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Flyfisher for men 07-29-2007 08:36 AM

Related to the tippet and leader question.
Is there a a tool for helping one tie tippet? I found on a recent trout fishing trip that even the double surgeon's knot was sometimes difficult to tie with the really flimsy 7X tippet (I was joining it to a 5X leader).

The first part of the problem is that I have poor hand and finger coordination--there's nothing that can really be done about that. Couple that with the flimsy nature of the tippet and it made for some frustrating moments on the stream, especially when there was a breeze.

I understand the knot--with stiffer material like regular monofilament that I often use with bass and bluegills, I have no problem with it. What I often found with the light tippet was that the initial loop kept collapsing as I tried to make the first over hand knot. I found if I could get the first, the second normally followed without much difficulty.

The best coping mechanism I had was to tie the tippet on while still in the cabin--but that didn't entirely eliminate the need to tie more on the stream.

Any suggestions?

Frank Whiton 07-29-2007 09:33 AM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
Hi Flyfisher for men,

There are a few things that you can do.

1. When you are sitting watching TV have some tippet material handy and practice, practice the double surgeon knot, the perfection loop, the blood knot and the double surgeon loop.

2. A trick to tyeing the surgeon knot is when you make your loop hold the two lines where they cross each other between you thumb and fore-finger. If you are right hander hold the loop in your left hand. Now with the cross over firmly between your thumb and fore-finger you can use your right hand to run the end back through the loop. You can't loose the loop even in the wind.

3. Here is my favorite solution. Take the tippet on the leader and cut it off leaving about 6" of tippet. Now tie a perfection loop in the end. You end up with a shorten leader with a loop on the end. Now take a 24" to 30" piece of tippet material and tie a perfection loop in one end. You can tie up several pieces of tippet with a loop at home and keep them in your vest. When you start fishing just take a prepared tippet and loop it to the leader. It is a simple loop to loop connection. As you use up the tippet it is easy to undo the loop to loop connection and add another tippet section. Make sure when you place two loops together that you end up with a figure 8 knot looking knot.

If you have trouble tyeing a perfection loop then use a double surgeon loop. I prefer the perfection loop.

4. You can tie the tippet to the leader using back to back Uni knots. This works very well on heavier tippets.

Flyfisher for men 07-29-2007 10:46 PM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
Thank you, Frank. Sage advice as usual. I like the loop to loop idea.

cimages11 07-29-2007 11:36 PM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
Frank, I have been reading alot about looped fly lines and leaders. It seems this would make the whole knot tying thing obsolete. My question is, does a looped fly line and leader tend to hang up in the rod guides, especially the rod tip. I would like to hear your opinion on this.

Frank Whiton 07-30-2007 09:50 AM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
does a looped fly line and leader tend to hang up in the rod guides, especially the rod tip.

Hi cimages11,

Good question and it depends a lot on your setup. Keep in mind that fly fishing is about learning a technique or procedure that works for you. You can tell from the different answers you get that not everybody does things the same way. The new fly lines that come with a loop on the end have a fairly compact loop. Loops that people tie onto the fly line can sometimes be a little bulky. One very slick way to fasten a leader to the fly line is by using a needle and gluing the leader into the center of the line. Another way with a needle is to push the leader butt into and Thur the line and then tie a nail knot. All of these work and the fly fisher needs to find what works for them. All of the methods that use the needle is best done away from the water. Here is a great article you may find interesting about connecting the fly line to your leader.

Now to your question about the loops going Thur the fly rod tip-top. In most cases it is not a problem. Some older rods and especially bamboo rods have very small tip-tops. In these cases it may be a problem. If you use a nail knot on the end of your fly line you can slick it up by using "Knot Sense" or Zap-A-Gap to make the knot into a football shape that will slip through the tip-top better. Most loops are small enough to slip through the guides. Just make sure the loop and it's connection is slicked up.

Joni 07-30-2007 10:58 AM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
I gotta say that some lines have an inner core (Sylk comes to mind) that won't allow you to put a needle through the line. That is where I make the loop out of the line itself.
There is a tool called the SHIMAZAKI that does make a needle knot easy as heck even with bad eyes. The needle knot is going to be the cleanest connection for leader to fly line out there.

Frank described a loop to loop for TIPPET to LEADER connection, which sounds really good if you are having problems with a Surgeon's knot.
Correct me if I am wrong but, this would be at the end of your leader and the only time it will be going through your guides is when you are done fishing and reeling in the line all the way.
It should have NO effect while fishing, UNLESS it is real Mossy water. You might collect moss on the connection, but a knot will do that also.

BigCliff 07-30-2007 01:28 PM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
Use 6x instead. Since you know you have stronger stuff on there, you'll play the fish faster, and wear them out less. That will greatly increase their chances of survival in these hotter months of the year.

Frank Whiton 07-30-2007 02:11 PM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
Hi Joni,

I think the question was about when a loop is used to fasten the leader to the fly line. At least that was how I understood it. Maybe I have it wrong.

The Shimazaka tool does make needle knots easier to make. I think that a pin vise also makes it easier to hold the needle.

SHIMAZAKI "LEADER SPLICER KIT" is slicker than a Montana snot rock. LOOK: Seamlessly attach a leader to a fly-line via this "SYSTEM" in seconds. A Grooved-Template safely "locks" the fly line in place, and guides the specially designed needle "straight" into the end of the fly line, and then out the top (see diagram). Feed the tip-top end of your leader through the "hole" in the needle and pull it back through the fly line. Rough Up the last 1/3rd inch of the leaders butt-end with a file, put a tiny drop of Super-Glue or Epoxy on the roughed up portion, and pull it into position (inside the fly line) for a no-knot connection. A PERFECT SEAMLESS CONNECTION EVERY TIME. Seven weights and larger should be secured with a nail-knot and glued. Instructions

Joni 07-30-2007 02:27 PM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.
Thanks for the Visual Frank. I was going of the title of the post. I have never heard of putting a perfection loop in the smal portion of a leader and the same on tippet, but....HECK! it makes sense.
I also found that by coating the ends after making the needle knott with knot sense (and a hair dryer to smooth it out) seals any holes that might still be there from leader coming out to the end of the fly line. Nice and smooth.

I try not to have a leader too long that I worry about the line/leader loop connection goes through my tip top. That is with arms extended as far as I can and a longer handle net (10' rod helps also, LOL). But, on rivers I tend to use shorter rods like 7' but that is Bamboo and Glass.
I am not saying I haven't been there. Lost a couple of fish from the connection going through the guide with rod in the air and fish diving, but that is in a pontoon boat.

Frank Whiton 07-30-2007 02:54 PM

Re: Related to the tippet and leader question.

I use the loop to loop for tippets mostly when I am nymph fishing. I use the loop knot to hold the split shot from moving down the leader. It also makes it quick to change tippets. I used blood/barrel knot for years but they seem to be a little harder to tie than they use to be.

I don't have a problem with the leader knot into the tip-top either. I guess with shorter rods it could be a problem.

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