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DoublespeyJanuary 11th, 2012, 9:26 am
Posts: 61Way to much for me to read all of it, but I have been following some basic premises for years that I have accepted that do not have to be fact for sure. One is a test results that demonstrated the clinch knot is stronger than the improved clinch. It was demonstrated that when the knot breaks it will break where the improved was bent back through....so I use the clinch, and it is easy to tie with little tippet left over which means I can tie more flies on one tippet. Next are the loop knots, and it was informed to me by one of those "gurus" as the weakest of knots. A loop knot will always be a weak knot. I use them as a perfection loop let's say, because the diameter at the butt of a leader is the greatest. And a quandary. Does a fly really swing that much when under tension in the current?...or is the fly pulled tight against a fixed point of the loop as if it was tied to the tippet by a clinch knot?..just wonderin.
EntomanJanuary 11th, 2012, 2:24 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Doublespey -

More print has been wasted (i.e. used to fill magazines) on discussing knots than almost any other topic regarding our sport. So here's some more, for the umpteenth time.:)

1. Consistency is the key - All top knots when properly tied provide ample strength. The most important factor is consistency. Consistency cannot be proven by empirical testing in some magazine article as this varies with every angler. Stick with a short-list of knots that you are comfortable with (especially in poor light, or with cold fingers). In actual field conditions, chasing the "latest & greatest" knot to eke out an alleged (and irrelevant) percentage of strength increase usually proves to be an exercise in futility, a great waster of time astream, and is never as consistent as the ones you are more familiar with.

2. Loop knots are inferior - The drift of the fly is most affected by tippet diameter and stiffness. In typical trout sizes (tippet and fly), I have noticed no discernible difference in the "looseness" of the drift between the looped knots or those tied directly to the eye. What I have noticed is you have more crap in front of the eye to distract the fish and fill with gunk. Perhaps even worse, fly designs on the edge of stability are more prone to drift upside down with a loop. They are all weaker as well, though this is not as important.

3. Turle derivatives for increased fly stability - Nothing beats the Turle for insuring stability of the fly. The original was used for gut and is way too slippery for modern mono, but there are several variations that are excellent performers.

4. Clinch or Improved - Both are excellent knots, the choice being how they work for the individual. I find the clinch a bit too slippery, especially if there is too much disparity in size (which there almost always is) between the tippet and eye wire. One problem with both is the tendency to shift around on the eye, which can affect the drift negatively, so the angler needs to watch for this.

5. Every fly seems to react differently to knots. Check the drift, both dead and under tension to determine which knot is best. Many times I've corrected an "upside down" nymph presentation or a dry fly that tips over simply by changing from an Imp. clinch to an Imp. turle, or vice-versa.
"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
DoublespeyJanuary 11th, 2012, 3:51 pm
Posts: 61I wouldn't tend to use a turle since I do like the notion of little tippet used and I can tie more flies on a tippet using a clinch. If slipping around were a consideration I would double the wrap through the eye. The knot then does not slip down as well, but I would use it. The diameter difference between the eye, and the tippet diameter was an "eye opener" for me. I have had my clinch knots slip, and that was the reason I now know. And I do think the loop knot weakness should be a consideration when using smaller diameter tippets. (ie) the loop to loop connection of a tippet to the upleader section so you can easily change a tippet for example. I've kept my knots for freshwater fly fishing down to a basic few, and go along with your notion of tying them well.
EntomanJanuary 11th, 2012, 9:10 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Doublespey,

I like your handle by the way.

I wouldn't tend to use a turle since I do like the notion of little tippet used and I can tie more flies on a tippet using a clinch.

That's certainly an important consideration, depending on how you tie them. For me, both the turle and the clinch end up leaving approximately the same tag, so it's not an issue.

And I do think the loop knot weakness should be a consideration when using smaller diameter tippets.

Oh, I agree. It just isn't my biggest consideration. Even if it were as strong, I still wouldn't use it except perhaps for heavy tippets and big dead drifted stoneflies or jigging sculpin imitations along the bottom.
"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
DoublespeyJanuary 11th, 2012, 9:32 pm
Posts: 61Doesn't the turle involve going through the eye, then tying a loop of some sort, then over the fly, and back up grasping the hook behind the eye? I can see myself grabbing hackles in the loop, and I have a bead head on most all of my flies, even dries. There is a knot I tied for awhile that the tippet goes through the eye around the shank behind the eye, back through, and out the eye, and then a clinch knot is tied, and when drawn up the knot is inside the eye. The fly will then always be straight in line with the eye. Some steelhead guru recommended that knot years back, and I used it for awhile...then back to the basic clinch knot.
MartinlfJanuary 11th, 2012, 10:41 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2885
Thanks for the interesting analyses, and two quick comments. The nonslip mono loop, as tied by Lefty Kreh in his books on knots, is very strong, almost 100% in tests. I use it with midges on 5X sometimes, and it's good with streamers and scuds to give more action. The Davy knot is fast to tie and strong. It can use very little tippet when tied carefully. It will slip, if the hook wire is considerably larger than the tippet, though. I've been using it a lot and like it as it's very quick to tie.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EntomanJanuary 11th, 2012, 11:31 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Doesn't the turle involve going through the eye, then tying a loop of some sort, then over the fly, and back up grasping the hook behind the eye?

In a manner of speaking. Tying a proper turle is an acquired skill like anything else, I guess. Between fly testing and fishing, I've been tying them by the thousands for more than 40 years, so I've done a lot of acquiring.:)

...and I have a bead head on most all of my flies, even dries.

You're right - can't use the turle with bead heads.

There is a knot I tied for awhile that the tippet goes through the eye around the shank behind the eye, back through, and out the eye, and then a clinch knot is tied, and when drawn up the knot is inside the eye.

Sounds interesting... The only problem I see with it is that (as I mentioned before) the clinch derivatives are lousy if the disparity between tippet and eye wire is too great. By looping around the head, you are simulating a pretty large wire diameter. Also, on smaller flies the knot may not slip back through the eye.

The turle as I tie them is as strong or stronger than the clinch (at least for me).

Directions:

1. Pass the point through the eye towards the bend and let the fly slide down the leader.
2. Holding the tippet in your right hand and the point in your left, bring the point over the top of the tippet and trap it between the right thumb and forefinger forming a large loop (size doesn't matter but it seems to work best if the loop is an inch and a half or so). There should be 3 inches or so of tag for beginners.
3. take the point and bring it around underneath the loop forming a smaller one (half inch or so diameter) and trap underneath the right Thumb and forefinger to form a much smaller loop while passing the tip through both loops. keep it all trapped between the right thumb and forefinger
3. bring it around a second time and repeat the process, going through all three loops with the point.
4. Now stick a few fingers of the left hand in the big loop to keep it held apart and pull the tag end to tighten until the knot is drawn up, but not so tightly that the tippet won't slide easily through it. With proper manipulation of the draw-up, I rarely have a tag more than a third of an inch or so (hint: pull on the loop by spreading your fingers while holding the point stationary). Don't forget to moisten it!
5. trim the tag now so you wont have to separate it from hackles later. I prefer a little less than eye diameter so that it will assist in holding the knot behind the eye but not stick out below it noticeably.
6. Now allow the fly to slide down to the knot and allow the fly to fall through the loop. Grab the fly by the bend with the left hand and make sure the loop is on the side opposite from the angle of the eye. Pull on the tippet with the right bottom fingers until the loop starts to come forward and draw down.
7. as you draw the loop up, use the tip of your right forefinger to hold it back from the fly to avoid trapping hackles (your will have to reposition your lower right hand fingers as you draw down the loop to stay close too the eye). Once the loop is smaller in diameter than the hackle, lift the forefinger out of the way and it (loop) will spring back as you pull the knot snug - and without trapping hackles. Don't allow the loop to close on the tippet in front of the eye! If it does, start over. Many nice fish have been lost by lazy anglers who think they can get away with it, myself included.;)

This knot takes a few manipulations with the thumb and forefinger gripping (to get and keep the loops in position as you pass through the point) that I left undescribed as they are highly individual. I've never seen anybody that I've taught this knot to do these crucial steps in precisely the same way.

What separates this knot from the improved turle is that the point is passed through at the forming of each loop rather than just once after all of them are formed. It is easier to tie than it sounds, once you have it down. It's also very fast and frugal with tippet. I'll typically use around 6 inches or so after a dozen fly changes.
"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
GutcutterJanuary 12th, 2012, 2:38 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
1. Consistency is the key - All top knots when properly tied provide ample strength. The most important factor is consistency. Consistency cannot be proven by empirical testing in some magazine article as this varies with every angler. Stick with a short-list of knots that you are comfortable with (especially in poor light, or with cold fingers). In actual field conditions, chasing the "latest & greatest" knot to eke out an alleged (and irrelevant) percentage of strength increase usually proves to be an exercise in futility, a great waster of time astream, and is never as consistent as the ones you are more familiar with.


Bingo!!!


2. Loop knots are inferior - The drift of the fly is most affected by tippet diameter and stiffness. In typical trout sizes (tippet and fly), I have noticed no discernible difference in the "looseness" of the drift between the looped knots or those tied directly to the eye. What I have noticed is you have more crap in front of the eye to distract the fish and fill with gunk. Perhaps even worse, fly designs on the edge of stability are more prone to drift upside down with a loop. They are all weaker as well, though this is not as important


Again I agree with this. Except with large diameter mono or fluorocarbon and I'm not talking about 0x, I'm talking about 60 pound shock tippet (i.e. tarpon leaders). The non-slip loop knot is better than any type of knot that is tightened down on the hook eye

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
EntomanJanuary 12th, 2012, 3:12 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Except with large diameter mono or fluorocarbon and I'm not talking about 0x, I'm talking about 60 pound shock tippet (i.e. tarpon leaders). The non-slip loop knot is better than any type of knot that is tightened down on the hook eye.

Absolutely! Also big bass and pike flies. Drifting big nymphs or jigging streamers along the bottom for trout & steelhead also benefit from the use of a loop knot if you need to use (or can get away with) heavy tippet.
"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
DoublespeyJanuary 12th, 2012, 3:52 pm
Posts: 61
the non slip loop knot is better? Better in how so? If you think a fish is leader shy you've doubled the diameter of your tippet section at the fly. If a streamer, and no concern for tippet shyness ok. Actually, the strongest knot bar none that I used for years was the snell knot onto the hook shank behind the eye, Can't ever remember breaking off at the hook knot, and I broke off of many a bottom snag in my day. I use to use that knot on my steelhead flies providing some room behind the hook eye when I tied the fly. Gave that up as not needed.
EntomanJanuary 12th, 2012, 4:12 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
As I stated earlier, I think it is a mistake to use any type of loop knot for typical trout flies in most situations. There are a few though (as mentioned) where the added motion possible make them viable. A modified clinch knot loop is what I prefer so that the loop is fixed rather than slipping all the time. As loop knots go, it is fairly strong because the mono isn't "split" where it exits the knot by heavy wire up against it, as it is with the regular clinch knot.

As Guttcutter mentioned, a loop knot for the heavy stuff is the only practical way to go.
"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
DoublespeyJanuary 12th, 2012, 5:12 pm
Posts: 61OK, but I wonder how much added motion you get with the loop knot when the current pulls the tippet loop tight against the hook eye: maybe so. When I was a bait/drift fisherman for steelhead I used a lot of corkies. You could take a tooth pick and pin the corkie against the hook preventing it from moving up the leader. I never did because I felt the current would pull the corkie down against the hook eye. If it washed into eddie water probably moved up the leader some. Sometimes a steelhead would get hooked outside the mouth, and it might be said the steelhead took the corkie that had moved somewhat up the leader...? I dunno. My feeling is this movement on the loop is over emphasized. That fixed loop knot starts with tying a slightly open "granny/wind knot! YIIIKES!!
GutcutterJanuary 12th, 2012, 5:29 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
This is the knot that I'm talking about for thick mono (roughly 30 pound or greater)
http://www.fish-bones.com/knots-tarponloop.html

This is the knot that I use for thinner diameter "heavy" mono
http://www.fish-bones.com/knots-nonslip.html

I don't use a loop knot for fly movement. I use it for the ability to tie a strong knot with thick line.

Oh, and the corkie sliding up the tippet is no different than an Alaskan "pegged egg".
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
EntomanJanuary 12th, 2012, 5:39 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
OK, but I wonder how much added motion you get with the loop knot when the current pulls the tippet loop tight against the hook eye

None, which is a point I tried to make above in the following quote:

In typical trout sizes (tippet and fly), I have noticed no discernible difference in the "looseness" of the drift between the looped knots or those tied directly to the eye.


That fixed loop knot starts with tying a slightly open "granny/wind knot! YIIIKES!!

Ha! Funny analogy & I largely agree - hyperbole aside though as they are stronger than a simple overhand "wind" knot or granny, strength is not my major complaint. Besides not allowing a more lively behavior of the fly as advertised, it's the visual and gunk gathering characteristics that bother me most.
"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
Bug_slingerMarch 25th, 2012, 2:59 pm
Calgary, Alberta

Posts: 9
I haven't really explored varying my knots yet. I think I learned the improved/double clinch knot around age 4 and I haven't used much else thereafter, at least not to connect the fly to the line.


Hi Jason

I frequent the Duncan Loop knot, although I'm not sure that ive noticed an increase in production compared to using the improved clinch knot or other knots. Although during times of difficult fishing I have switched to a loop knot and had success. I usually only use loop knots with larger line and tippet and larger BH patterns that have materials that give the fly action like marabou. Ive found I use loop knots more in a stillwater situation where I would be retrieving for extended periods and presentation may be more of a factor.
MartinlfMarch 26th, 2012, 4:16 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2885
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Davy knot. Be careful if the hook wire is significantly bigger than the tippet, but if not, it's easy, quick, strong, and eats very little tippet when you learn to feed the tippet back into the knot.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
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