New fly fisherman has a question



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  • New fly fisherman has a question

    I am new to fly fishing, I just got my new setup in the mail. I put the backing on and the fly line on, what is the best way to attach my mono leader to the fly line, and how long should it be?


  • #2

    I use a nail knot, mono to fly line. The length of your leader varies with the job, as does the leader itself. You should use a tapered leader; this makes casting easier. I might use a 12 foot 5x leader for a very clear lake and small flies, but a 6 foot 0X for reds on the Kenai. I would also use a light rod in the lake and a big stick on the Kenai, so the weight of your rod also has to be factored in. I wouldn't put a 0x or 1x leader on a 3wt rod (I want the leader to break, not the rod, when I snag a rock or salmon tail.) A 9 foot 3x is a good rig for most trout fishing.


    • #3
      an option

      Instead of a nail knot (pain in the rear for me to tie), I tie a hangmans noose (only about 4-5 wraps) in the leader then run the fly line through the loop, around the leader then back through the loop (opposite the way I initally went into the loop. Kind of like a bowline knot.) Then work the noose up tight and trim the ends with clippers. This knot is low profile, I can tie it in about 30 seconds, and is very strong. I have used it with 6lb - 30lb test leaders and works great for rainbows up to kings.

      The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


      • #4
        Braided Loops! Cortland makes them and they are very strong. I have only had one break on me but it should have been replaced anyway.


        • #5
          Easy...tie-fast Tool

          I Am Relatively New To Fly Fishing As Well. Forget The Loop To Loop Connectors. A Nail Knot Is Extremely Easy To Tie. With The Use Of The Tie-fast Tool That Is. Most Any Fishing Shop Should Have It. I Got Mine Off Cabelas For $7. They Are A Piece Of Cake With The Tool. Takes 10 Seconds. Literally. The Nail Knot Is Harder To Tie Without It, I Am Sure. But This Tool Is Awesome. I Ordered An Extra Just In Case I Lose The One I Have. One Model Has A Hook Sharpener, Nips, And The Nail Knot Tool All In One. It Was Like $16 At Cabelas. Tie 3 Or 4 With This Tool And You Will Never Think About Loop To Loop Connectors Again. I Like The Way It Looks Tied On Anyway. Suspect It Will Lay Out Easier Also. Less Cumbersome In My Opinion. The Brand Name Is "tie-fast" And The Name Says It All.
          The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


          • #6
            Nail knot, Loops and Braided butt connectors

            As always sound advise from a number of people all work and have there place and time. I started using Braided Loop connectors 20 years ago they work, they are simple and they do last however they are not applicable or for use while fishing larger Salmon. Cortland, Umpqa, Bear Tooth, Hook & Hackle, and Orvis all make a form of Loop Connector simple process of heat shrink tubing set over a Dacron braided loop. You can Purchase the Cortland Connectors at Walmart, Sportsman Warehouse, Mountain View etc... You can visit www.hook& for their version, and of course for theirs. Bear Tooth leaders etc.. are normally sold at places like Mountain View.

            Orvis and Bear Tooth sell Braided Looped Leaders as well and are a marvelous tool for casting and adding shock power to any leader, but again not for Larger Salmon.

            Knot Tools once mastered are easy and if your into tying leaders on all the time are a good investment. The problem I have with nail knots is it requires you to build leaders or purchase additional leaders on a continuous basis i.e. it's all about the cost. Prime Example is you go down to Sportsman's Warehouse purchase 4 leaders for your fly fishing rig lets say a 6W you what to cross utilize your rod for Rainbow, Grayling and Small Salmon pinks and the like. You have to purchase a Light Leader, Mid Leader and Salmon Leader all at or about $4.25 per package depending on the brand and place of purchase. $12.00 -1600 dollars then you have to purchase Tippet Material or additional leaders as your fishing increases through out the summer.

            Braided Loop Connectors will allow you to only tie on your leader with a simple Berkley's fisherman's knot i.e. improved clinch still you have an expense on a continuous basis.

            Suggest you purchase the braided loop connects and a braided butt loop leader from Orvis for about $10.00 if you take care of it you should get about 4 years out of your leader. Then you only have to purchase Tippet material i.e. 3lbs, 4lbs, 6lbs, 8lbs, 10lbs, 12 lbs and your only ever replacing the last 3-6 ft of your leader off the looped end of your braided leader. Initial investment will be about $25.00 for your entire leader system to include the braided loop connector end to your fly line and all the leader material you could want.

            Stick with Nail Knots and Tools and your initial investment will be about the same mabye even a few dollars more, but only last you about 1 year if lucky.

            Any Who I know there are many options and I got to rambling on, but knowing a little more is better than not knowing at all. :-)

            Tight Lines and Best Wishes.

            Richard M. Mousseau


            • #7
              I agree with Moose, use the braided loop connector, they are super strong and easy to change out. I tried tying the nail knot once, if I could have tied it I would have hung myself with it! The Cortalnd works great for rainbows, grayling and reds, thats basically all we fish for during the summer.


              • #8
                Thanks for the help

                Thanks for the help guys I think I will be ordering some of the loop connectors, sounds like they are easier, and I will mostly be fly fishing here for dollys all summer, and silvers in the fall.


                • #9

                  fisherman222, they will work great for dollies and silvers! You'll love catching them on a flyrod too!! Good luck bud!!!
                  Last edited by AkHunter45; 05-22-2006, 12:22. Reason: forgot icon


                  • #10
                    I too agree with Blue Moose. I've been using braided loops for more years than I can count on my fingers and toes. I've used nail knots, and they work. What I like about the braided loop is that it allows me to change leaders as conditions change. I've been fishing bows and have changed leader sizes three times in a day to keep up with changing water conditions.

                    Nail knots and bloood knots have there place. I have an Orvis blood knot tool that is worth its weight in gold when it comes to tying tippet material on leaders. On a good day when the salmon or thick, I can expect to user that tool half a dozen time during a good day. Makes tying the not about as easy as it gets. Actually it the only way to tie a blood knot when your fingers are half frozen. If you want more info on the tool, let me know and I'll try to post a pic.



                    • #11
                      the braided loops work great. I used them on a couple of my reels.

                      another idea for you is to carry around a small spool of 40-50 lb test. tie on a short section using a nail knot and then tie a surgeons knot so you can use a loop to loop conection. I usually leave the heavy line around 6-8 inches, that way if the loop brakes, you can tie another loop before you have to tie another nail knot.


                      • #12
                        If you're fishing dries with a floating line then I would use a nail knot. The braided loop tends to sink and will drag the butt of leader down. That creates problems with the presentation.

                        So, nail knots on 5wt setups and less (e.g. grayling and spring creek fishing).

                        Braided loops for 7wt setups and larger. Another option for the heavier setups is an Albright knot. I use that for my 10wt saltwater setup.


                        • #13
                          I put floatant on my braided loops to keep them from sinking. That takes care of that problem.
                          I too change my leader frequently so having the loop makes this easier and quicker. The less time tying knots is more time presenting the fly.


                          • #14
                            Loop de loop

                            I used the cortland braided loops for years...until recently.

                            Rio's "Rio Grande" fly lines have a manufactured loop connector on the end that is actually part of the fly line (seamless, same material, etc). No more heat shrink, no more gaps. This is the second season I've used this line and I'm sold. Not a cheap line, about $60, but no high end trout line is cheap.

                            Add some pre-knotted tapered leaders and you'll spend more time fishing and less time screwing around trying to 47 knots mid stream. Using this set-up all I'm ever tying on the water is a surgeons to add tippet, or an improved clinch to attach the fly (or the occasional duncan loop for wets/streamers)


                            • #15
                              AKflyfisher hit the nail on the head! Flyfisherman222 listen to his advice. Less knot tying= more fishing. I change leaders alot due to changing fishing conditions and fish. A butt section and perfection loop make this to easy.


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