Welding loops vs. nail knot loops - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Welding loops vs. nail knot loops

OK. Probably a dumb question, but I am new to this tribe. Back in the day of single-handed rods and such, I used to form loops with a mono nail knot, subsequently coated with something to make them smoother. Those were very strong, and I never had one break on me. I assume there is a reason - or two - why this has fallen out of favor in the direction of welded loops. Less air resistance if the connection is being cast? Less commotion going through the guides when a fish is running into the backing? I have read several archival threads about how to make welded loops, but I am curious about why they have become the standard technique. Thanks to all, as usual.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 12:42 AM
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I didn’t know it was. If a line has no factory loop then I just nail knot away. Welding loops I leave that for the line manufacturer’s. And to be honest I’ve seen a few welds fail but can’t recall a double nail knot with epoxy on it fail. Maybe the whole reeling the connection into the guides thing or the backing end going through the guides? I’ve never ripped a guide off of lost a fish because of this. But I don’t doubt it has happened.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 12:58 AM
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I agree with both. Sometimes the ol' tried and true methods are still the best. The groovy, smooth welds are pretty, but in truth, I always throw a nail knot over the top of mine.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 02:59 AM
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Welded loops are convenient, and easier now to do than ever, but some line manufacturers say their lines come without them because many people can FEEL the difference between casting a setup with a welded loop on the end of the line, and one nail knotted to the end. So they let people decide for themselves.

For example Bruce Berry from Beulah give this reason for why their aerohead short belly lines come without a welded loop, while all their other lines have them. Those are line designed to use long tapered leaders. I can’t see any physics reason why there should be any perceivable difference between the tiny extra density in the line loop-to-mono loop, and the mono-to-mono loop you get when making a loop out of the suggested #30 maxima chameleon nail knotted to the line that case I don’t think there is a valid argument possible that there is a real difference. Even if you instead nail knot the butt of you own homemade tapered leader direct to the line you would still have to be the princess who can feel the pea though 10 mattresses to actually notice a casting difference between that and a loop-to-loop. I think the difference is probably mental in most cases - how you feel about the beauty of the connection you made. And I think that beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder, and can go strongly in either direction depending on the personality of the individual. A lot of people posted that they felt not having a welded loop in the end of the Aerohead line was a serious ”flaw”, while other praised the choice. It is close to being a boxers vs. briefs type of question.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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I have no doubt that there are spey casters who can feel such fine distinctions as welded loops vs. nail knotted loops when they cast. Alas, I know that I will never be that good at this, and my flaws - which are decreasing slowly with much practice and accompanying frustrations - will always be great enough that I will not be rescued from them by welded loops. So, based on what I am hearing, I will stick with my boring old nail knots for now, though I confess it is sort of fun to mess with the shrink tubing and the heat source. Thank you for the wit, wisdom, and patience, as usual. This forum has the unusual characteristic of a group of people who care very much about something and generally manage to avoid being mean-spirited. It is very much appreciated.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 12:15 PM
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I can't speak for others but, I quit using nail knots to connect leaders when I discovered the Albrite knot. A nail knot will eventually break the coating right behind the knot & have to be cut & re-tied, an Albrite will not. The slickest connection I've ever seen is the Whitlock splice. A bit of trouble, but it's not like you have to do it every day. For loop to loop connections, welded loops all the way. Quick, easy, & neat. Never had one fail. once I learned how.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. You are right about the coating and the nail knot. I have noticed that. I will try the Albright and the Whitlock. More helpful knowledge!

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 02:12 PM
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No doubt factory made loops makes rigging leader that much easier and convenient. When they break and wear-out I don't think it is any easier to re-weld than it is to add some length of mono with perfection knot.

One other reason for welding loops is the convenience of swapping heads. Guys are also cutting lines to use mono or shooting lines instead. The problem there is that cutting from the back leaves a thick end where most guys are having difficulty building a smooth transition. You might have scraps to splice that would transition perfectly from thick head to thin running line.

All connections will eventually wear out - only matter of time and use.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 03:27 PM
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Welded loops all the way for me. "Jecketed" ones that is. Loops that doesnt have any protective layer eventually fail but if flexible "jecket" is applied over the weld loop will outlast the line. I especially like what Rio uses over their loops. It is very flexible material and IMO those are the best loops out there.

Welded loops are super clean looking, very quick to make, and if properly constructed will outlast the line itself but as I stated, some form of protective layer is needed. I apply a very thin layer of Aquasure on all of my loops after welding. The benefit of that is that one can do a partial weld on heat sensitive mono core lines and still have a loop that is very strong.

If we are talking trout 3 weights and dry flies, yes, I see how a nail knot would be a benefit but on spey rods and anything but dinky trout stuff I would never trust a nail knot.

Whipped loops takes longer to do vs a welded loop so I dont bother with those anymore either.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domantas View Post
Welded loops all the way for me. "Jecketed" ones that is. Loops that doesnt have any protective layer eventually fail but if flexible "jecket" is applied over the weld loop will outlast the line. I especially like what Rio uses over their loops. It is very flexible material and IMO those are the best loops out there.

Welded loops are super clean looking, very quick to make, and if properly constructed will outlast the line itself but as I stated, some form of protective layer is needed. I apply a very thin layer of Aquasure on all of my loops after welding. The benefit of that is that one can do a partial weld on heat sensitive mono core lines and still have a loop that is very strong.

If we are talking trout 3 weights and dry flies, yes, I see how a nail knot would be a benefit but on spey rods and anything but dinky trout stuff I would never trust a nail knot.

Whipped loops takes longer to do vs a welded loop so I dont bother with those anymore either.
Ever had the coating crack right where the "jacket" ends leaving the core exposed? I have, quite often , and that small crack creates a stress-point where the core will degrade. Even though the loop itself may be intact - it is a weak connection and must be re-done periodically.

A heavier line/core ( 30lbs vs 15lBS) will normally create a stronger knot.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 06:28 PM
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I've been considering the same question as the OP. Just before Christmas I bought a Beulah Serum with a set of tips and neither the line nor the tip leader ends were looped. I was wondering what is considered best practice for putting loops on the end. Nail knotted mono with a perfection loop, braided loops like those sold by Rio, welded, anything else? It doesn't seem like there is a real consensus.
If it was a 3wt. WF line I'd use an albright to the backing and nail knotted mono on the front and be done with it. With the serum I think strength has to be more of a consideration.
Additional thoughts?
Thanks.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 08:06 PM
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I bounce around, largely because in terms of effectiveness, I think it's a wash. They'll all work. So if sometime I notice damage during a day on the water, or even more, so, an extended trip, I'll clip off what's there and bend and nail knot- two knots, a little space between. The tag end trimmed pretty tight and at and angle to get as smooth a transition through the guides as possible.

And then as soon as I'm home, it will bug me. As I go about my day, I'll keep seeing the inelegant solution staring back at me in my mind. Ugly. Zero aesthetic. So then comes the decision, braided loop or weld. I do either depending on my mood. I find the weld more aesthetically pleasing, the braided loop a little quicker and nearly as clean, without having to dig out the damned iron, wherever the hell that is now.

So, as they say, Six of one....
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish0n4evr View Post
Ever had the coating crack right where the "jacket" ends leaving the core exposed? I have, quite often , and that small crack creates a stress-point where the core will degrade. Even though the loop itself may be intact - it is a weak connection and must be re-done periodically.

A heavier line/core ( 30lbs vs 15lBS) will normally create a stronger knot.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domantas View Post
Airflo, yes. Rio PU, nope.
Uhhh. Rio lines are PVC. Airflo lines are PU.

fwiw: I've heard people complain about mono cutting thru the coating on a welded loop. I have a line that my welded loop to loop connection is worn down to the core. The loop is a separate piece of running line, so no worries about the main line soaking up water. I've been fishing that line for years.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 03:22 PM
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I am thinking of going back to nail knotting my fly line for fine taper connections. What I am noticing with my XLT welds is the coating just behind the weld fails regularly, cracking and then peeling off.

I suspect the welded loop may be putting more bend stress on that area as a result of its added mass and stiffness.

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