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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    Hi Everyone,

    I finally got time to add back the photos to the FAQ on how to make a loop in your fly line. The old photos were lost in the server switch. I couldn't find all of the photos and some of the photos are poor quality but usable, I hope. I learned this technique back in the 50's and has worked well for me.

    I have copied the procedure here but it is also listed in the FAQ Techniques Forum. If I get a chance I will redo the photos to better quality with my new camera.


    Here are directions on how to make a loop on the end of your fly line. This same process can be used to splice running line to a shooting head if you make one your self. I use to use it in the 50's to make a double taper silk line into two weight forward fly lines. This will work with lines up to 6wt or so. Any bigger and you need to lengthen the stripped area.

    Step 1

    Strip off the outer cover on the tip of the fly line for 5/8". You can soak the tip with Finger Nail Polish or Acetone and it makes the coating softer. I use the blade of my office scissors and don't use the Acetone. Once you have broken through the finish on one side of the line the rest of the finish will peal off. You can see there is a small tag left on the line that was not removed.

    Step 2

    Take your fly tying scissors and cut off the tag that was not cleanly removed.

    Step 3

    You now have 5/8" of braided core exposed. Take a bodkin or needle and start to un-ravel the braided core. You need to work right next to the un-raveled braid so the bodkin will pull through the braid un-raveling more core. If you insert the bodkin too far from the un-raveled end you can't pull the bodkin through the braid. You will see what I mean when it happens. Don't force the bodkin. Just take it slow and easy.

    Step 4

    Continue to unravel the core until all of the exposed core is un-braided.

    Step 5

    Now bend over the line onto its self to form the size of loop you want. Mark the fly line at the spot on the main line that the un-braided core is laying next to. I mark the space with a black marking pen. The space should be 1/2' instead of 5/8" like the un-braided end of the line. When you lay the line straight again it will look like in this picture.

    Step 6

    Now you want to remove the outer cover on the main fly line like you did on the tip. It should look like this photo and be 1/2" wide.

    Step 7

    Now here is the tip of all tips. Make your loop again and press the tag end and main line together together with the two bare parts of the line together. The butt of the un-raveled end should be right over the front of the bare spot on the main line. Take a piece of Scotch Tape and fasten the two lines together. Now you don't have to worry about the tag end and the main line from moving out of position.

    Step 8

    This photo shows that the Un-braided tip of the line is longer than the gap on the main line.

    Step 9

    Take your fly tying scissors and trim the tip of the line so the un-raveled is just shorter than the gap on the main line.

    Step 10

    Now the fun begins. Take a bobbin loaded with the thread you want to use. I usually use 6/0 Uni-thread. You are going to use your bobbin to wrap this connection to make your loop. First make sure the end of the line and the gap on the line is lined up. Use your fingers to roll the line and tip together to compact the line and tip. Use your left hand to grip the main line and the tip just about in the middle of the unraveled tip. You also need to grip the 6/0 thread with this hand and fingers. So you are holding the thread, the unraveled tip and the main line in between your thumb and fore finger of you left hand. Your thumb nail should be facing you. Now roll up any slack thread with your right hand onto the bobbin. You want the bobbin hanging about 3" below the splice point. Now take you right thumb and fore finger and grasp the other side of the splice with the two thumbs faceing each other.

    So you are standing with the splice held in the center with your two thumbs and fore fingers, with the thumbs facing each other and the thumb nails are almost touching. The bobbing is hanging down from the junction of your thumbs with about 3" of thread. OK, here we go. Start to swing the bobbing back and forth until the momentum of the swing lets you swing the bobbin around the splice in a circle. If you have the bobbing adjusted properly, and you won't, line will pull off of the bobbin and you will begin to wrap the splice. Wrap toward the left hand first so you can capture the end of the thread. After several wraps you can cut off the end of the thread just like you were starting the thread on a hook. You may have to adjust the bobbin several times until the thread feeds onto the splice but stays about the same distance from the splice. Using your two thumb nails you can direct where the line wraps onto the splice. Wrap beyond the splice on both ends a very short distance onto the main line and the looped line. With a little practices you can get a really decent wrap.

    When you have finished wrapping the splice to your satisfaction you take a 6" piece of thread and fold it in half forming a loop. Lay the loop on the splice and hold in place. Wrap over the thread a few turns and then cut the thread from the bobbin leaving a 2" piece on the splice. Place the end of the thread into the loop and pull the end of the thread under the last few wraps. Trim up the thread end and you are done except for sealing the splice.

    A comment about adjusting the bobbin so it will swing around the splice. You can practice this using a nail or some other small diameter item before you start your loop.

    Step 11

    You need to seal the splice so moisture won't get into the core of the line. I like to use Plio-Bond. It is thin and penetrates the splice forming a good seal but still has some flexibility. You can use Super Glue but it drys hard. I believe Shoe Goop would also work well.

    The Finished Loop.

    Here is a picture of a finished loop except it needs a coat or two more of Plio-Bond. The loop can be made much smaller. I made it large for the sake of the demonstration.

    Last edited by Frank Whiton; 02-11-2012 at 04:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    Nice Frank!

    I am going to try to copy and paste this whole thread to my document file so I have it when I need it.

    Thank you

  3. #3

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    Ive been tying mine the way this guy does [ame=""]YouTube- Fly Line Setup with No Knots![/ame] and have not had any issues.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    Frank: Nice work!


  5. #5

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.


    My apologies, didn't mean to step on this thread or the obvious effort spent to put it together.

    Feel free to delete my post above. It is a similar method to what you have so effectively detailed above, and probably not as durable since it does not strip down the line as you do.

    Apologies again,



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    Good one Frank. Have to put that one to use soon. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    No problem Dave,

    The video shows how to whip using the bobbin. That is hard to describe with words. His method is good but I don't like using super glue and the finished whipped area will be bigger around than my method. You can see in the finished picture of my loop the whipped area is just about the size as the line.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    yep, I used head cement (flexament) followed by a coat of aqua seal on mine vice SG, and I just rough up the fly line vice cutting completely through. First time it comes apart, I'll redo it as you described above. This does provide a nice smooth loop that transitions through the eyes well.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    I like that loop, Frank, and I'll tell you why. After buying my first welded loop
    line, I knew that fun couldn't last. My first homemade loop was very much like
    the YouTube video, but with nail polish. RipTide mentioned that nail polish
    was too inflexible, and I decided he was right. Winding that much thread onto
    the fly fly line, and then coating it in nail polish results in a loop that is hard
    to pull through the tip top, and also creates a stress point between the
    thread and fly line. Bending the line reveals a hinge that may not effect
    casting, but sure does make judging where the next crack is going to occur
    quite easy.

    After some shopping, I found Loctite's flexible/waterproof adhesive. I doubled
    my line over, and wound the thread the full length of this section (leaving space for the loop, of course). I still saw a hinge, however. RipTide did say
    that he used 3 whip finishes, so I tried that, and the hinging was almost
    completely gone. It was at least as good as the factory loops. I was watching
    a show about building bridges, and one of the guests said that engineers like
    to build with "just enough" strength.

    The loop above has only two whips in it, but has held up to a LOT of abuse,
    and hours of fishing. When bent over, the line will bend between the 2 whips,
    and eliminate that single hinge point I was getting before. I've cut the line
    at an angle, applied the tiniest drop of CA to seal it, and squeezed one coat
    of flexible adhesive into the thread. Frank Whiton's looks very unlikely to create any stress points, and I like that as well.

    BTW: If you're going to use the fling the bobbin around the line method, don't
    even bother until you've created more tension on the spool: you'll get hit in
    the face! I wasn't too surprised to see my bobbin fly away like a yo-yo, and
    tag my forehead. The whips I applied in the pic above were wound off the bobbin like tying a fly, mostly to keep the wraps to a minimum.

    P.S. I hope you don't think I'm trying to compete with your method, Frank. I've been wanting to show my loop
    for a while, and your thread prompted me to get a picture on here. Also, some folks might be tempted to try the CA/nail polish with
    tons of thread method, and find themselves with a stiff loop. I thought about starting my own thread, but that might have
    created some confusion.....
    Last edited by FrankB2; 12-06-2009 at 01:15 PM.

  10. Default Re: Making a loop on your Fly Line.

    Quote Originally Posted by webrx View Post

    My apologies, didn't mean to step on this thread or the obvious effort spent to put it together.

    Feel free to delete my post above. It is a similar method to what you have so effectively detailed above, and probably not as durable since it does not strip down the line as you do.

    Apologies again,



    I do mine the same way as the video. I use to finish it off as he is (same as rod wrapping by the way), but now I just use a whip finishing tool. Easy for me.


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