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Old 08-02-2012, 10:00 AM
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Default Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

I'm new to the sport, been casting flies for about 3 months now. I got myself started with a Reddington Crosswater 8.5 ft 5wt rod/reel combo and have been honing my skills in the nearby streams and small rivers (I'm in Maryland and have a nice stretch of the Patapsco running right through my backyard). Mostly it's just bluegills and sunfish I pick on, but when I head out to some nearby stocked rivers I get to play with trout. But typically, I'm chasing pretty small game and even when I go after some browns or rainbows I'm not landing anything more then 8 lbs.

The problems started when I had to tie on a new leader line to the RIO Mainstream that came with my rod. Not sure which tapered leader was on there originally, but I put on some RIO powerflex 4x tapered leader. Since then, I've been snapping the line just behind the knot with regularity, losing many flies in the process. Just yesterday, I was targeting my favorite bluegill hole and managed to land 4 of em in the space of an hour, but lost an equal number of flies in the same time. Each time, the leader would snap just behind the knot and another fish would make off with one of my flies.

My first thought was the line is too light, but I'm using 4x on very small (under 5 lbs) blue's and I was told that should be strong enough. I use the modified clinch knot which some people advise against, but it's easy to tie in the water and I am using very small flies (usually 16's) so my big clunky fingers struggle with even basic knots. I also use Burt's Bees bug spray because it's natural and isn't supposed to degrade the leader line, and I moisten my knots before cinching them.

So what do you guys suggest? Where am I going wrong and what can I do to stop losing so many good flies?
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

If you're being careful about lubricating the knots, it sounds to me as if you have a bad leader. They can get that way if exposed to the sun.
You could either start fresh with a new leader or cut that one back about 18" and tie in some fresh 4X tippet of the same length
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

I need a bit more information. When you look at where the leader "snapped" is there a curl at the end. This means the knot slipped.

Or is the section near the break rough and abraded? This could mean a casting fault like "cracking the whip" on the forward cast which weakens the end of the tippet. I suggest checking the area around the knot after some casts.

I'm not sure what a "modified" clinch knot is. Is it the improved clinch knot? Or is it a clinch knot with two passes thought the hook eye, better know as the Trilene knot?

Was the tippet fresh?
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

Silver, I am willing to bet he means midified albright.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

Thanks for the quick responses!

The modified clinch is also called the improved clinch. If someone knows of a stronger knot that's easy to tie in-stream I'd be happy to learn it, I've heard palomar and surgeon's knots are popular but I have difficulty tying those with small flies.

I suspect it may be the leader line itself, as I've lost all these flies on 2 lines that came from the same 3-pack. I ordered this from an online store so I wouldn't be surprised if they shipped me some line that's been sitting on a display shelf for years. The store was Trident Fly Fishing, and their shipping was late anyways, so I'd strongly suggest you all avoid them.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

Search for Fly fisherman tippet shoot out then go to the bottom page and click forward to the tippet to fly knots.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

Quote:
Originally Posted by d3adp0ol View Post
Thanks for the quick responses!

The modified clinch is also called the improved clinch. If someone knows of a stronger knot that's easy to tie in-stream I'd be happy to learn it, I've heard palomar and surgeon's knots are popular but I have difficulty tying those with small flies.

I suspect it may be the leader line itself, as I've lost all these flies on 2 lines that came from the same 3-pack. I ordered this from an online store so I wouldn't be surprised if they shipped me some line that's been sitting on a display shelf for years. The store was Trident Fly Fishing, and their shipping was late anyways, so I'd strongly suggest you all avoid them.
I know Ben at "Trident". He would not sell you any junk!

Sounds like you need to study leaders.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

Well, I tested the line strength by tying the last leader from that 3-pack to a 5 pound weight and then lifting straight up. Did this twice, the first time using the same improved clinch knot and the second time using a palomar. Both times the line snapped just behind the knot almost immediately after the weight came off the floor, and it's supposed to be rated for over 6 lbs.

I suspect that pack of line had been sitting out for a long time, probably in direct sunlight since comparing the package to a new one it was noticeably faded. I emailed Ben at Trident and he was nice enough about it, and I understand from a shop owner's perspective they don't want to throw out old unsold line, but it was still a waste of money, time and flies doing business with him.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

Don't throw the tippet out just yet. Buy a fresh pack, tie the old and new together with a double surgeon's knot and see which side breaks.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Help! Snapping leader lines and losing flies

Dear d3adp0ol,

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with these leaders. Here are a few tips that might help you in the future:

1. Tying stronger knots. As the community has already stated, all knots weaken your line, and some are worse than others. I've attached an image of the Fly Fisherman test referenced earlier - and both a clinch knot and Palomar knot would both fail your "5lb" test.

I would recommend you use the Trilene knot, which is fast and easy to tie, even on small flies. You should also be sure to wet the line before you tie so that it slides well.

2. Avoid bug spray when handling monofilament. Even oils used in Burt's can severely damage plastics: Essential oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We're a full-service fly shop, with loads of expertise in the field. In the future, it would behoove you to actually contact us via e-mail or phone if you have any problems, rather than posting about it online. Please feel free to reach out to us at 888-413-5211, and we'll happily help you through your issues.

We are an authorized dealer for Rio, and I can assure you with 100% certainty, that if we couldn't sell 4x leaders faster than the monofilament degraded, we would not be in business. The leaders you purchased sat on the shelf, inside an air conditioned facility, for no longer than a few weeks.

For the rest of the community's benefit, the OP's order was placed on July 12th, shipped on July 12th, and arrived on July 14th - which was in fact about a week EARLIER than was promised.


Click the image to open in full size.

Tight Lines,

Trident Fly Fishing
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