The Hinge

LOC

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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!
 
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sweetandsalt

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Please note, LOC, that to perform the Parabolic Test as an indication of smooth energy transfer, the connection between line and leader must be at the apex of the curve.
 
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LOC

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Please note, LOC, that to perform the Parabolic Test as an indication of smooth energy transfer, the connection between line and leader must be at the apex of the curve.
Thanks, S&S I understand that from your post and image. (y)
After testing I found I really did not need to take it to that level to get a proper turn over and had plenty of energy in my loop to make a very accurate and soft fly cast.

I purposely went with a softer leader to make it harder to energize the loop and see where I stood after that.
I could of used my stiffer twisted leader I used in the yard sale connection which would have been closer to what you posted but I already knew how the results would be if I had gone that route.
 
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osseous

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Curious about your testing- did you tie on suitable fly and try to hit a target with each setup, or just observe the shape of your loop?

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osseous

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Regarding the connection of a furled or braided mono leader to the flyline. It need not be loop to loop- on a braided leader, you can snip off the loop and insert the flyline in the center- then secure it with a nail knot made with dacron, mono, whatever you like. Or super glue and some shrink tubing.

With braid or furled, you can nail knot a butt section of nylon mono to the fly line, and then snell that to your leader. No loop to loop~

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LOC

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Curious about your testing- did you tie on suitable fly and try to hit a target with each setup, or just observe the shape of your loop?

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I have a 6" round tree stump @ 30' for a target and tree stump @ 50' I hit every morning so it's easy for me to make a comparison.
I fish salt most of the time throwing weighted flies much larger then any dry fly.
Casting a dry fly setup is a luxury it's like casting nothing at all.
So yes and yes. :)
 
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LOC

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Regarding the connection of a furled or braided mono leader to the flyline. It need not be loop to loop- on a braided leader, you can snip off the loop and insert the flyline in the center- then secure it with a nail knot made with dacron, mono, whatever you like. Or super glue and some shrink tubing.

With braid or furled, you can nail knot a butt section of nylon mono to the fly line, and then snell that to your leader. No loop to loop~

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Good tips for sure lots of ways to rig a line. I was going for a common denominator with the loop to loop. Thanks!
 

osseous

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I have a 6" 30' tree stump for a target and and a 50 ' tree stump I hit every morning so it's easy for me to make a comparison.
I fish salt most of the time throwing weighted flies much larger then any dry fly.
Casting a dry fly setup is a luxury it's like casting nothing at all.
So yes and yes. :)
When I teach casting, I observe loop shape, and can i.d. a hinge very distinctly. I have to, because loop shape qspeaks to what the student is doing right and what they're doing wrong. One student, using an Airflo Chard line, could NOT throw a flat loop no matter what we tried. Being somewhat of an Airflo fan, I didn't initially suspect the line- until I cast his rod. That line (may have been a defect?) Had a massive soft spot in the tip section that acted like a hinge in a leader- opening his loops... and mine. It wasn't technique, it was physics. I know that a hinge affects accuracy, as it affects loop control- because I see it all the time when I teach. With a bad hinge, the fly will kick upward very obviously- and land in a pile, or be taken by the wind to one side or the other. I want the fly to land at the far end of a series of diminishing S curves in the leader.

There is a reason we have tapered lines, and there is a reason we have tapered leaders. Can we fish without them? Of course. But they are not without benefit.


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Ard

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A for instance would be the way I fish for salmon and steelhead unless conditions dictate that any weight at all will result in becoming snagged.

I'd call my setup a three step leader, the leader butt is 60 pound mono with diameter of 0.71 mm or 0.028 inch and I expect to move up to using 80 pound this season because the 60 becomes quite limber with use ......... That butt is generally 6 foot or more and connects to a 4 foot section of zinc impregnated line which is quite limber. That section will then connect to a 4 foot leader of 0X RIO powerflex. Given a proper cast that leader being around 14 to 15 foot in length will unfurl nicely even at great distances.

Of course if I were back fishing dry flies on a spring creek I'd just use a quality tapered leader and add tippet as needed ;)
 

LOC

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When I teach casting, I observe loop shape, and can i.d. a hinge very distinctly. I have to, because loop shape qspeaks to what the student is doing right and what they're doing wrong. One student, using an Airflo Chard line, could NOT throw a flat loop no matter what we tried. Being somewhat of an Airflo fan, I didn't initially suspect the line- until I cast his rod. That line (may have been a defect?) Had a massive soft spot in the tip section that acted like a hinge in a leader- opening his loops... and mine. It wasn't technique, it was physics. I know that a hinge affects accuracy, as it affects loop control- because I see it all the time when I teach. With a bad hinge, the fly will kick upward very obviously- and land in a pile, or be taken by the wind to one side or the other. I want the fly to land at the far end of a series of diminishing S curves in the leader.

There is a reason we have tapered lines, and there is a reason we have tapered leaders. Can we fish without them? Of course. But they are not without benefit.


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Oh yes I totally get you...
Before all this, my experience with hinging came from teaching fly fishing the surf with guys using too short of a shooting head on their setups.
Once you start to get below 26' on a flat piece of T-8, T-10 you are running into hinge territory because the turn over becomes abrupt and the entire head becomes a flat spot. In the surf it's not the end of the world, but casting a hingy fly line is not the way to spend your morning if it is easily avoidable.:)
 
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osseous

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Oh yes I totally get you...
Before all this, my experience with hinging came from teaching fly fishing the surf with guys using two short of a shooting head on their setups.
Once you start to get below 26' on a flat piece of T-8, T-10 you are running into hinge territory because the turn over becomes abrupt and the entire head becomes a flat spot. In the surf it's not the end of the world, but casting a hingy fly line is not the way to spend your morning if it is easily avoidable.:)
Those things will rip your hat off, too! 5/0 Grocery Flies do not belong anywhere but in the water!

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thom

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Velocity is my friend whenever a leader does not roll over. This is true for a tiny Parachute Adams in clear water presentation or for a big bass bug. This is no to to say that leaders do not play a role in the degree of difficulty but only that technique overcomes many issues.
 
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