Question about nail knot [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Question about nail knot

05-24-2007, 04:26 PM
Hello I know these knot questions come up over and over again.I fish mainly for Atlantics and use a 30 lb. butt section.I insert a needle up through the end of the flyline and heat the needle a little so the hole stays open.I shave the end of the maxima with a razor so it threads up through the hole.(I got that from this site.Then comes the tricky part.I make the five wraps insert the leader up through the tube and when I go to pull tight the wraps are never uniform.This part to me is like trying to pick flyshit out of pepper with boxing gloves on.I have that other miracle tool,must be a lot of brass in India!!My dilemma is how to I get these blasted wraps to come uniform thanks Rod:lildevl:

05-24-2007, 09:15 PM
Use a double-ended doll needle instead of those fancy nail knot tools. $2 at Maries sewing centers.

THis allows you to make the wraps perfectly and then thread the line thru the eye of the needle, then pull the needle out. The wraps are never disturbed thru the whole process.

The double-eye lets you snap it onto a clip for your vest.

I've been doing this method for years and don't think it can be bettered, personally.

05-24-2007, 10:23 PM
Thanks Juro that makes a lot more sense you can keep your eye on the wraps I will have to get some tomorrow:)

05-24-2007, 10:33 PM
I forgot to add...

the secret to tightening a nail knot is that pulling one end tightens the opposite set of wraps.

So pull the tag to tighten the wraps near the leader, then pull the leader to tighten the wraps on the line side, alternating if necessary and using the fingernails to correct if needed.

I never bother threading the leader thru the line, it will probably affect the tightening of the wraps on the line side (dunno).

Another option I like is the epoxy splice Tony Gades showed me. Strip the coating, push the leader butt into the core and up inside the coating (bulge will appear) then a drop of zap a gap. No knot at all.

Again with the needle this is rarely necessary and it's so thin it's never in the way on the vest or chestpack.

I wear a Morning Star lanyard with one on a clip along with clippers (.99 cent drug store clippers with bead chain removed - I use the bead chain for bonefish fly eyes)

05-25-2007, 09:55 AM
I tie nail knots, not needle-knail knots, but since the premise is the same, I will share what I have found:

I don't like the tie fast tool but some manufacturers make a set of nippers with a small nail knot tool that I find works very well. It only works if you remember to keep tension on the leader end of the mono, pressed onto the tool with your thumb (left hand) and pull the tag end slowly with a pair of pliers (right hand) to constrict the knot and pull it off of the tool and onto the fly line.

If you do this the wraps will always come out in a perfect barrell before you cinch it down all the way. It works even with 45# hard mono. You can make sure all wraps are aligned and move the fly line around inside the barrel until perfect and then tighten it up with the leader end wrapped around your palm (LH) and a pair of pliers on the tag (RH).

I struggled with it as well until a friend showed me to keep the leader tight between the tool and your thumb. Then a light went on.

Hope this helps.

05-25-2007, 10:40 AM
You can try doubling up the fly line to make a channel to feed the leader back through. It works every time and no need for tools.

1. Fold fly line over
2. Make wraps very tight around flyline
3. Slide leader back through the channel between the doubled up fly line
4. Slide doubled up part of fly line out
5. Knot should already be very tight but pull tight a little more

I struggled with nail knots forever until I discovered this method. Now I can do twelve wrap knots that are perfectly alligned on the first try every time.

05-25-2007, 11:13 AM
Or since I keep forgetting to have Juro to get me some of those needles a doubled over piece of mono works as well using the same principle Juro does (put the tag through the loop in the mono and pull it through). Fast and easy and comes out perfect every time and one usually has mono on them.


05-25-2007, 07:01 PM
Yes I like the line loop trick as well, however haven't had to do it since I've picked up a handful of these nifty needles.

I have several back-ordered at Maries Sean, when they come in hit me up for one.

06-04-2007, 12:11 PM
I have always had good results with a bobbin. For tippets over 7-8#, I'm not crazy about a nail knot and usually tie an albright.

06-05-2007, 05:05 PM
Thanks guys .Juro I tried tying the knot the way you suggested an have had a significant improvement, not 100% more like 90% :smokin: so I will have to practice some more.Dave I like the Albright ,I double over the flyline and use a drop of Super glue I find this helps holding the loop while wrapping the mono .That other idea of peeling back the covering and adding Zap a Gap I fish Atlantics I don't know how much faith I would put in this method I have never seen it done.Thanks

Bob Pauli
06-11-2007, 02:08 PM
What is the largerst number of wraps for a secure nail knot for:
- trout
- anadramous
- salt water bigguns

Or do you use the same number for wraps for every nail knot?

06-11-2007, 02:54 PM
Depends on the diameter of the leader butt section but I go with 5-7 wraps for everything.

Nail knot is fine for most bass n' blues but for bigger more powerful fish i would use a double-trap braided loop or whipped loop.

06-11-2007, 02:57 PM
Good to hear from you Bob -

I just do 7-8 as a rule for all three - but when you say SW biguns that may depend on whether you mean sw biguns or SW BIGUNS, not sure if a nail knot is always good enough. Certainly stripers but not bluefin tuna.

Bob Pauli
06-11-2007, 04:33 PM
Thanks, Juro and Big Dave. I found myself going with 5 recently, and wondering. 7 it will be.

Juro, the GGACC did a good job this year and decided its Spey O Rama 2008 date comparitively quickly. That being April 18-20, 2008. I sure hope to see you there.

06-11-2007, 04:45 PM
Sounds good - I sure missed it!

Those dates look good.

08-19-2007, 07:53 AM

Could you post a pic of the needle? I can't seem to picture it and don't understand what application would call for eyes on both ends like that. I would love it if you could supply some manufacturer info so I can try to chase one down here in Colorado.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.


08-19-2007, 06:31 PM
I ordered a bunch of them and will see if they came in yet.

I keep one on my Morning Star Lanyard which comes with lots of spots to clip it to.