What Do You Use For A Fly Line to Leader Connection?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by LCnSac, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Probably lots of strong opinions on this one. If the line has a factory loop, I use it. Some cut them off. If not, I usually nail knot on a few inches of Amnesia with a perfection loop for a deeper sinker; if it's a floater I'll use 15-20lb. Maxima. Sometimes I'll have the fly shop weld on a loop if they can do it; it's about 50/50 I've found and depends on the line. Some people take a lot of time and braid their own loops. Even though I've never had a connection fail, I don't know the best system.

    What's yours?
    Ron McNeal likes this.
  2. K.I.S.S.

    loop to loop
    Olive bugger and TK-421 like this.
  3. If the line has a loop on it I use that. If not, I nail knot a short section of mono to the line and tie a loop on that.
    weiliwen, Cold, David Dalan and 2 others like this.
  4. In the 70's I use to poke a hole in the end of the line and stick my leader in that, glued together with epoxy. During the time I used that method I had two of the butt sections pull out, one on a record sized log and the other on an average sized fish up in BC. After that I went to my method in the post above.
  5. If there is a loop I usually cut it off. Nail knot leader directly to end of line. Coat nail knot with knot sense to create a smooth elongated football shape. No loops=no snags. A quick change loop to loop connection becomes irrelevant when you only change your entire leader once or twice each season.

    Krusty likes this.
  6. If you're only changing your leader once or twice a season, you need to fish more! :D
    Sawyer, Peyton00 and Ben Swaner like this.
  7. Back in the day, it was considered, by my mentors and peer group, to take a length of heavy mono, say 20 or 24 stuff, and thread it in a needle and push it up the end of the fly line about 1/2 inch and take it out the side of the fly line. Secure with a nail not and some pliobond. Tie a prefection loop in the other end with a small section of leader coming out of the fly line.

    In all honesty, I use the factory loops now, or tie on a small piece of mono with a nail not. Sometimes, old school is old school for a good reason.
  8. I must fish way different than a lot of folks, because I burn through leaders. I fish tight to cover and break my tippet and leaders a ton. I am also using multi nymph rigs when I do that. I don't break off hardly ever if I am just using dry flies though.
    Anyhow, I mostly use loop to loop since I change them often.
  9. I do not trust loop to loop connections for anything other than tiny trout.

    For my lines 6wt and above, I use nail knot for leader to fly line and a double albright knot for fly line to backing, unless I get someone to tie the double bimini for me.
  10. LC, a few winters back someone asked this same question and many guys supported the loop to loop system. Since it was winter and I had little to do I decided to try L2L and see how it works. I went overboard and tied heavy mono perfection knots and nail knotted them to all my fly lines-about 15 at the time. Then I ordered a bunch of new tippits for spring fishing and was ready to be L2L hip like everyone else. Once the season started reality set in. Loops don't go through guides well and have a tendency to pluck vegetable matter out of the water on retrieves. I didn't like the way they cast or how they fell on the water.

    Bottom line for me was that the price for a couple of minutes of convenience there were more negatives than positives. I have carried the same smooth ended bobbin in my vest for over 30 years and can nail knot a leader on in just a couple of minutes. Not a big deal and I probably need the break anyway.

    So I started over and got rid of all the loops, nail knotted leaders to the lines, smoothed them over with Pliobond and never had another problem with leader to fly line connections. So yeah, I am one of those anachronisms that cuts the loop off of the new fly line and the new leader and puts them together with a proper connection. Sometimes the efficiency of the old ways trumps the convenience of today's hurry-up society.

  11. I've tried both loop to loop and knots. To me, it seems the loop to loop system casts a little strange (hinge effect) but what bothers me most is the double loops passing through the rod tip-top line guide. A knot, such as the nail-less knot that I use, passes through the tip-top much easier than two loops.

    Of course for an interchangeable head system you must use loops but attaching a knot-less tapered leader to my fly line, I prefer using a nail-less knot. I coat the knot with Knot-Sense and it passes through the line guides like butter.
  12. I use a tool (Tie-On?) for nail knots, and it's fast. I use the nail knot for both ends of the fly line. I like to use Amnesia whenever I can for the perfection loop. It's thin for its strength and passes through the guides well. The problem comes with the leader butts as they are pretty thick with a perfection loop. Using a polyleader helps as the connection point is thinner.I have no choice as I do use tips and polyleaders and tend to change them out given what is working at the time. I also find the need to lengthen or shorten leaders depending on the size of fly, and sometime you get up in the taper too far with a short leader so that needs to be changed out. I do agree loops are used for convenience over utility.

    That's one reason I love striper fishing. So simple. Two rod setups, one floater and one sinker, and maybe four flies 90% of the time. No screwing with tips, leader sizes and lengths, etc.
  13. I have this back to my roots fantasy where I only have two (2-piece) rods, tie all my own flies, use a vest, and attach my knotted leaders with a nail knot.

  14. There is no doubt in my mind that I should fish more. However, if you are willing to rebuild your leaders as needed, say from 3X on down to tippet, the butt end of a leader will last a long time. This logic applies to Trout fishing only.

    GAT and TK-421 like this.
  15. You shouldn't of brought this up. I suck big time at trying to do a nail knot. I even have trouble with the tool to tie a nail knot. Before the fly lines had loops I usually had the fly shop tie me on a butt section. Loops came out and I was in seventh heaven. No more knots to tie and fuddle with my mind.

    All other knots are all right to tie. Tippet to leader is no problem, Tippet to fly no problem. These two knots are easy. I just shake so it does take me awhile to tie them up.
  16. And you rode your horse to the river! :)
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  17. Unless something odd happens, I change the tapered leader to my fly line about once a year... if that. As Tim mentioned, your primary leader lasts a long time when you simply add tippet material to replace the used tip section of the tapered leader.

    I thought that's what everyone did ???
  18. That's what I do if the general leader construction is appropriate. I use blood knots for the tippet. Double surgeons seem to break easily in my hands.

    With a poly leader you only need to replace a couple of feet of tippet once in awhile. I haven't used them long enough to know how long they last, but probably a couple of years easily. They don't always cast well but I sure like the ease of use and flexibility in quick changes.
  19. Do you use tippet rings? The time I tried a polyleader I kept having to strip coating to expose more mono. That thing got really short! I have leader OCD, however.
    Krusty likes this.
  20. I have tried all of the above and always come back to my life time supply of leader links!
    Steve Unwin likes this.

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