How to make The Braided Connector For Your Welded Loop Spey Line;

Ard

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I posted a thread about this quick fix for mono butts cutting the vinyl welded loop on many Spey lines and was ask to post a step by step demonstrating how I make the connector. I will go the distance and post the pictures here, I've came up with a leader system that casts well and has allowed me to escape using the 15' sink tips that have been the bane of my casting for years. I will post the simple instructions for it below the connector SBS.

1. You need a spool or length of braided mono, I am using 30# in this demo. You also need a bobbin threader tool as seen below. If your braided mono is white / clear you may chose to color it with an indelible marker to darken it, your choice.......



2. Back off about 4 - 5" up the braid and insert the wire tool into the hollow core of the braid. Slide the braid onto the wire tool until you have about 1 1/4 inch of braid over the wire tool. Now pop the end of the tool out the braid and insert the tip of the braid into the loop of the wire tool. Your main concern is that you allow enough of a tag end on the braid to make a nice sized loop. No worries if you get it too small, just undo the work and adjust the length of the loop by backing up the point where you insert the wire tool into the braid.



3. Once you determine that the loop size is right; pull the tag end all the way through the hollow core and remove the tool. Now place the loop on something firm and pull to tighten its grip and then trim the butt of the braid.



4. One loop done, one to go. Now insert the tool at the very end of the double braid created by the first loop. Getting this right on the butt of the first will create a nice even connector that will not act as a hinge on the line.



5. Take care to determine the proper length of braid needed to finish the loop and then cut the braided line.

Determine length;



Cut the braid;



6. Now place the tip of the cut braid in the tool and pull it through the hollow core of the line to create the second loop.



7. Place this loop onto something firm and pull it to tighten the grip of the braid onto itself and trim the butts. A dab of Aqua Seal at the point where the doubled lines meet will give the joint a little backbone and you will have no hinging here. You are done.



Trimmed & Sealed;

[/IMG]

The leader rigging:

My system may seem unconventional but in my own fishing the results have been inarguable. I connect the braid you just made to a floating Spey line, the end of which I have dyed Coco Brown for the first ten feet. To the braided connector I fix 3 - 3.5 feet of 25 pound Maxima with a perfection loop on both ends as a butt.

The middle section is a matter of water depth and current speed. I am fishing in a 3 mph current in 6' of depth so the mid is as follows. Hand looped (same as this SBS shows) a 32" length of Beartooth Montana's braided lead head material. [This is available from Beartooth Montana and I have been using it since 1994. It is not real heavy and is extremely supple. It will take an unweighted fly to the bottom in current and depth as I describe.]

Beartooth Fly Fishing on the Madison River--Fly Fishing Shop and Fly Fishing Services

You'll find phone numbers on the page;

I buy this stuff in 10' / 120" lengths and carry pre-looped pieces ranging from 12" to 40" for varied water. I have found that the 32 - 36" length is all that is ever needed on any river I fish here. It takes a bit of a knack but you learn to make good strong loops on both ends of the 32" segment or you can buy them in a 36". You loop this onto the 25 pound Maxima and then tip it off with 4 feet of 15 pound Maxima. This is a suitable rigging for salmon, if you need a lighter tippet then shorten the section of 15# and tip with whatever you prefer.

I have landed fish from a 2 pound jack or pinks up to 40+ pounders on this rigging and never had a break. The leader turns over like a dry fly leader and does so with a size 1.5 or larger salmon fly attached. The leader as described will then sink to 5' in 8 seconds. This is what I have came up with for fishing and I find it much easier to cast than 10 - 15 foot of 'whatever'.

Ard Stetts August 6, 2011

[Edit] I am now making the leader sections using Rio T material available from Rio Products or at your fly shop. You can either use the Rio Braided loops with their tungsten material or simply loop it back and secure it with a nail know and a drop of glue. So far I've tested these made from T-14 and T-20, I made them in 3 and 4' lengths. They work very well and are simple to make up a few.

I have taken to using 30 pound Maxima for the butt now also and it turns the weighted sections better.
 
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Ard

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Hi guys,

I used a leader very similar to this to cast streamers on brown trout for many years. Even using my 9' 5 weight I was able to produce what I now know as 'A single hand Spey Cast'. My 5 weight line had a braided connector attached so I used the 25 pound butt to make things rigid enough to support 24 - 36" of braided lead head in the middle. Then I looped an 8 pound tippet to the lead head and caught fish.

The length of weighted braid is so much easier to cast than split shot and the result is a deep running streamer fly right where you want it. As for the 25 pound butt, the longer the butt section, the deeper the leader runs.

Ard
 

fyshstykr

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Fantastic information Ard,:)
I've since ordered a couple spools of braided mono in 30# and 50#. In the meantime I picked up a package of the ready made loops that slip over the end of the fly line, thinking I can go ahead and make a loop in the open end.
I just made one but had some difficulty in getting the material to pull back into itself, it finally pulled inside but I ended up trashing my threader in the process. I think the wire on the threader may have been too large for the material.

Any other tips would be appreciated.
 

Ard

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Hi fysh,

If you look at the one I use it seems too big also, it's a matter of patience. You have to compress the braid so that it bulges / expands a little then once the threader is inside the hollow core it's a snap. Just slide the material up the tool hook only the very tip into the tool and pull it back through. You'll get it,

Ard
 

Ard

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I can stick it Dan, I just now read your post. I think some of you two hand rod guys should not only make connectors to protect your welded loops but try the leader that I describe in the text. These things work great for fishing deeper waters with un-weighted flies.

Ard
 

fyshstykr

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Bought a couple spools of braided mono, tried to make a couple connectors last night and then again tonight.....it's a good thing there is plenty of material to work with.:eek:

I'll also be making a few of the leaders to try.
 

Ard

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You will need to contact Beartooth Montana (they're on the web) and get yourself 2, 24" and 2, 36" braided lead head loop to loop sections. These are the fast water ticket, I use 32" on a 9 weight line and don't notice the weight at all. If you are using lines lighter than 500 gr you may have to work a little harder than I do when casting.

What weight is your rod / line?
 

Ard

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Yes, this will save you some pain :D The owners of the shop are Dan & Nancy, when you call tell them that I sent you. They will know just what you want, we can talk about this tomorrow or this evening if you want.
 

Ard

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Hi Doug,

The braid I use for the connector is Cortland brand. I have both 30 + 50 pound material, the step by step was done using 30 Lb. braid. What was happening was that with continued use and heavy fish my leader butt (25 Lb. Maxima) was cutting through the loops on the ends of my fly lines.

I had been using braid to make butts for dry fly leaders since about 1990 or thereabouts and so had the material handy. This past spring when I noticed the tip of my new floating line was getting cut by the mono it dawned on me to make a short connector between the line and the leader. I have also had incidents where the nail knots that I had the butts connected to other lines cut through the coating and slide off the line.

If you have lines that are simply cut on the end then I would use the braided connectors sold by Cortland to get the loop. When properly applied with some cement to solidify the bond these are pretty darn good connectors. Only once did one of these come loose and that was on a 9 weight line after repeated landings of king salmon. It took 2 years but the connector finally came loose. I believe that either a welded loop (factory) or a home made loop in conjunction with a 50 Lb. braided connector like I've demoed will offer the most reliable way to connect leaders for big game fishing. All the other connections I've used have failed at one time or other, one of the most frequent complaints regarding any sort of connector is that sooner or later the fly line cracks just at the connection point and hinges and is weakened. Loops end that problem.

Here is a link on making loops;

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/general-discussion/11904-making-loop-your-fly-line.html
 

seajay

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Thanks Ard.
I just sent Beartooth an e-mail to purchase some braided lead head material.
I plan on using this for some deeper creeks here at home. Just some experimenting. Great post defiantly needs a sticky in the how to pages.
Doug
 

Ard

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Thanks Doug, I'm happy if this system will work for you as well as it does for me. If you are ordering either by phone or e-mail tell Dan or Nancy you got the tip on the heads from Ard in Alaska. They seem to be really nice people and when I spoke to Nancy a few months back I told her I would be sending business their way.

The heads are a bit stiff when new but will limber up quickly. For slow moving waters a shorter section will work fine and you increase the length of the head to compensate for swifter flows. using the heavy leader butt will allow for the works to turn over for you well. Don't be mistaken, these don't cast like an unweighted leader and some timing adjustments will be in line for casting. I use a single hand Spey cast when the area limits back casting space and make regular over head casts when conditions allow. The good news is that the head does not hinge like weights will and if you were to strike yourself or your rod the head will not damage either of you.

Ard
 

Ard

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No discount :) but it is a good thing that businesses understand the power of forums such as this to bring business to their sites and stores. Once we have generated enough business (and there has been quite a bit so far) I will give them a call and try to sign them up as a retail business member here.
 
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