a decent sized fish can get into, and you just can not land a fish on small hooks and light leaders unless you get lucky. And it becomes unsporting when considering hook and release. I watched an interesting bet take place one time, and it put knot strength into perspective. Steelhead anglers would meet at our local restaurant for breakfast before heading out.(bait guys) Lots of anglers at the tables, and this guy comes in with one of the new graphite rods. Most everyone at the time still fished with fiberglass. This guy was loud, about how great his new graphite rod was. A local guy yells out, "Bet that rod can't pick up 5 lbs of lead off the floor!" The bet was made, they grabbed a 5 lb roll of pencil lead off the shelf.(they sold the rolls made by a local guy at the restaurant) The guy ties it to the end of his line, and this steelhead, graphite, heavy duty bait rod could not budge that 5 lbs of lead off the floor. Made me wonder since then how much wt. could my 5wt flyrod pick up? I would guess it couldn't pick up 2 lbs under load, and I don't approach that strain on my rod playing a fish. So 5x tippet rated at say 5.2 lbs (I just went and looked at a spool), and say it is reduced by 20% given the knots strength, still does not come close to the pressure I apply on a fish. My neighbor, The Rio Line Plant mgr., is a tarpon fisherman, and tells me he can pick up a 10 lb bucket of rocks with his tarpon rod. That is a lot of power, and they use it to subdue a tarpon. And it was interesting to me that they want to know the lbs. of pressure they apply with their rod.
EntomanOctober 6th, 2011, 4:47 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2471
Sayfu,

All good points, but a few things need to be pointed out that aren't covered by them.

Shear - I've had more than a few 20" plus rainbows relieve me of my flies on heavy rivers like the Dechutes or Lower Sac by changing direction quickly with a whole fly line dragging behind. There won't be much additional pressure on the rod, but there sure will be at the fly. If the fish do it with enough acceleration (as they are certainly capable of) they will be gone before you even know it. Shear is the reason it is so important to chase big fish (if possible) and keep as much line on the reel as you can.

Tangles - Big fish can be very talented at using root tangles, deadfalls and their favorites, weed beds. Ah... Spring creek weedbeds. Some big trout are expert at crocheting, some are good at lassoing, but it's the expert weavers that really get to me. I had a few of those devil fish do that to me just last week.:) If you keep your rod high and stay over them as much as possible, you can generally stay on top of things. If they do get tangled, you can keep steady tension and bang the rod while waiting them out - that sometimes works. Or, you can give them slack for awhile in the hope they will swim back out into open water - that sometimes works. Finally, if they're not too deep you can often dig them out with an oar or net handle (or leg) - that sometimes works. However, none of these options work all the time.

Abrasion/Fatigue - Lastly, sometimes big trout just chew through tippet or stress it to the point of fatigue. Fluorocarbon has reduced these problems somewhat, but no tippet material likes to be raked across sharp teeth for long or remain under extreme tension for long either. I must admit laziness on my part is usually the cause for the latter by not retying knots after several good fish or a big fish. It's the one that follows that will often clean you out.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuOctober 6th, 2011, 5:05 pm
Posts: 560
All good points that I didn't factor in Kurt. I do not fish lakes much, but made me remember the fish that broke me off in the weed beds fishing dry damsels in the openings. The fight didn't often last long. Fun stuff to remember.
MartinlfOctober 6th, 2011, 10:07 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2267
Just to follow up again on this long and somewhat tangled thread. It recently dawned on me that some of my supposed knot failures with browns may have well been due to snagging a sharp tooth or rock. Don't know why I was so dense about this very obvious fact--probably, after getting good recommendations about, and working so hard to learn the Orvis knot, for instance, I expected it to be bombproof. When I lost a good fish with it I had so much invested that I blamed the knot when many other factors could have been the cause. I've begun to take a more and more philosophical approach to lost fish in the past year or two, perhaps thanks to words of wisdom and good sense from some of you. A guide I fished with this summer, Wayne Aldridge, uses the Orvis knot frequently, if not exclusively, and I learned to trust his judgement after spending a day with him. By the way, I'd recommend him highly for the Delaware if anyone is looking for a guide there--along with Jeff White. So, I'm back to relearning the Orvis, which I'll give another try. I'm still liking the Davy, and the Trilene--though it will pull out with small diameters at times. Had this happen 3 or 4 times: the tell-tale pigtail was a give away. Still, it has landed some nice fish on 7X for me. And if I didn't mention it previously, the Davy can slip when the tippet diameter is sufficiently smaller than the hook wire. anyway, the Orvis is supposed to be very good with small diameter lines, so next season I'll give it another try.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EntomanOctober 7th, 2011, 4:59 am
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2471
Hi Louis -

and working so hard to learn the Orvis knot, for instance, I expected it to be bombproof.

Yeah, Sayfu's right that probably way too much is made over relative strength between knots in normal fishing situations. Besides, I've found that the super knots aren't always so super. If the familiar knot is well tied, the reasons a fish may break off as mentioned in my previous post will not be prevented by a slightly stronger knot anyway. What's really important is that you can tie the knot quickly and effectively in low light (without trapping hackles) and that it is consistent for you.

I've found that knots vary considerably between individuals. Just because the "6-turn double reversed sheepshead knot" (or whatever the current flavor of the month is) hits a consistent 100% in some test by John Doe doesn't mean it will for you or me. Just for grins, consider trying a head to head test with the mono between two hooks, comparing knots you are familiar with to the exotic super knots. Tie both knots fresh with each test, run it about a dozen times or so, noting which knot fails the most. You may surprised at the results.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuOctober 7th, 2011, 10:44 am
Posts: 560Here is an interesting circumstance I just had with knots. I keep it simple, only tie ones I can tie well, and feel I have a reason for tying the knots I tie. But I was all set to add a new one maybe. I rushed downstairs to the "lab" room and grabbed some mono, and a fly hook. The knot was described in a fishing article, and the knot comes from a well known guide on the White River in Arkansas...Davey Wooten..the guide that fishes those "sets" of wet flies he uses, emergers from bottom to top. Anyway, the "DAVEY KNOT" about as simple, and small of a knot you could tie a fly to, and I could do it with little left over to trim off which is a big feature for me. It was described as very strong as well. I tried different mono, and it slipped out every time! I could not set the knot! Ever see that Davey knot? It was featured in my recent Flyfisherman Mag I was sent.
SayfuOctober 13th, 2011, 10:15 am
Posts: 560
It hasn't been my experience that a clinch knot breaks before a blood knot at the tippet. Using a straight stretch pull the mono stretches, and "noodles" out away from the fly, and breaks first. Tightening up, and "popping" the leader provides a chance to break at the fly. I didn't see on this thread whether someone had an experience using the "Davey knot" to secure the fly to the tippet.? ..about as easy a tie as there is, and it can be tied with little left over, and a very small knot. I tried it according to the picture in the latest Fly Fisherman Mag., but it slipped out every time using two different mono brands. Supposedly a very strong knot as well. Doesn't a loop knot become double the diameter at the fly? I would only use the loop knot for a streamer believing an "attacking" the fly fish is not turned off by leader diameter, but a subtle take of a fish taking a nymph you wouldn't want double the diameter of your 5x lets say, and have .012 at the fly with a loop knot.
EntomanOctober 13th, 2011, 2:13 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2471
Sayfu -
Using a straight stretch pull the mono stretches, and "noodles" out away from the fly, and breaks first. Tightening up, and "popping" the leader provides a chance to break at the fly.


Yeah, I should have mentioned this issue. I've found the best way to do the head to head test is to bring the line tight first and then just break it. No snaps from a slack line and no gradual increase of pressure as both distort results and are not what fish do when they break off. I've also tried soaking them first to simulate wet leaders. Not found any difference between knots there. They seem to test between each other about the same, so I don't bother with it. Though there is undoubtedly a difference in strength between wet and dry leader material, strength of the material is not the purpose of the test.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
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