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Old 08-14-2013, 12:20 PM
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Default Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

Do you folks know of any good methods of making welded loops in spey line? I have used heat shrink tubing before and that works fine, but I have seen people use flat irons to do the same thing. I tried that and failed miserably!

Just wondering what you folks think...Is heat shrink tubing the "chosen" method?
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

Contact Steve Godshall 541 840 2594. He builds fly lines and can give you 'The know.' Easier yet just bring him the line(s) and he can do same in seconds. Never had one come apart on me over several years.

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Old 08-14-2013, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

I've never attempted it but this looks like a pretty solid way to go. This is also pretty similar to Airflo's custom tips lines can be done in a fly shop, though they have a "Welding Center" as opposed to the heat gun like in Tom Larimer's video. I'd be afraid to apply heat by means of direct contact to fly line and would stick with this route. Add to that both Airflo and Tom, I'm sure, know a little something about fly lines.



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Old 08-14-2013, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

Have you guys ever used exposed loops rather than welded loops? I have one line with exposed loops that works really well. It creates less of a profile to get caught in the guides while stripping.

I have created welded loops with heat shrink tubing (like in the vids above). I wonder if exposed loops could be done the same way. Maybe Steve Godshall has done this before Fred?
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by roguebum View Post
Have you guys ever used exposed loops rather than welded loops? I have one line with exposed loops that works really well. It creates less of a profile to get caught in the guides while stripping.

I have created welded loops with heat shrink tubing (like in the vids above). I wonder if exposed loops could be done the same way. Maybe Steve Godshall has done this before Fred?
Honestly don't know the difference. (My Bad?) Have a link to an 'exposed loop?' Only thing that comes to mind is you strip back 2-3 inches of the end of the fly line and glue/wrap the core line back (loop) with fly tye thread. If that's the case (again my bad) it works with light single handers- light leaders. Heaver/longer stuff will 'hinge' like heck. If you want to give this a 'try' make the loop as small as possible.

The 'transfer of energy' from fly line to leader just doesn't have the 'stiffness' to keep it from doing a flop with a 'large loop.'


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Old 08-15-2013, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

Line welding kits are available from some fly shops. I bought one from my local shop here on the Clearwater and have been using it for a couple of years with no problems. Well, I should qualify that, there is a learning curve and all problems stay on the floor of my basement, but no problems on the river!
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

I've written about both and tried both and I think the heat shrink method ultimately produces a better finished product. You probably saw my flat iron article or video -- I am not aware of anyone else writing about that as I got it straight from the guys at Scientific Anglers. However, I wouldn't go that route if you can find the right stuff. Heat shrink and a heat gun is the way to go.

What you want is clear polyolefin tubing. It's available cheap on Amazon. All you need to do after that is get a heat gun, which is like $15 at Home Depot.

The idea here is to liquefy the PVC coating while it is encased in the heat shrink, which will provide compression and also form a mold. The longer the length of line that you bond, the tougher the loop will be. But generally speaking even hack job loops are tougher than any knot you can tie to fly line -- I did test all of that using my boga and the welded loops were on average STRONGER than the rated break strength of the line (i.e. one loop survived being pulled to the full 20 lb. break strength of the line three times before it failed). No knot even came close -- the best knot was 90% of total line break strength (18 lbs. out of 20 lbs.) and several common knots were even lower -- sometimes much lower.

The thing about a boga test like that is it teaches you how few pounds of force we actually put even on the biggest fish. I've been using these knots to catch big stripers for years. I guess I just never approached putting 20lbs. of pull on them. After all, tarpon guides regularly set their drags at like 12 lbs. for 100+ lbs. fish.

Here's my original post with the knots and test results:

Topic: Knot Strength

The Double Surgeon's and Castwell Knots were tied with leader material only. The other knots were fly line to leader knots and you can see how weak most of them are. And I've been tying knots and rigging lines for years; all of these were tied correctly, I assure you.

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Old 08-15-2013, 09:32 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

Good stuff Zach, thanks for your informative post. Nice to see you posting here, I've always enjoyed your articles and podcasts. Welcome aboard.

I actually welded some loops tonight on some of my practice lines. They turned out looking good. Like Zach mentioned, the right tubing material is key. A couple of other tips I've determined: You don't want the tubing to be too loose, so make sure you have a couple of different sizes to play with. You want to cut the tip of the line at a fairly tapered angle so when it melts it gives a nice smooth transition at the bottom of the weld. If all else fails, cut the line and do it again. If you have old fly line on hand or are wondering what to do with it, practicing welds is a good use.

Redshed Fly Shop has the tubing you want and if you need a heat gun, they do have a whole kit. You may save a few bucks buying ala carte but you can get what you need in one shot. Great shop for tying materials too btw, excellent customer service.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

Thanks guys!

Fred, the "hinging" makes perfect sense! I never really thought about that. The exposed loop line I have is a 5 weight for overhead trout casting, not spey casting. And you are correct, it is exposing the core line to create a smaller profile.

Zach, it was your video I was referring to. I tried it at home and failed miserably . I guess it just takes a lot of practice. Thanks for the post and the articles/podcasts. I really enjoy them!

Jay, thanks for the vid links. they make it look so easy!

---------- Post added at 07:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:00 PM ----------

Maybe I should go with a kit the first time to have clearly defined for me the right tubing diameters to look for in the future?
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Making Welded Loops In Spey Lines

I've never tried it before until today. It's very easy using those videos.

The size tube you will want depends on the fly line. My guess is either 1/8 or 1/16. For $4.00 per size, you can weld a lot of lines.

If you have a heat gun with a concentrator tip, all you need is the tubing.
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