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> > leader to line, loop to loop attachments

DucfatMarch 26th, 2008, 6:14 am
Posts: 10What are the pros and cons of using a perfection loop tied in the end of the fly line to attach it to a loop in the butt end of the leader, as opposed to nail knotting a short length of leader butt section to the end of the fly line, putting a loop in its other end, and using this as your fly line end of the loop to loop attachment? Does the loop directly tied in the fly line magnify the hinging effect? What length and what diameter of monofilament would you use in the nail knot and loop set up (using 4,5, or 6 wgt. line)

Thanks for any info.

WbranchMarch 26th, 2008, 1:59 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701
Well in my opinion it is going to be goofy looking and anyone who sees it is going to say (to himself) "that guy must not know how to tie a nail knot".

If you tie a Perfection loop in the end of your fly line you are going to have to use leaders no longer than the length of your rod otherwise the leader is either going to break the tip of your rod or if it does go down past the tip top it might not come back out very smoothly.

If you don't know how to tie a nail knot you couild use one of those braided loops that Orvis sells and then you slide a little piece of red tubing down over the loop and down to the end of the braided material.

I prefer to use a piece of nylon, about 6" - 8" long, nail knotted to my fly line. I don't know if there is a specific formula for the size of the nylon butt but I like to use a piece no less than 2/3 the diameter of the end of my fly line.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfMarch 26th, 2008, 2:03 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3125
I like the Caucci superglue splice for its smooth transition and have never had one fail in years of fishing. (Whitlock has an approach to this also, but it only works on knotless leaders).
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchMarch 26th, 2008, 2:19 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701
Louis's approach is good too. There is also a little dohicky I saw made of a short piece of molded plastic. It is tapered on each end and there is a hole through it and a slot on one side. It is about 3/8" long. You slide the end of your fly line through one end and tie a simple over hand knot and pull it as tight as you can and push the knot into the slot and then pull the fly line so the knot butts up against the inside of the dohicky. Then you take your leader and cut off the Perfection loop and slide the butt end through the hole on the other end of the dohickey and tie another over hand knot, pull it very tight, cut off the excess tag end and push the knot into the slot and pull the leader tight and now you are ready to fish and there is a nice smooth transition that slides easily in and out of your tip top.

I'm old school and just plain stubborn so that is my excuse for preferring the nail knot to affix my butt to my fly line. If you want to make a smoother transition all you need is to take a tube of clear and pliable cement and apply it to the nail knot and to the line and leader so it is tapered on both ends. Let it dry and it will last for the life of the line.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JADMarch 29th, 2008, 1:43 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362

I like the Caucci superglue splice for its smooth transition and have never had one fail in years of fishing. (Whitlock has an approach to this also, but it only works on knotless leaders).

Louis is responsible for my method.

Here goes I use the Caucci method except I use a nail Knot. I run the .013 Maxima leader 1/2 inch up the line then nail knot then glue with special Vinal 2 part glue(3M Ultra Flex) over fly line and leader.(Cool stuff).The .013 Maxima leader is two feet long then I use a leader ring --
then I attach my leader , the advantage to this is your leader never gets any shorter the hole season. Yes it does work with dry fly the little ring does not sink the fly line or leader. I think the rings were a Czech idea. I have been using this method for over a year and have caught 15# Steelhead with no failures.

Louis see what you started If its simple I can make it complicated:)

I hope this helps someone

Another link--

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
MartinlfMarch 29th, 2008, 5:26 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3125
OK, John, let's open up another can of worms. What knot do you use on the ring? Yes, I know, you did show me, but damned if I can remember it.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JADMarch 29th, 2008, 6:26 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362

The knot I showed you is called the swirl knot. I can't find the knot on the net,but it's on Swishers Richards Vcr tape I'll show it to you later if you can't find VCR tape.
Second best is--(As good- not as fast) is the Davy Knot,I like the Swirl for tying the fly,but like the Davy knot for tying the dropper fly. You can use the Davy Knot for tying the fly on just not as fast, both are full prof knots. For years I called the Davy Knot the over under knot till Davy Wotton invented it.:)


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
SayfuAugust 14th, 2012, 6:12 pm
Posts: 560Louis....In a recent Flyfisherman mag. they devoted quite an article with lots of testing of monos, fluoros, and comparisons. The Davy Knot was regarded as the worst knot in testing...worse than a wind knot! The testing was primarily done by the George Anderson bunch out of Montana. I was big on the tippet rings until I could not tie a decent clinch knot to them without burning, or crinkling the leader next to the knot attachment. The ring is too small I guess. I sat in my lab, and gave it my best...good lighting, wet the knot. I just could not draw it up properly on the tiny ring. And no way could it be done on the water properly. I'm back to using blood knots.
RogueratAugust 14th, 2012, 7:37 pm
Posts: 467
guess I'll add my 2-cents here...

this procedure makes for a pretty good loop-to-loop connection between line and leader: I make a mini furled-leader butt section, then put a Shorb loop in it (google this, it's really neat and no knot involved), then nail-knot this piece to the end of the flyline. You can make the Shorb loop as large or small as you like, but to me smaller is better since less chance of a hook catching in the loop during an errant cast.
I've heard that a flyline can absorb water in the end if cut and not sealed, so I make sure to super-glue the end of the line after any tag is cut off. The leader has a Shorb loop already since it's furled to length and weight for its intended purpose.
(if I'm starting to preach on furled leaders feel free to rein me in, my wife has to from time to time. ..)

The Roguerat

I Peter 5:7 'Cast your cares upon Him...'
EntomanAugust 14th, 2012, 8:57 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Rogue -

I don't think you need to be reined in (though I'll leave the final decision to your wife.:)), but I do have a different take on the subject. A typical day astream for me usually involves the deployment of several different rigs. If I'm fishing out of a boat this means several different rods. But, this isn't practical when hike wading, so I've come up with a different solution. You know those big velcro hair curlers women use? Well, I stole one from my wife years ago. It's close to 3" in diameter and is perfect for the purpose. Hook the fly in, wrap up the leader and hold the butt in place with a paper clip. Changing set-ups is as fast as tying a blood knot. I use the nail knot to connect a long piece of butt material to the fly line only I don't bother with the loop as threading a leader with flies, indicators, etc. attached is problematic, to say the least. :) The best connector I've found is Maxima, 30 lb for 7 wt., 25 lb.for 5 wt., and 20 lb. for 3 wt.. The line weights in the middle can go between them, depending on what you intend to do.

I use several different leader designs, depending on purpose, but all of them are quick-change. The ones I use most often are: traditional for single shallow wet flies/dry flies (usually fished long and straight but can be quickly modified to fish Harvey style), a double wet fly rig (English style), and some deep nymph rigs (Hinged Indicator, High Stick, or Czech). The first leader mentioned (and the one I use most often) is a simple home-made formula originally designed for turning over with the much slower bamboo rods of yesteryear. The much higher line speeds of today's rods make this chore pretty easy compared to the old days when design was much more critical. We can use tippet lengths today that were unimaginable 35+ years ago. I have also used leaders from a package that worked fine too. Simply cut off the loop, blood it to the 3 ft. or so of connector coming off your line, add a tippet and you're in business. A 7 1/2 ft, 4x leader makes a fine three piece 12+ ft. 5X dry fly leader put together this way. Check to make sure the leader butt isn't thicker than your connector!

Performance wise, I've found taking a few seconds to properly stretch and straighten a conventional leader isn't so tough that I'm willing to give up its other positive attributes. Besides the long heavy butt leader turning over nice and straight if that's what I want to do, I can also design it not to by cutting and splicing a little differently. A long perfectly straight leader is not necessarily the best solution for a given presentation requirement.
"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
AdirmanAugust 16th, 2012, 9:47 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 493

I remember you describing your rigups/storage system in previous posts, using the hair curlers, which I like but I have a question: what is your system for storage of these in your vest/chestpak, etc? Do you have several curlers rigged up that are nymphing rigs of various types stored together and maybe wets/flymphs in another section for example?
EntomanAugust 16th, 2012, 2:42 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Adir -

No, one is enough to store as many as you need. I throw mine in a fleece lined vest pocket reserved for it. If I'm going minimalist with a fanny pack (which I seem to do more and more on my home waters as the years go by), I'll throw it in one of the billowed pockets most fishing shirts have nowadays. You can flatten the curler to make it easier, but I leave mine oblong to avoid putting drastic bends in the leaders that are harder to straighten out.

I took the time to measure it this morning and was surprised to find it only measures 2 1/2 inches, not 3 as mentioned before. Hmmm... Take my estimates of fish size in the future with a grain of salt.:)
"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
MartinlfAugust 17th, 2012, 8:59 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3125
Sayfu, I use a Trilene knot for attachment to a ring. Many knot tests by different experts have shown it to be very strong. You just have to tighten it correctly, pulling on the tag end and the line after moistening it. As one commmenter to the FF article says, the Davy knot must be matched carefully to the hook wire size. I've bent hooks before Davy knots have failed, but if they are not properly matched to the wire they will fail. You can find many references to this on the internet, but here's one that gives some knot test comparisons to clinch knots and the Double Davy, which is even stronger than the Davy and helps when you have a wire/tippet mismatch:

On another note, thanks for mentioning the article. I found the tippet tests interesting.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
SayfuAugust 17th, 2012, 9:57 am
Posts: 560Martiff. I agree with all the test results. I've seen them all over the map over the years. I couldn't get the Davy Knot to hold after seeing it in Flyfisherman Mag. What I did is take a needle, stick up through the tippet ring at home in the lab, and then try to tie the upstream end, the bigger diameter end to the ring. You have nothing to hold onto with the first knot tie to the ring. I figured that would be one and done and seldom ever be the breaking point on the river....couldn't do it without a number of squiggly waves in the leader once drawn up...but if you can do it the approach with the rings seems very good. One of the test results years ago I trusted was their results that the UNimproved clinch knot is stronger than the IMproved clinch knot. They stated that the improved will break every time where the tippet is folded back through the loop. I've used the unimproved liking it because I can now tie on a fly without much wasted tippet after tying it meaning I can now tie on a lot more flies to a tippet without having to change my tippet...slightly through the loop, pinch it down, and draw up the wraps.
"And boy do I get to changin when the hatch starts!"
RogueratAugust 17th, 2012, 4:48 pm
Posts: 467
Entoman- do you have any curling issues (dislike that word, too millenial- right up there with 'trending') with this method? I intend to try it, sounds like a real winner since you can store multiple leaders on a single roller. Weird coincidence but one of my PT employees also works at a Beauty Parlor supply house...think I'll hit him up for some sponge rollers. He may do a double-take since I've shaved my noggin for last 10+ years...
I've seen mini-rings on several furled Leader maker websites, they're stainless steel and come in multiple sizes. Think I'll try these too,beats dealing with a shrinking leader every time I change tippets.

tight lines to all,

The Roguerat

I Peter 5:7 'Cast your cares upon him...'
SayfuAugust 17th, 2012, 5:04 pm
Posts: 560Along the lines of the big, foam leader rollers on the bait fishing guide boats that fish for Salmon, and steelhead...Jetboats on the Columbia, and her tributaries. A long roller fixed to the side of the boat that can be removed, and they just grab a leader, and spin it off. The only one desire that I have is to have a big enough diameter leader wheel that doesn't cause a hard set in my leaders. I buy leader in bulk, and use the bigger Maxima tippet spools to have them filled rather than a small diameter wheel. But I fish out of the boat most of the time so space isn't a problem.
MartinlfAugust 17th, 2012, 5:19 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3125
Sayfu, yes, I use the non-improved clinch some too, for the reason you cite. As for the Trilene, a guide showed me how to tighten it. You have to pull on the tag end, the line, and if possible the fly or ring, then squinch the coils down if necessary carefully using your thumbnail. If you wet the knot it will work very well. Most recently I've heard good things about the Orvis knot for small tippets, so I'm thinking of using it some there. As for the Davy, I really like it, and often use it, but always look at hook wire and when I tighten it I give it a good tug to make sure it's not going to slip. I've used the Double Davy some, but find it harder to tie than a plain clinch. Perhaps with more practice I'll use it more.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
SayfuAugust 17th, 2012, 5:25 pm
Posts: 560Thanks for the info. Many used the improved clinch for fear the unimproved will slip loose. It won't if you tighten it up, and it doesn't slip in your hand. This is no time to be easy going. If you are firm, and it will not slip, it won't when you fish it. I must have practiced that Davy Knot on too big of a diameter. It came loose, and untied every time I tied it.
SayfuAugust 17th, 2012, 6:27 pm
Posts: 560Ok, Entoman has me off an another tangent..I found a curler, and tied up two leaders down to .011 and 7 ft long. I can add on my terminal end whatever is called for. Found a pouch for to be able to find the pouch out on the water.
EntomanAugust 17th, 2012, 10:09 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Roguerat - No curling issues. If anything the loops are larger than the ones in the packet (in the case of store-boughts) or from the spools tippet material comes from. You do have to stretch them of course. Stay away from the foam ones. I'm talking about the stiff ones made out of velcro hooks. I would think the foam ones would compress and make a mess out of the leaders. I don't think they come big enough, either (my wife's look to be an inch or so).

Anyway, I took the thing out for a quick photo to show you guys what I mean. It has two rigs on it. A Czech rig and an indicator rig. The indicator and two more flies are on the back side (as well as another clip).

"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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