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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-22-2008 03:50 PM
grpierce I read through all three pages of knot talk and initially I was going to point out that any welded loop would fail if a clinch knot or something was tied directly to it, but I won't bother elaborate given the overwhelmingness of this thread.

I have some thoughts on the Sharkskin fly line, if you can believe I'm posting it here.

I bought one of these lines for my Winston BIIX because on the Winston rod forums, people were recommending that line for that rod. A week later I finally got a chance to get it out on the water. The first thing I noticed was that shootability is really increased. I could shoot 10 -15 extra feet of line with a so-so cast. The taper is very general purpose, but effective at both turning over heavier flies and relatively delicate presentations. It seems like a triangle taper/weight-forward hybrid in that regard and that's a good thing. The line has extremely low memory and is very supple. I never saw a coil the entire time I fished with it.. A Very Good Thing! I could care less about a little noise of the line going through the guides, but it does make some noise when shooting line.

Here's the negatives: 1) the line digs into my stripping finger and causes unwanted friction there. It reminded me of playing a stringed instrument. When I played guitar, I had callouses on my finger tips, and playing now, after I've fallen out of practice, I get raw fingers if I play too long. For the fly line, I could probably build up a callous if I fished every day, but I don't fish every day, so at the end of the day, I have a "cutt mark" and rawness in the crook of my stripping finger. Mind you this is not from streamer fishing, just managing line for most of a day. I didn't catch any sizeable fish on it, but I can imagine a large fish pulling out line, and causing serious damage unexpectedly. 2) the line, being textured, could potentially cause abrasion to the guide wraps. I DID NOT notice this happening, but looking at my finger and reading a secondhand account in an online forum (granted, that's not a very reliable source), nevertheless, that was enough to make me sell the line. I just bought a $600 fly rod and I'm not interested in doing damage to it with a fly line.

A couple slight negative aspects: 1) the line floats high, but when you pick it up, it causes more of a splash than it needs to. 2) when it gets into a riffle, it quickly starts sinking. 3) with only two color choices, chartreuse and blue heron (dark, dark blue), it would be nice if there were an intermediate color, between invisible and blinding. Perhaps a light blue or a muted orange? 4) expose the line to sand, and the sand grains will get into the micro-texturing of the fly line, and sand flying across guide wraps can't be a good thing.

Anyway, if you have tough fingers, like shooting fly line ridiculous long distances without much effort, and want to risk damaging your rod guide wraps, the fly line might be for you. As for me, I sold it and bought a non textured line.
04-14-2008 09:59 AM
Sharkskin, shmarkskin...

Hi, thought I'd actually post something relevant to this topic. Ran across this and also the original post on Winston's forum.

Indian Rock:
"I just talked to a guide buddy on the left coast that works in a circle of pretty heavy hitter, well known, some well published guides... they have all fished the sharkskin lines now for 70-80+ days and have come to similar conclusions (primarily 8-10 weight steelie and salmon fishing):
1. it initially shoots and floats very well
2. it doesn't hold up... under magnification they see what was described to me as the nubbins starting to be pulled back to create little flaps = lots of friction
3. it does groove the guides, one of their rods (a relatively new rod) has been sent back to Sage for a re-wrap for new guides...
4. the word they got from SA is that it didn't go through their standard product testing prior to market release (for $100 they can afford to replace a few until they get it right?)
5. they have all abandoned the product
Found this interesting. Personally, for $100, I'll wait till this has seen a few seasons field testing by others less fiscally challenged. But, of course I'd be the one posting this, since I'm in the midst of a SA boycott until they get their $#!t together. Life's too short, man... course, seems like a majority of the FF world thinks their stuff is the hottest since sunburn. To each his own.

04-13-2008 10:09 PM
Dave17 I just saw this thread for the first time. Back to the line. I was able to cast a sharkskin on a casting pond out in CA that had distance markers. The line is slick. We were both throwing a 5 wt on a Z Axis and were hitting 100-110 ft without much effort. Not bad for a 5 wt.

There is no doubt that the line creates a whizzing noise as it shoots through the guides. It didn't bother me but I could see some people not liking it.

BTW There was absolutely nothing wrong with the loop or first 12" of the fly line
04-13-2008 11:39 AM
juro Not sure what all the fuss is about, my nail knots are quick, strong and stealthy.

They only fail where a braid would fail - a snag too high up the line for the taper or tippet to break (if tied right).

I suspect people who are failing knots are pulling the leader to tighten the knot and/or pulling the knot too tight from that end.

Both ends must be compressed evenly to form the proper shape, which is really two cones of compression facing each other. Just hold the line-side tag in the teeth and inspect the compression before going too far.

If you pull the leader it creates a single cone of compression pointing to the leader away from a single shear point.

An albright is weaker, clunky and never seems to tighten right with thick mono.

I see people with flourescent orange and green braided loops on the end of a clear line with a flourocarbon leader. OK good strategy.

You can tell when a nail knot is tied correctly just by looking at it. The needle lets the tyer form it perfectly and it takes less than 30 seconds to tie a perfect nail knot with it conveniently on a snap swivel on the lanyard. It's so slim it doesn't get in the way like that other tool which requires that the line be threaded thru the loops the long way.

To each his own.
04-13-2008 07:21 AM
josko I use Albright knots, front and back. When tying to spectra backing, I do a 40 turn bimini in braid, then Albright double line to the fly line. I always understood this way I get the u-shape in fly line core to take the load. With a nail knot, you tie to the coating, then rely on shear strength to transmit pull to the line core. Trimming the flyline tag end diagonally and close to the other line keeps it from catching in rod guides. I lock the knot if tying to backing, but not with the bulky tapered leader. I've never had an Albright fail.
Do others see a disadvantage to an Albright compared to a nail knot?

A loop sounds great, but it makes a noticable splash, and IMHO, hurts presentation. I've also had several of them fail. (I guess from abuse. )
04-12-2008 11:26 PM

Funny how we experience different results. With Cortland clear, Rio intermediate and Deep sea, and Scientific Anglers striper lines over the last decade I have used nail knots without said slip or cut-thru problems.
Unlike Juro I have had the slip-off happen with mono-core lines and seen it happen to other anglers (clients). Last time it happened was on my new Cortland 555 line which my good buddy at the flyshop took the liberty of rigging the way he always does: a nailknot and thin coat of UV knotsense. Can't remember what it was I hooked - bone, tarpon, jack, something - but it pulled right off on the hookset, leaving that sad little mono nub sticking out. Never again. I think on your standard braided cores (SA, ect) the venerable nail knot is fine, but not on mono cores.

Just my 2 bits to this old thread. I use the loop2loop method myself, but simplified. I double back the flyline and tie a couple nail knots w/ 10-lb mono about 1/2" apart. A perfection loop in the butt end of my leader and bob's your uncle. Now, I have had the odd occasion to do a field-fix of this, and it does take a couple minutes. By the way, I don't bother with fancy knotting tools or even needles or WD40 tubes. I just carry a little baggy with those fancy "cortland loops" from braided mono. I tie my nail knots old fashioned style and stick the tag end into the braided line and pull on the other end. This way I can wrap my mono fairly tight but the braid still pulls the tag back through easily.

So far this method has lasted pretty well, and seems pretty smooth through the guides, though I try to avoid that if possible. About once a year I have to clip the loop off and retie due to hinging behind the last nail knot, which is what I feel is the biggest downside to this method - the stiffness of the line changes very suddenly at that doubled line. But, it's a very minor concern for me.

All the best,
01-17-2008 10:00 AM
Sean Juan Thats probably what I'll start doing, Jim. I think the difference in visibility between heavy fluro and thinner wire is most likely a non-issue.
01-17-2008 09:53 AM
jimS Hey Sean, why not use a short piece of Tyger Wire for the blues. I makeup a few wire bite tippets that have a loop on one end and some ratty blies already connected. With loop-to-loop connections, its easy to make the switch when the blues show.
01-16-2008 09:29 PM
Sean Juan Jim thanks for that improved Arbor knot - I'll do that from now on.

For the braid, I don't use any shrink tubing I just tie a nail knot with 10# mono to prevent the fraying and coat that knot with Aqua-seal. It is important that you do not use any glue on the length of braid over the fly line since its ability to collapse is what makes the connection so strong. For a splicing tool I use a wire bobbin threader.

One question I have is does anyone else "fuse" their knots. Specific example when fishing in an area where there are Blues and bass with a sinking line I may only use a 1 - 2' leader of 40# fluro which makes an adequet bite tippet - with such a short leader seems silly to step down and add a shock tippet . A few time I've hooked into a lobster pot, rock or some other immovable object and had to break off the fly. With such a heavy set up its a bit of a crap shoot as to wear exactly the break occurs - so I have gotten in the habit of putting a second overhand knot when I tie a Kreh loop whenever I'm fishing around rocks. I figure if it reduces the leader strength to 20# thats more than enough and gives me a predictable break location if I get hung up.

I suspose it would be better to just tie a proper leader with the shock tippet, but hey so far so good...
01-16-2008 09:52 AM
jimS Connections to the front of the flyline have been well covered. Now, what knots or systems are used to connect the flyline to backing and backing to spool arbor for maximum security?

A loop-to-loop connection between the flyline and the backing is my preferred method for both strength and ease of changing flylines. If the flyline doesn't have a factory loop on the back end, then a braided double catch loop should be attached. Running line sections of most flylines are small enough in diameter to use 35lb Gudebrod braid. The backing loop is a 30-turn bimini in dacron, or a 60-turn in GSP. Make the backing loop large enough to insert a spooled flyline. As Sean said, make sure the loop-to-loop is a handshake connection.

Backing to arbor to avoid being spooled on that lifetime fish should be as strong as possible. The standard arbor knot is a poor knot for strength. Wrapping the backing around the arbor five times in the opposite direction of normal travel with a six-turn uni-knot is my preferred approach. Wrapping in the opposite direction around the arbor tightens the backing on the arbor to prevent spinning.

While we are on the topic of knots, the tippet to fly knot used most widely is either the clinch or improved clinch knot. Both are inferior to the palomar and Kreh loop, which are rated at 100 per cent in both copolymer and fluoro. A six wrap clinch knot is rated at 85 per cent, and the improved clinch knot is 75 per cent.
01-16-2008 09:39 AM
juro Cool thanks Dave

Now for an important question - have you tried the unwound 24 gauge D string (ala Hendrix et. al.) yet?

I am ordering a batch from Ernie Ball and will save one for you if you are interested in trying it.
01-16-2008 08:16 AM
BigDave I do one nail knot at the end of the sleeve and put a drop of aquaseal over it.

I also put a small drop of aquaseal where the tip of the fly line enters the doubled 'core' of the braid.

If anyone wants to give it a try, there are good instructions on Blanton's site. A folded (unwound) guitar string is really all you need for a splicing tool.
01-16-2008 07:23 AM
juro I use the braided loops as well in certain applications and have bulk spools of braided nylon running line, splice tools to make my own, etc. Also a critical part of my hybrid line loops.

Question for you braided loop guys... do you use a nail knot to secure the braided loop as I do?
01-16-2008 07:09 AM
Sean Juan The double catch braided loops are what I use on all my fly lines and all my shooting heads. They are mostly made from 50# but I also use 35# for thin diameter lines like LC-13 and most running lines.

The welded loops will break long before the braided ones.

But to speak to the original point, whatever loop you use, you need to use another loop to make the connection. The only "knot" that you should use on a loop is the loop-to-loop "handshake knot." Anything else weakens the system just like an overhand "wind knot" will reduce the strength of a leader.
01-15-2008 04:06 PM
BigDave On the topic of braided loops: As JimS mentioned, If you make your own double-catch loops from gudebrod 50# braided mono, you will not be dissapointed. Nothing I have used is as strong (you will probably break the fly line first) and they slide through the guides like butter. It's a great conection for sinking and/or big-game lines, but the loops are slightly more visible and spray a little on the first backcast. Not what I would use on the flats where a nail or albright knot is more appropriate.

For trout of any size, I dont' recall ever having a single failed nail knot connection.
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