Fly line to leader...to loop or not to loop?

Acheron

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Used nail knots in the past. These days loops work fine for me.

For larger fish, say 10lb+, and only if using a leader longer than my rod, then I opt for a nail knot.
 

sweetandsalt

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So, using a 15 turn Nail Knot to mechanically reinforce my welded loops on the line and to form a loop in the butt of my Braid yields a strong and reasonably smooth connection that also offers the versatility of changing leader designs.

T21 008 Nail Knot Leader Loops.jpg
 

silver creek

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Im curious what people are using to attach fly line to leader.
Either loop to loop or leader to fly line with nail/needle knot?
Of course loop to loop is much quicker and saves fly line and leader material but i find its bulky and too many knots in the section.I cut the fly line loop off and attach with the needle knot.Problem is changing leaders one has to cut back the fly line.I have heard there is approx 30cm level line after the loop before taper starts kicking in.I doubt one would change a leader more than say 15 times in the lifetime of the actual line.Assuming tippet rings are used or loop to loop tippet to leader knots are constructed.
Opinions?
I nail knot Chameleon 0.019" 0r 0.021" to the fly line, then tie a perfection loop as a loop to loop connector to the leader.

"The level front end section of line, (is) typically six inches long" and not 30 cm which is about 12 inches.




 
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desmobob

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I've always used a loop-to-loop connection. I nail knotted on a mono loop in the pre-loop days and have used the factory fly line loops whenever they have been provided. I've never had a failure in fresh or saltwater from 2wt. to 11wt. (knocking on wood).
 
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ifitswims

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I am a knotty old man for sure....but I find it to difficult to mutilate my new airflo lines so I do both.

I most definitely prefer a nail knot over loop to loop. I guess it Might be the same reason I cannot bring myself to use a tippet ring. Hmmmm. Always wanted to try one, have some on my bench but haven’t been able to get over the hump.
 

dynaflow

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I think this example highlights one of the essential differences between those who fish fresh water with generally lighter rods and those who fish the salt with generally bigger rods.So as more of a member of the latter fraternity I've always abided by a loop to loop connection on everything,with the addition of reinforced Nail knots on the Loops on the upper weights.....say from 9wt.up as you're getting into Tuna,Milkfish and Trevally territory,where a Nail Knot will simply not be strong enough IMHO.
 

dynaflow

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Well yes,but aren't we talking about the strength and convenience of a connection? As in Nail knot vs Loop to Loop? And as illustrated by S&S above? The Albright and the Slim Beauty are two of my favourite knots,especially the Albright as it's less fussy to tie in the field,but these are "permanent" knots inasmuch as you have to cut them in order to change leaders or fly lines.
I admit that a well-tied Nail Knot is a good knot.....the accent being "well tied" ;)
 

trev

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Nail knot is kinda permanent and in my mind that is it's best point. Neither it nor a loop is particularly convenient imo. when I tie a loop to loop it gets kinda permanent too, because I like small loops and want them stressed before use which usually means cutting to remove.
I really don't change leaders that often, just modify to suit fly and condition., cut and splice. The heavy butt section (or braided) can last quite a while.
I've thought in the past that the best use of a fly line loop was as foundation for an Alright.
 

Vic_can

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When you nail knot a butt section to the fly line, how long of a piece do you usually attach. I was thinking of 1’ of 20lb chameleon for my 4wt.
 

VaFisherman

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Vic_can,

The reason I use a butt section nail knotted to the fly line is to keep a smooth connection between the fly line and leader and because I am using a leader that is around 12ft or so on my trout sized fly rods, and the line to leader connection is in the rod guides many times during the day while landing fish. Plus I think it gives a better leader turnover/transfer during the cast than a loop to loop connection. When nail knotting only a 1ft section on the fly line you do not get the advantages of the smooth connection because you have two big old loops, and their associated knots, that will be inside your guides on occasion when using long leaders. Now I tie my own leaders so my typical butt section is somewhere between 3ft and 5ft long depending on rod weight, leader length and flies being cast so the only thing that gets inside my rod guides is the smooth nail knot.

Many who use the 1ft piece connected to the fly line are those who use factory tapered leaders that are standard 9ft length and they like to change the whole leader at times. Rather than the short section I would recommend just folding over your fly line to form a loop, secured with a couple of nail knots, and loop you leader to that. I don't see any advantage to the short section nail knotted to the fly line other than maybe some durability at the loop to loop connection but I have not had any problems with loops in a fly line being looped to the leader directly. All of my 6wt and larger rods are set up with a loop in the fly line because I think it is a strong connection and I don't typically use long leaders on those size rods.

For those who like to use factory tapered leaders you can cut the loop off of those and nail knot it to your fly line then find the point on the factory leader where it is starting to level to the tippet section and at that point cut the leader and tie a loop there, or add a tippet ring is what I have done, and then loop your tippet to that tapered butt section. That tapered butt section will last thru a full fishing season or two, and can last as long as your fly line. This gives the advantage of a smooth transition at the fly line to leader connection.

Sorry to be a little long winded an I hope the above information is not too confusing, and take this information as only my opinion and experience and not the gospel.
 

Vic_can

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Vic_can,

The reason I use a butt section nail knotted to the fly line is to keep a smooth connection between the fly line and leader and because I am using a leader that is around 12ft or so on my trout sized fly rods, and the line to leader connection is in the rod guides many times during the day while landing fish. Plus I think it gives a better leader turnover/transfer during the cast than a loop to loop connection. When nail knotting only a 1ft section on the fly line you do not get the advantages of the smooth connection because you have two big old loops, and their associated knots, that will be inside your guides on occasion when using long leaders. Now I tie my own leaders so my typical butt section is somewhere between 3ft and 5ft long depending on rod weight, leader length and flies being cast so the only thing that gets inside my rod guides is the smooth nail knot.

Many who use the 1ft piece connected to the fly line are those who use factory tapered leaders that are standard 9ft length and they like to change the whole leader at times. Rather than the short section I would recommend just folding over your fly line to form a loop, secured with a couple of nail knots, and loop you leader to that. I don't see any advantage to the short section nail knotted to the fly line other than maybe some durability at the loop to loop connection but I have not had any problems with loops in a fly line being looped to the leader directly. All of my 6wt and larger rods are set up with a loop in the fly line because I think it is a strong connection and I don't typically use long leaders on those size rods.

For those who like to use factory tapered leaders you can cut the loop off of those and nail knot it to your fly line then find the point on the factory leader where it is starting to level to the tippet section and at that point cut the leader and tie a loop there, or add a tippet ring is what I have done, and then loop your tippet to that tapered butt section. That tapered butt section will last thru a full fishing season or two, and can last as long as your fly line. This gives the advantage of a smooth transition at the fly line to leader connection.

Sorry to be a little long winded an I hope the above information is not too confusing, and take this information as only my opinion and experience and not the gospel.
Thankyou, that’s a great explanation. I’m actually going to be using my fly line to tightline nymph sometimes and I’d like to avoid the loop going through the guides. I actually really like the idea of nail knotting a factory leader on then cutting the part where it starts to taper down to the tippet. I’d like to be able to use the 4wt line for other uses too so that’s perfect.
 

VaFisherman

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Vic-can,

Purchasing a 1x or 2x factory leader and cutting it back 18" or so then putting a loop in it gives you a lot of options for tippet size. You can go with 2x or 3x tippet by looping directly to the leader, although I like a tippet ring at this point and just tying my tippet to the tippet ring. If you want 4x or 5x tippet a 8" or 10" piece of 3x then tie whatever length of tippet you want to it, for 6x maybe an 8" or 10" piece of 4X looped to the leader and then tie on the 6x, etc. You want the weakest part of you leader system to be between the looped section and the fly so the integrity of you leader butt per se is maintained.

I am very fond of tippet rings rather than loops because they provide a smaller connection and you tie it to your leader and the tippet to the ring with your favorite terminal knot. For fishing with a 4wt rod for trout get the smallest tippet ring you can find if you decide to go that route.

I hope this works for you with a lot of big fish on the end of the line.
 
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wthorpe

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I have recently discovered an issue with fly line loop connections that seems like it might be a bit different from the one folks are talking about here. On 3 lines, one each SA and Rio, and the other i dont recall right now but it was either SA or Rio, i had a noticeable crack and hinging develop about 2" up the line, at the spot where the manufactured reinforcement stops and the regular tapered line starts. On one occasion i did not notice the issue until the by then sizable crack met tip top with a large fish attached to the other end of the leader. Fish was landed successfully, but in retrospect, with some awkward pulling on the fly line in that situation, i can easily imagine breaking the rod tip.

any ideas on what causes this cracking/hinging?
 

alfaromeo

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nail knot to leader..20 pound test about 1 foot... loop the end... then loop to loop to the leader..easy
 

peterk1234

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I have been using loop to loop but I redo the loop of the leader. Cut the loop and big fat knot off. I grab a bobbin with some strong thread and thread wrap my new loop. Quick old school whip finish by hand and a touch of fly tying cement and I am good to go. Gives a fairly smooth connection that I can get through the eyelets.
 

bigjim5589

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I used loops for a lot of years, but have had the loops break, so went to nail knot connections for my leader to line, and blood knot or double surgeons knots for leader sections.

I have a new shooting head for my 10 wt. that attaches to a running line via factory loop to loop which I have left intact, but am keeping a close eye on them. I feel and hear the connection as it slips through the guides, and no way around that as the head is 40' long.

I attached the running line to my backing with a nail knot. I've never had a nail knot fail, but have had to re-do them as the coating on the fly line would start to separate. IMO, that's wear & tear, and something that should be done periodically anyway. If it happens right away, then that's a different issue, but I don't recall having that problem, and it's usually a few years before I see evidence of any coating being damaged.

At one time, folks used to tie thread over some connections and seal them with something such as Zap A Gap, but I guess that's not done too much now.
 
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