loop knots [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: loop knots

06-11-2001, 07:23 PM
I beacme a firm believer of using a loop knot to connect my fly to tippet a couple seasons ago--I REALLY believed and still do believe the fly gets better action.

However, already once this year I lost what felt like a nice fish on a hard strike when the line broke at the tip of the loop where it hits the fly eye, and yesterday in the Harbor my companion had the same thing happen.

Just to be clear, the knot is not failing, it returns intact, but the loop is split in two where the fly should be.

I'm not even sure what loop knot I tie, but I guess it doesn't even matter since it appears the impact of the hook eye against the loop is causing the breakage.

The knot is growing out of favor with me, despite my belief that the free swinging fly is the way to go.

Any one else have this problem? Is there a solution besides using 20 lb tippet...

06-11-2001, 08:52 PM

Interesting topic. In fact this same subject came up on another board recently. It seems that the cause was thought to be related to abrasion caused by an imperfect finish at the eye of the hook. I've not personally experienced this phenomenon although it would make sense. I'm a great believer in loop knots for fly connection for anything other than droppers or dry flies. I also try to remember to change leaders after a prolonged fight with a large fish and always start the day with a whole new setup. I figure a couple of bucks worth of mono to be a fair price to pay for eliminating one possible cause of losing the fish of a lifetime.

06-11-2001, 09:33 PM
Jeff ---- I experienced having some hooks in a pkg not having the eye of the hook closed as well as the majority of the of its remaining brothers. This again can result in the loop lodging in that imperfection and abrading causing seperation on the strike or during the play.


06-11-2001, 10:22 PM
jeff, what's wrong with 20Lb floro? most of the guys I know use it as thier standard. Tom D

06-11-2001, 11:30 PM
my .02 on this topic (good topic BTW) is that some flies are greatly enhanced by the loop knot, others don't need it. So the advantage applies to only a subset of the flies you fish. Unless there is some other advantage I don't know about besides increased motion to the fly?

The disadvantages include double the tippet for the fish to see (I know I can see them a lot better), a weaker knot than say a palomar, increased wind resistance, susceptibility to imperfections in hook eyes (although I have seen them fail by 'opening' up which indicates a fault of the knot's strength).

Since I switched to Tiemco, Daichi, and other high QC brands ($$ I know) the eye imperfections have become a rarity not to mention the chemically sharpened points. Mustads are a great value, but I won't risk my precious few steelhead, salmon, cow striper or bonefish opportunities on a cheap hook.

Anyway, I am a straight palomar knot kind of guy, with a clinch now and then - only when the tippet is so short a palomar would put the blood knot to the taper too close to the fly and the fish are breaking so I don't have time to replace the shortened tippet.

Yesterday I started the day with a palomar knot, hit a sequence of hard fighting stripers in an inlet, then sight cast on the flats landing stripers up to 33", then landed a medium sized bluefish in the 6-7 pound class w/o steel, all on the same knot. After the rare blufish landing the tippet was hosed but the knot is still on the eye of the fly.

When I used to fish trout a lot and went to fine leaders I stopped losing those hard fighting holdovers to popped knots on spider-web fine tippets by switching to a palomar. Haven't switched back since.

On the down side it takes a little more tippet to tie a palomar than an improved clinch, although much less than a loop knot takes. Also people who haven't practiced it a lot get a curly-cue effect from over-tightening when drawn shut. It's possible to impact no pressure on tippet if the loop is drawn down correctly.

Anyway, the best thing to do is to fish with what *you* have confidence in, everyone's needs and opinions vary to some extent and within their target areas they might be 100%. My observations over the years have led me to the simple approach of using on super-tough little knot called the palomar.

06-12-2001, 08:40 AM
Interesting feedback. I guess I should have pointed out that the most recent cases the breakage has occurred on the first fish/hit of the day, so it has not been a case of post-fight abrasion. I had not really thought about imperfections in the metal of the hook eye, I suppose that could play a part, but my gut sense was that these were impact related. Funny thing is that I had heard other people complain about this with these knots and just shrugged it off the last few seasons because it never happened before.

I guess my point is that I am losing confidence in this knot unfortunately. Maybe stronger tippet is the answer, or higher quality hooks. I just don't like losing fish and I do like the free swinging fly, particularly for dead drifting in curents or rips (good side to side motion).

Tom, I have nothing against 20 lb. per se, I just prefer 12 or 16 in certain applications.

Tod D
06-12-2001, 11:14 AM
Can anyone recommend websites or other resources for tying the palomar knot (& others...)?


06-12-2001, 11:17 AM
Was gonna draw one up but this site (stren) has it nailed already...

here you go...

Palomar (http://www.stren.com/stren/knot1.htm)

Seems so unlikely but it is the surgeons knot principle applied to a hook eye.

Worthwhile also:

Knot library (http://www.stren.com/stren/knots.htm)

all of the illustrations are very clear.

More knots, but not as clear from Maxima...

Maxima knot page (http://www.maxima-lines.com/lineFrame.htm)

Great deal... FREE

free book of knots (http://store.yahoo.com/tackle/anmonbookofk.html)

06-12-2001, 12:18 PM
Knot library is a great site. It shows the non-slip mono loop which I have used for the past several seasons. This knot hasn't failed me yet - even going down to 8lb fluro for bonefish and those guys know all about impact! ;)

06-12-2001, 12:35 PM
that is exactly the knot giving me grief--the non-slip mono loop...

...maybe I will get over it.

Thanks for the feedback all.

Tod D
06-12-2001, 01:59 PM
Echo JeffG - Thanks for the reference sites.