Shooting Head Loops [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Shooting Head Loops

08-22-2012, 01:41 PM
I'm looking for information on loop methods for St Heads. I've used chinese finger, wrapped, welded, nail knotted, and shrink tubing methods. As of this thread, I'm looking for opinions on the best methods (including new ones), for usage when pursuing large fish in the 30# catagory. Any help would be greatfully appreciated.

08-22-2012, 04:25 PM
I experimented with this for many years in the pacific northwest for steelhead fishing. I came up with my own approach in the 80's which I still favor to this day.

Strip the coating to the core for an inch or so. You can use a precision wire stripper or nail polish remover.

Use a pc of braided nylon long enough to go down over the coating that still remains, slinky the core inside the braided line.

Note - use a real braided line not the cheap stuff they sell in small pieces in a bag at flyshops. I have spools of cortland 30# and 50# braid for this purpose.

Fold into a loop. If using heavy line, shave a taper into the coating on the side where the loop meets.

Using 10# maxima and a doll needle, secure the loop with a floating nail knot.

Trim flush with nail clippers and coat with aquaseal thinned with cotol for best results.

I have pulled tips in half but never broke one of these loops in decades of steelhead fishing.

Hope it works out for you.

08-23-2012, 11:27 AM
I take about 10" of braided mono, as per Juro, 30 or 50 lbs depending on the flyline size. Singe each end to stop it fraying. Double one end over to make a loop of the size you want (you may need a much longer piece if you are making a big loop for the running line end of a shooting head to allow you you change heads quickly on stream).
Take a doubled length of single strand leader wire & push it into the side of the longer leg of the loop (towards the end of the loop), bringing it out of the side after about 1/4 inch. Thread the end of the shorter leg through the wire & pull it through.
Now do the same again, but pulling the longer leg through the shorter one.
Repeat one more time, pulling the shorter leg into the longer one, tucking the end inside the longer leg.
You now have a flexible loop (no stiff glue section) that cannot pull out.
I attatch this to the line by slinkying the line into the leftover braid (I like to have about 4-5" left for the overlap) & then tie three separate 10 turn nail knots with 6lb test mono at the far end of the braid.
I use this system for both ends of all my lines & have never had one fail, including my best striper, 42" brought back against an outgoing tide.