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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:17 PM
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Default Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

I typically prefer welded loops or braided loops on my fly lines and then a loop-to-loop connection with the leader when I'm fishing for trout or bass. I am planning a tarpon trip this fall, and I'm getting geared up with bigger stuff. Are loop-to-loop connections between line and leader good on the bigger fish like tarpon, or should I nail knot it?
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

Hi Shane,

I use 'D' all of the above I've managed large salmon on each of the connections you mention with one caveat. The welded loops can be cut by the mono when you continue to place them under a lot of pull. If you look in the Spey Fishing forum you'll spot a thread about making a Braided Connector for Your welded Loop line. I think that's the title of the thread, it shows a step by step for making a connector for the welded loop to the mono. These have been tested on some heavy fish here and none have failed.

For Tarpon you may want to wait for our salt water guys to weigh in before making a choice.

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

Shane -

For saltwater (including tarpon) i use an Albright for leader butt to fly line. But am interested to hear what wjc and others use. The knot should pass easily back and forth through the tip top guides. I did hook a good sized striped bass years ago that took off -- the leader butt cut through a loop exactly as Ard described so i don't use them anymore for big fish. Loop connections also have more of a tendency to pick up salad on retrieve and hinge when casting.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

Hi Shane,

I think the welded loops are better now than they have been in the past. Just a few years ago many of the welded loops could be pulled apart with two pinky fingers. Sandy Moret was cutting the loops off brand new sharkskins in his shop and whip finishing new ones prior to selling them.

Doubled fly line also is bigger in diameter than a braided loop and harder to get through the guides, but I would use an Albright before a nail knot if choosing between the two for a big fish rig.

On the fly lines I have loops on, I make my own from Gudebrod braided mono and make them much longer than the bought ones which can fall apart because they are not made properly (nor are they long enough in my opinion, for big fish).

Also the loop on a properly made one can be slid open wider in order remove a backing or leader loop and can be made biggger in the first place to facilitate changing lines, leaders etc.

I use two nail knots of 8 or 10 lb mono or fluoro to hold the end of the braided loop onto the fly line and then fair them in with UV cure flexible glue. How to make them below:


On my large weight rods, I've eliminated loops on the leader end and stuff my leader butt up inside braid so I have no knots there either except for the small nail knots of 8-10 lb test. I normally use longer than normal leaders and the line/leader connection must travel through the guides very smoothly.

Here is a 10 second video showing how even a little fish can create havoc at the end of a fight. In this video my buddy, the very stocky guy, was in control and scared the fish trying to swim under the boat by whacking the gunwhale with his pipe, which he keeps in his top pocket. It happens in the first 4 seconds of the video which is only 15 seconds or so long. Had he not done that, the angler on the bow would have been in panic mode, and could very easily have busted a tip.

http://www.miterclamp.com/videos/fish_under_boat.wmv

When using braided loops, here is how I attach them to get a minimal diameter.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Last edited by wjc; 04-02-2012 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

Jim's method is excelent and you should check out the "Welded Loop" tread in the tackle sections fly line catagory for the last word on this subject.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

I have been using the hollow Spectra insertion method for years on big fish.
Just for fun I was in Panama last week and put on a 40 pound straight flouro leader using the loop to loop onto my fly line. I cranked up my Super 13 Abel to full drag bringing in a Big Rooster fish in no time at all on my 14wt Cross Current. At the boat I had so much drag pressure I bent the hook. This connection is the only method I use now on bigger reels as it is easy to change out tippet/leader and seems to give 100% strength at the fly line connection. The only knot I have now is at the hook/fly.

Jamie
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

I always use a Albright knot to connect the butt section on large fish. When I was guiding in Islamorada, I saw or heard of too many nail knots pulling off of the flyline. From there you could either loop on the rest of the leader, or use double uni's to taper it down.

Where are you heading for poons? and who are you fishing with?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Fly line to leader connection - welded loops, nail knot, or something else?

Thanks for all the help. wjc, that is some excellent info.

I've never had any trouble with braided loops on trout, bass, carp, or even bonefish. But I do plan on hooking a 200# tarpon, and I hope to land her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt ken View Post
I always use a Albright knot to connect the butt section on large fish. When I was guiding in Islamorada, I saw or heard of too many nail knots pulling off of the flyline. From there you could either loop on the rest of the leader, or use double uni's to taper it down.

Where are you heading for poons? and who are you fishing with?
We're going to South Padre Island and fishing with a friend of mine (Mark Cowan) that guides all over the place from Alaska to Argentina. It's not the Keys or Costa Rica, but it's relatively close to where I live, and there are a few tarpon in Texas these days (I hear). A 200-pounder would be an extremely rare find, actually. But I'll be happy with any tarpon. Bucket mouth is on my bucket list.

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