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juro 07-24-2006 05:46 PM

Juro's Improved Loop Knot
:lildevl: :hihi:

OK the loop knot thing was gnawing at my tinkerer psyche, I have to admit the optimal solution would be a loop knot that is not a compromise in strength. I guess being a fisherman I can't stand to let one iota of advantage slip away if the downside is bearable. However the current non-slip loop knot design is just plain inadequate so rather than just blow it off I've designed a new loop knot that has superior strength with the caveat that the single loop strand will always be weaker than the double over style fixed knot like the trilene and palomar.

When the loop strand breaks instead of the knot structure, then one can't fault the knot. As I test more and more I find the problem with the loop knot is that the knot structure fails more often than the loop strand, a sure sign of a knot being weaker than the line.

Before we begin, the surgeon's loop is amazingly strong but it cocks the loop off to one side, more as the line diameter and stiffness increases. This is an attempt to simulate the strength of the double surgeon's loop without the off-line angle.

The fault with the common non-slip is (a) a single overhand knot provides the 'jam' structure and a feeble clinch wrap provides the 'clasp' from the opposite side of the jam knot.

My approach here is to (1) double up the jam and (2) improve the clasp.

Tell me what you think...

Juro's fixed loop knot(s):

Step #1:
Make a DOUBLE overhand knot instead of the single overhand knot for standard Homer Rhode or Non-Slip Loop knot.

Step #2:
Pass the tag thru the fly eye then back thru the double overhand. Go ahead and tighten it up and pull it right up to the eye of the fly, don't bother trying to hold the knot open or size the loop at this point. It will open to size when you pull tight later.

Step #3:
Using my little favorite double-ended needle, tie a small nail knot (3-4 wraps) on the other side of the double overhand. Set this nail knot where you want the loop size to be.

Step #4:
Pull from both ends and the loop emerges, setting the nail knot against the double 'jam' knot.

This knot is pretty damn strong you will hardly be able to tell the difference between it and the double surgeon's loop except that this loop sets straight unlike the surgeons which is prone to an offset (despite incredible strength).

In the pull test it NEVER broke before the standard non-slip loop, which always broke first and always broke at the windings not the strand.

In fact I have to struggle to pop this knot using two of these knots on either end of 8 lb test where the standard no-slip popped pathetically easy.

This is the same technique I used to improve the slim beauty knot, and is very strong but a bit cumbersome if you are not equipped or adept with the double end needle.

EASIER ALTERNATIVES (still much stronger than the std non-slip)

If you don't have a double ended needle on your everyday fishing lanyard...

Option#1 - tie a uni-knot style slide knot on the far side of the double jam knot and pull tight as I pulled the nail knot above. It's not as strong as the nail style clasp but far stronger than the common knot.

Option #2 - box off the tag over the mainline with a square knot sequence and then pull the tag thru the loops like the standard non-slip. Difference being the windings are not clinch-like but instead a more robust jam to jam structure results. The breaking difference is noticeable. I will post pics, easier than it sounds.

I will post step-by-step imgs for those who need them but since so many are already into the loops I would imagine my instructions are pretty easy to interpret.

The nail approach is the strongest unsurprisingly.

Effectively it's the improvement I suggested to the slim beauty applied to the loop knot with the pass thru doubled up.

Alternatively you can tie a 3-4 wrap uni on the other side, or box off a square then thru.

The downside of all of these knots is that unlike the standard non-slip they tighten by pulling open rather than by pulling the tag. The standard allows one to set the loop size and hold it while tightening the tag end.

However since this method allows the overhand pass-thrus to be tightened and everything pulled tight on the final pull, it's just as easy to tie. Just different.

Where you set the 'clasp' knot defines the size of the loop, with a little practice (about 30 minutes) I was able to size the loop as I wanted.

Now I am back to liking loop knots, because I have confidence in their strength. :smokin: :smokin:

try em and let me know what you think

(will post pics later when I get a chance)

sean 07-24-2006 07:44 PM

How are you tying your loop knot or the leftys knot. According to wilsons knot encyclopedia it is one of the strongest knots you can tie. I have never had one break. Certainly not enough probelms to warrant trying to do a nail knot. I fish 90% of the time at night and want a knot I can tie in my sleep. How are you tying it?

This webzine has pretty good articles and touts the non-slip as the strongest and even better than the trilene and palomar. Areyou noty leaving a little tag end?


juro 07-24-2006 08:17 PM

That ezine touts but it does not show anything.

I am tying what is commonly known as the non-slip loop knot, by all accounts (knot books etc). Google "non-slip loop knot" that's the one, pick the first several they are all the same. Same one I see everyone tying, unless you got something different.

Are they talking about tensile strength or shock resistance? I've never had fish pop off a knot like I did twice over one weekend.

Also, how does a tag prevent breakage - isn't the tag past the knot structure?

Adrian 07-24-2006 08:26 PM

I have likewise never had a non-slip loop fail - yet. The number of turns in the clinch portion of the knot is important. I also make sure that the tag end passes back though the overhand knot in the same way it exited after the clinch turns are complete (if that makes sense).

I believe Lefty ran a series of engineering tests to substantiate his claims for the knots strength. I have used this knot to create loop-to-loop tippet connections down to 7X and I have a lot of confidence with it.

Conversely I have had problems with surgeons loops, especially when tying them with fluro in lower tippet strengths. Both the loop and dropper knot seem to be prone to not bedding down completely. When subjected to a sudden jolt, the resutling friction as the knot tightens results in failure. This seems to be particularly acute when joining different diameters of fluro.

I like the surgeons knot for creating droppers but when using fluro I pay extra special attention to tightening both the standing line and tag-ends to make sure everything is solid. Oddly enough, I never had problems with this knot using regular mono down to 3lb test over the past 25 years.

To be fair, there is no substitute for running a series of tests under lab conditions to isolate random variables other than inherent knot strength. I recall using a device called a Hounsfield Tensometer for very accurate tensile strength measurements back in my Physics class. However a comprehensive test would also inlcude some measure of the knots ability to absorb 'shock' loads.

juro 07-24-2006 09:08 PM

Just ran some more tests.

Loop on each end, 12# maxima two pens same model, pulling to break point.

The surgeon's loop (which I never use) did break when not seated right. Scratch that knot it's too hard to seat right and no one uses it for flies anyway.

But even the uni-style double jam loop always held over the standard non-slip loop which popped at the clinch every time out of 5 tries.

The nail style double jam loop broke the uni.

The standard loop knot was much weaker than either.

Give it a try for yourself sometime.

jimS 07-25-2006 08:08 AM

If your non-slip knot is breaking at the clinch, then you have slippage. This is a function of not using enough turns in the clinch portion of the knot. Four wraps for tippets of 0.016" dia., or under, three wraps for tippets 0.017" to 0.030" and two wraps when over 0.030". Break strength is 95% to 100%. When 100% strength is needed use four to five wraps.

The above info is from Bill Nash. He is the knot guru that most defer to for objective flyfishing knots/systems.

BigDave 07-25-2006 08:37 AM

I use 5 turns on anything under 15# and 4 turns up to 20#. You do need to make sure you are tightening with the tag end and compressing the wraps evenly - while you are keeping a straight line between the standing line and the eye of the hook with a bit of tension. Fly in the left hand, standing line wrapped around the right and the tag end between your teeth. Don't pull the standing line hard against the fly until the knot is seated. Done properly this will result in a perfectly stacked barrel of wraps and you won't burn the standing line at all.

Like all knots it takes some practice, especially to tie a micro-loop for bonefish, etc.

I think you should use the knot you tie best regardless of breaking strength. I tie the no-slip loop because it doesn't fail - it has nothing to do with the action of the fly.

juro 07-25-2006 08:43 AM


I am using at least 5 wraps each time. In fact the knot seems to weaken if I go more.


I've tied so many of these knots over the last 48 hours that I can stack the barrel straight enough to take micron imagery of them to get them any straighter. I also use a little spit to ease the loops.

It's easy to speculate. I'd be interested to hear what people experience firsthand by testing them against each other. At the next show or clave, let's pit your best non-slip against mine to see which pops.

The evidence is overwhelming in my tests, and it's intuitively obvious to me that (1) doubling the jam knot and (2) improving the clasp is a significant improvement over "conventional wisdom".

I don't believe in luminaries, I believe in evidence.

sean 07-25-2006 09:06 AM

Well you got three guys who fish a ton telling you the knot holds. The 'lumanaries' in question have done lots of actual knot testing under lab conditions. Not just yanking on a line at home.

I know my knot holds (I never use less than 20lb for northeast fishing anyway), you would have to get in a lab to prove yours is any better to justify the extra time to tie it.

But whatever knot works for you is great, non-slip for me.


juro 07-25-2006 09:24 AM

So you're saying if you tie your knot on one end, and it breaks that's not proof to you?

I'll take that challenge; lab or pull test.

Dble Haul 07-25-2006 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by Adrian
I have likewise never had a non-slip loop fail - yet. The number of turns in the clinch portion of the knot is important. I also make sure that the tag end passes back though the overhand knot in the same way it exited after the clinch turns are complete (if that makes sense).

I'm in the same boat as Adrian. I even use this not with 50 pound fluoro shock tippets, and there has never, I repeat never, been a knot failure.

Like someone else has already said, confidence plays a big role in all of this.

juro 07-25-2006 12:05 PM

Indeed very few knots fail with 20# or 50# "tippet". In those strengths I'd have confidence in any legitimate knot.

I would say a more pertinent test would be say 4# monofilament and 12# or 15# flourocarbon which are probably the most common for freshwater trout and saltwater flyfishing.

I am trying to arrange actual testing of the lab variety. I might only be doing breakage tests at home but it's still a lot more than those who are posting are doing.

Now my curiosity is piqued, it will be fun.

Dble Haul 07-25-2006 12:17 PM

Let me clarify....I've never had a failure with the knot at any strength of tippet, not just the heavy fluoro.

To your point regarding the use of four pound test tippet, I think that the test may be a bit moot to me because it doesn't reflect realistic conditions for the type of fishing that I do. For tippets that weak, I use knots other than loops.

Are we still talking about a saltwater knot here like in the thread that originated this subject, or have we moved on to a discussion encompassing all fishing situations? If we're still on the salt, then I would again have to say that four pound test is not realistic, although it might be more prone to showing differences in strength. But does that difference translate into higher pound test tippets?

Interesting discussion.

jimS 07-25-2006 12:37 PM

Use the knot that you are comforatble tying. Most flyfishermen will NEVER apply more than 8lbs of pressure on their tippet. In fact, the upper end of fly reels seldom go above 10lbs of drag. If you use 15lb tippet, you are not applying more than 60 per cent of the static break strength of that tippet. The exception is the jerk test. If you have the telltale curly Q at the tag end of the break, then the knot slipped. Not good. Experienced flyfishermen can apply more pressure, but they are the exception.

Here is an approach that provides a non-slip knot with a doubled main line thru the hook eye, like a palomar, but with a loop. Double over the tippet material, make an overhand knot in the doubled line, pass the doubled line thru the hook eye, back thru the overhand knot, wrap around the doubled standing line (3-5 times), back thru the overhand knot. Pull tag end to secure the barrel wraps against the overhand knot.

I tried this several times today. Looks good, but I have no idea of its breaking strength. The advantage I see to this knot is that it doubles the line thru the hook eye, and conceivably would provide added security.

juro 07-25-2006 01:19 PM

Mark -

Hence the two lines, 4# and 15#. The purpose was to provide a sampling. Any additional lines you'd suggest would be good try.

If lighter lines do not get the loop, then is that because of some reason other than strength?

Jim -

Of course a doubled over knot would provide more strength, it's no longer a standard non-slip loop any longer. When I tried this the two loops around the eye were not even and it was far too obvious of a knot for the conditions I often fish so I did not mention it. The increase in bulk and visibility was pronounced. However it was quite strong.

Not to sound like a broken record but my point is when you double the jam overhand and improve the clasp component it really beefs up the strength without making the knot bulky and obvious.

Non-static stresses:

Now we're getting somewhere... the case I provided in the other post (striper section) was effectively the jerk test you mention.

I'll repeat - when wading far from shore, to remove a fish waist deep, to hold the fish by the line to put the thumb into the mouth of a striper as the fish thrashes. After a few of these POP went my standard loop knot. Hence I was motivated to seek a better mousetrap.

8# max?

The 8# pressure theory is hard to swallow. When I have a 38" fish roll back in the Nauset outgoing surf in a storm, or when I hook a fish of that caliber out on Big girl 4 hours into the ebb, or when I hook a slammer blue on a flat and it heads to the channel, or again when I try to thumb a fish while wading - there is a HELL of a lot more than 8# pressure on that knot if you ask me.

In the conditions as you cited, I agree completely. But when the continuum from drag to fly is interrupted by any number of factors the linkage is no longer pertinent; it's at these times that knots are truly tested IMHO.

Frankly the challenging replies only make me more cautious to evalute the idea more thoroughly. Keep em comin'

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