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bcasey 04-18-2001 09:05 AM

Leader connections
I thought I read some time ago about using the nail knot to attach the leader and tippet? If anyone can elaborate, I've been using loops, but if memory serves,big fish require a better connection. Also, should the knot be glued, and with what type of glue? HELP

juro 04-18-2001 11:19 AM

You know what they say, the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. Do you mean from flyline to leader or from leader to tippet?

Typically, the leader butt is nail knotted to the fly line. Certain fly lines require special attention, like a loop.

(+) A loop allows one to swap the entire leader easily in the field. (-) It's much more obvious than a nail knot for those who care about that - I do on the flats.

(+) A nail knot is stealthy and works on most flylines. (-) It isn't as easy as swapping the whole leader and doesn't work well on all flylines.

The knot used to attach different pieces of line together to form a whole leader is the blood knot. You can also use a surgeon's knot for this purpose. These knots hold different diameter lines together so you can taper the leader from fat to skinny - the skinniest part on the 'business' end being the tippet.

It's good to know the blood knot so you can replace the tippet if it gets frayed or damaged, or if you hook a blue!

Someone recently posted a great link to a knot site... worth a search.

bcasey 04-19-2001 06:25 AM

Looks like I'm outa my league, 3 posts vs. 3244 ! wow, oh well, continuing with the dumb questions. From leader butt to flyline, Glue? I get the part about blood knot for leader to tippet, stealthy, but a pain to change. Therefore only when targeting big fish on the flats when stealth and strength count. Am I missing anything? Only time on the water with the big dogs can help me now.Thanks for your patience and understanding. We all gotta start somewhere.

DFix 04-19-2001 07:45 AM

My opinion alone.

Get hold of Sosin/Kreh's "Practical Fishing Knots II" and your answers will be readily at hand. Mine's not in front of me, but it's about $15, if I'm close. You might also look up knots in search engines here, FFSW, other board threads and Internet search values as several sites exist for theoretical info.

For now, concensus seems to be nail knot to flyline; some use braided loops, preference weighs heavily on choices.

John Desjardins 04-19-2001 08:51 AM

I'll second DFix's book suggestion. It's a good reference on knot tying that is easy to understand.

As far as loops go I am a proponent of their use. This is mostly due to having broken off 1/2 a wisdom tooth when I was stupid enough to hold the tag end of a leader in my mouth while I tightened a nail knot.

The loops should be small, about 1/2 inch in length. For the fly line I use the whipped loops in the Lefty Kreh/ Mark Sossin book rather than the Cortland loops that are sold in shops. My experience with the Cortland loops is that eventually they slip and at best you have a hinge in between your line & leade. At worst you have no leader, fly and fish. On the leader I use a small perfection loop.

Adrian 04-19-2001 09:31 AM

I use both whipped loop a la Kreh/Sosin and also braided loops. For inshore work I prefer the braided loop since they make a smoother connection which is helpful when using longer leaders up to 20 ft. However, I don't trust the plastic sleeves or store-bought loops. They're easy to make from 30lb braid and I always whip the braided loop connection using the same spinning bobbin technique.

For offshore / bluewater situations I would go with the whipped loop since there's a risk of the plastic coating being stripped from the flyline using a braided loop. The initial surge from an ocean speedster can do as good a job on the connection as a pair of wire strippers!

bcasey 04-23-2001 10:38 AM

OK, you've convinced me. I'm gettin the book. Thanks for steering me in the right direction guys. Helps alot!

ssully 04-23-2001 08:03 PM


Backing to line albright, line to leader albright, perfection loop, loop to loop on leader.

Pliobond on the 1st & 2nd knot.

Nathan Smith 05-05-2001 06:00 PM

I go to go with sully on the albright for the leader to line. Especially with the new slick lines. Nails are good for trout but albrights are a 100 knot and one you get the hand of it are not to much harder then a nail.

john 05-07-2001 11:02 PM

I take the material the braided loops are made of, put it over the line, and do the loop that is in that book, it prevents wear on the line, I use some type of spider wire to tye it real tight, cuttin into the line itself, use zapagap, the cover it with bobbin thread, then cover with clear nailpolish, the hard kind.

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