Thanks for giving me this alternative to sink tip/sinking lines Ard. I'm going to give it a try this spring for rainbows and browns in the early high water time. I just talked to Nancy, I believe, at Beartooth fly shop and ordered the lead heads in 24, 36, and 48 inch, plus some 25lb maxima for butts. Great idea and I can't wait to try it. -JohnI 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.
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;
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; if you call the shop, tell Nancy that Ard Stetts from Alaska sent you and she will know what you are after.
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