Posts Tagged ‘nail knot


Knot: The Perfection Loop & Coils on the Floor!

I just noted, I bought a new fly line, the Rio AquaLux Intermediate Lake line. A couple things to not do first of all (I always share most of my mistakes….I can’t share them all or I’d risk total neglect by my visitors)….when you buy a new fly line, it will almost always be on a two piece plastic spool and inside a box.

Now when you take the spool out of the box there will be a tag end sticking out that may have a sticky label noting it is the butt end of the fly line, which should be joined to the running line on your fly reel. Usually, a nail knot is a good choice on joining running line to the butt end of the fly line.

You will also note there may be one or more twist ties wrapped around the coils of fly line. Ideally, you remove those ties but do not separate the two halves of the plastic spool which the fly line is wrapped neatly around. Attach the butt end of the fly line to the running line with the nail knot. This will require unwinding the new fly line just a bit to give you room.

Now you are ready to wind the new fly line, some 100′ of nicely coiled fly line, onto your reel. You may or may not have help. This would be nice as you wind, someone holds the plastic spool and the fly line gently rolls off the spool as the reel handle is cranked. Use your off reel cranking hand to guide the line back and forth onto the reel so the layers are  nicely spaced.


A good 45 minutes later of the most exasperating unraveling of a new fly line and devilish efforts by the cat and loving intrusions by Emma the Lab and I had the new line onto the reel. I used the damn, two piece plastic spool to house the old intermediate line. I decided to keep it just in case. I wrapped it on the spool tip/leader first so the butt section is last. I grabbed a marker and wrote on the spool ‘old intermediate, ok but ‘coily’, Cortland, 2012′. I put the spool back into the box the new line had just arrived in and stuck it in a drawer in the garage to be re-discovered years later.

Ok, the new line has a loop at the end. I usually nail knot the butt section of a stout leader to the end of the fly line. I have not been a fan of loop to loop connections especially for lake fishing. But, I am going to give it a shot, once again. But, I have noticed that after tying some of my loops the line (leader) tends to slightly angle off at a less than true direction. I offer a few versions of loop knots here (PERFECTION LOOP) and two other over hand knots.  


Every Day in May Challenge: Leader Construction

Oh my, these topics really bring out my weaknesses don’t they? The leader, the skinny little ‘tapered’ link to the fly and hopefully the fish. I do care about that nail knot securing the mono butt section to the end of the line. I do try for a taper toward the fly. Sometimes I invest in a pack of 3 tapered leaders, either 7′ or 9′ to a 4# end. I rebuild from there with the tippet piece. I try, I really do, for a 50, 25 25 (%) or 60, 20, 20 (%) ratio of materials.

But it isn’t until the fish trail off, that I notice I’m fishing with a 7′ leader with 10# married to 3.5# by a gnarly surgeons knot. Do you notice I never use the 5x or 6x designations. I flunked math for a reason: part memory, part befuddlement. I stay in the #’s like my old gear days. I do try to pay attention to length, but as you read, I am sometimes behind on that standard.

All of it (precise leader construction) doesn’t make much of a difference for me/to me. Of course, maybe it would if I always fished gin clear spring creeks, but short of the Metolius River or Fall River…I don’t.

The best addition of leader material for me has been fluorocarbon leader. No, I don’t have trouble with knots or joining mono to fluoro. I’ve use it far and wide and it has improved the takes…just my impression. See how non-techno I am? Such randomness would never fly in certain circles, but I’m not building a rocket or a bridge. I am simply fishing. 

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Challenge Topic: Fly


Fly Fishing: Wicked Knots & Leaders

”Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”

Fly Line-Butt Section Connection (Kind of....)

When you buy a fly line and have it put on the reel, at the shop, insist on the shop employee attaching a butt section of 18″ not 6″.  Not with a loop, without! Learn the Surgeon’s Knot or Blood Knot and attach your nice, new tapered leader to the butt section via one of those two knots. From there repair your own leader by replacing lost sections with sections of progressively smaller mono. Carry these small spools of mono, in various sizes to repair the last half of your leader (depending upon the type of fish you are chasing) I usually have larger diameter spools of mono back at the rig should disaster strike and I have to rebuild the leader from scratch. Do not keep buying new leaders every time you break off 3′ of tippet/leader. This is your choice, your money, but over the long haul you save some money and develop the knot tying skills to avoid the disaster above.

There are previous posts here on SwittersB re leader construction and formulas. The ‘net has lots of information re formulas of so much (a % usually) of this X and then that amount of a different, smaller X. Study up on leader construction. May I admit to never having adopted the X concept? I have a basic memorization of X = # line size. I was a gear guy as well as a fly fisher for years. Leaders were built with so many inches of 10#, 8#, 6#, 4# mono. The fly fishing industry feels compelled to continue with the X diameter system and for you to memorize certain X diameters are equal to certain fly sizes etc. Whatever. If you chase trout, or whatever you pursue, have a good idea of the approximate pound strength of your mono related to the X factor. From there your finger tips will sense the approximate thickness (X or #) you have broken off at, on the leader, (my fingers feel the line is about 6# or 4X) and I am going to rebuild the leader/tippet with a section of 4# or 5X to maintain a taper and proper turnover. If my fly is of the miniscule variety then I will factor in a section of 6X as well, and so on. You should have the 3-4 spools you need with you on the water. If you travel ultra light, you may only carry a couple of spools.

Everything About Leaders at GFF…Excellent Resource

Nail Knot, Nipper, Hook Eye Poker

The above knot does not lend itself to proper, quiet presentations. It gets hung up on the guides as you pull your line through to string the rod. Hell, it looks terrible! I infrequently tie this knot myself, so I am by no means as adept as the kids that spool an re-spool lines all day and tie on new butt sections in a shop. There is a handy tool, I have had for years, and use four or so times a year (usually for some one else’s mess) is the ‘nail knot’ tyer device. Sometimes this comes with a nipper and a stylus to poke through hook eyes that have been glued shut. A handy little gizmo, it is well worth the initial expense. Of course, if you want to use a nail/needle then have at it. ‘Tie Fast Nail Knot’ is an excellent little tool as well and used by shops all the time.      Tie Fast Knot Tyer by DPruitt

'Tie Fast' gizmo

It you are going to deceive the fish, then no tangled webs…learn your knots and use them! These gizmo’s will help….if you practice.


Borger Knot (Nailess Nail Knot)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Gary Borger's Nailless Nail Knot


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