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Old 04-19-2011, 11:07 PM
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Question Knotty Problems

Years back in one of our earliest fly fishing forums, a few fly anglers and myself did a lot of cussing and discussing knots used in fly fishing to the point one, Bill Nash even wrote a book on the subject. In short we found that one must beware of leader and tippet claims by manufacturers as at times these may be off a tad in diameter and lbs test. Other neat things that came out of those discussions were that knots for Flourocarbon, Mono and Braid are not created equal and what's great for one might not be the greatest for another. One other tip is that to avoid friction and heat from destroying your knot before you start fishing, moisten it well before pulling it tight. A great moisturizer is lip balm and is better than saliva and today you can get it with sun screen and protect your lips and knots.
Many common knots such as the clinch knot are very poor as they lose a lot of the strength of your tippet, etc. Knots that scored high were and are the Trilene Clinch, the Pitzen, and the Uni-knot for connecting fly to tippet as all scored near 98% using mono.
The common Clinch Knot for instance, scores just 65%. In other words if the tippet you are using tests at 5 lb test, using a clinch would reduce that to around
3.25 lbs test and will likely cost you fish.
I've noticed of late that a fair fishing show on tv called the North American Fisherman has the Berkley Knot Wars as part of it's programming. This will give you great heads up on the various knots and how they test out against each other in the search for that perfect knot.
Learn to tie your knots the same each time, test your knots against each other using short sections of mono with hooks tied in each end using various knots. Always moisten, and as an old Chief MSgt told me once "Pay attention to Detail!"

With that said there's always more to learn and I for one would love to hear from you with your tips you've found helpful in solving Knotty Problems! Knots are at the center of our sport, from tying the fly on to tying tippet to leader, building leaders, tieing the leader to the fly fline, the fly line to backing and the backing to the arbor so let's hear from you?
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Knotty Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck s View Post
With that said there's always more to learn and I for one would love to hear from you with your tips you've found helpful in solving Knotty Problems!
I can offer two tips that certainly helped me.
  1. Don't scrimp on tippet when tying a knot. You can waste an aweful lot of time and compromise the intergrity of the knot by trying to save 2-3" of tippet. Give yourself plenty of tippet to work with. It makes life MUCH easier.
  2. Practice. Like the bow and arrow cast, this is something you can practice at home in your favorite chair.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Knotty Problems

Chuck, while I'm not one to argue very often, and despite the "scientific" data in regards to the common clinch knot, I fish a lot normally and I use the clinch knot (not the improved clinch knot) about 90% of the time and rarely lose a fish to knot failure. I also use the uni knot which is a good knot for smaller dries and nymphs along with streamers and buggers. That knot fails about as often as the clinch, which isn't very often. Just my 2 cents.

I agree wholeheartedly with the need to pay attention to the little things. Knot lubrication is critical along with getting the basics of knot construction down. I hear of many who don't put enough twists in a clinch knot (need 5 to 7 minimum) therefore leading to failure. I'm as curious as you where this thread will lead with tips from others. Can't wait to read what everyone does and how it works and performs.

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Old 04-20-2011, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Knotty Problems

What knot to like discussion.

Dave
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Knotty Problems

Always an important topic. For dry flies or dead drifting with nymphs, I typically use an improved clinch knot or a uni-knot. I am frequently using a non-slip loop knot for poppers, streamers, and anything else I want to move naturally on the surface or below the surface. The uni-knot can be made to have a loop, but any pressure on the tippet usually results in the loop closing around the hook eye unless you really cinch down the tag end with pliers. I find the loop knot easier for this reason.

Here's a link for the loop knot:

Loop Knot for streamers & nymphs (Non-slip mono knot) SwittersB & Fly Fishing
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