Final field testing.
On top is that yard sale of a leader connection I made yesterday.
In the middle I made this connection to test cast this morning. My Rio gold with coating stripped off and used a 4 turn Alberto knot to connect to the loop of the furled leader.
Bottom is a factory loop on a Rio SHS 4wt line connected by a loop to loop. I was using the same rod as yesterday and the leaders was finished with 5x to 6 x to practice fly.
My take away after trying the worst connection vs the best connection and finally the factory connection.
The premise that the actual connector the link between the leader and fly line makes a difference in energy transfer is a busted myth in my personal findings. I’m certainly not convinced that a nail knot is going yield any discernible gains over a factory loop. I could get the fly to land smoothly and softly with either setup. I had zero issues getting a nice smooth curve with parallel legs on my loop. The idea that the weight difference in a welded loop would create a difference is also a busted myth. Is it heavier? I’m sure it is by some small amount but not nearly heavy enough to effect the leader turn over or how soft you can get your fly to land 12’ away.
What did come to the forefront as others have said in the thread. It really comes down to how you taper the leader over how it’s connected.
So this turned into a great thread for me thanks to the OP. I walk away actually learning something that was more fact than fiction / anecdotes.
Finally, don’t take this as I don’t think you should try to build the finest leader you can possibly desire.
Im a big fan of learning and rigging terminal tackle myself. It’s why I took this one step further then speculating. I want to know what is absolute for a desired result or a absolute mistake. When and where you need to go all out and when can you apply a short cut. You can then judge for yourself where and when to apply what you have learned.
As always YMMV!