splicing Spey lines - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-10-2000, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Originator: DanaDate: 6/10/2000 8:51 AM

Just posted this on VFS NW BB in response to a question there, but I thought that it might be useful here too:

 Okay, the splicing method that follows is pretty much "chapter-and-verse" from the Combs book (STEELHEAD FLY FISHING AND FLIES, frank amato pub. 1976, pp. 53-4). Combs credits the great Washington State steelheader Harry Lemire “for directions on its implementation.” Using this method will allow you to create strong, durable splices in any fly line.

 You’ll need the following stuff: line sections, pin vise, beading needle (or long thin sewing needle), dental floss, a razor blade, some haemostats, and a slow curing flexible cyanoacrylate super glue like Flex Zap (available from Pacer Technology, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730, but your local fly shop should be able to get some for you)

  1. Let’s assume we’re splicing a section of 11 weight floating line and a section of floating 12 weight. Cut both sections so the butt ends are square. Strip the coating off the butt section of the 11, leaving @ 1” of the Dacron core exposed.
  2. Combs recommends  removing the sharp point off the needle before use. This is important because you’ll need the needle to create a big enough channel through the 12 weight line core to allow you to pull the 11 weight core through it. Place the eye end of the beading needle in the pin vise and work the needle directly into the core at the cut point on the 12 weight line. Work the needle in about an inch, or the same length as the stripped portion of the 11 weight line. I tend to repeat this procedure several times to ensure that there is enough room created for the 11 weight core.
  3. Now double the 12weight line over where the tip of the needle is and force the tip of the needle out through the line coating. Be sure that the amount of tip outside the coating is sufficient for you to clamp it into the pin vise.
  4. Remove the vise from the eye end of the needle. Cut a piece of dental loss @ a foot long and thread the two ends through the eye of the needle.
  5. Attach the pin vise to the tip of the needle and pull the needle and most of the floss through the line. Leave a small loop of floss about the size of a penny protruding from the cut point. Remove the ends of the floss from the needle.
  6. With your haemostats, grasp the ends of the dental floss, then twist the floss around the jaws of the haemostats.
  7. Take the Dacron core of the 11 weight and fray out the end of it. You need enough frayed so that the loop of floss has something to hang on to as you pull the floss and Dacron core through the center of the 12 weight line. Combs recommends fraying at least 1/8” of the core; I’ve sometimes had to fray up to ¼”. Place the frayed section of core into the loop of floss and use the haemostats to pull the floss loop into the 12 weight so that the frayed section of core is snug up against the 12 weight line.
  8. Liberally coat the Dacron core of the 11 weight and the butt end cut point of the 12 weight with the Flex Zap and pull the 11 weight core into the 12 weight line. Pull the core through until the two butt ends of line meet; at this point you will probably have pulled the loop of floss out of the line coating and the frayed section of the core along with it. Coat the frayed section with a little more glue right at the point where it exits the line. If you neglect to do this, the splice will have a weak point where the needle exited the line coating. “Pulling the core” is the toughest part of the procedure, and it may take a few times to perfect it, so I suggest that you practice on some “throwaway” line sections first before attempting the real thing. If you are having difficulty, make sure that the end of the Dacron is really frayed out well so that you could actually count the thread ends of the core if you were so inclined. Also, the center of the 12 weight needs to be hollowed out really well. Don’t worry too much about overdoing it—the Flex Zap tends to fill any gaps. To make certain of your splice, though, always test it by giving it a good strong pull before you reel it up.
  9. Once the glue has dried, use the razor to cut the frayed section flush with the line coating.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2001, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: loco_altoDate: 2/2/2001 5:22 AM
What is a pin vise?
Is flex-zap same as zap-a-gap (probably not - stiff vs. flex) and are there equivalent substitutes with easily recognizable brand names?

this is a brave new world for me, mostly because it involves spending bucks and then chopping up that which I just bought! any additional pointers above Dana's thorough post welcomed
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2001, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originator: SpeyrdDate: 2/2/2001 2:45 PM
Maybe I can answer a few of your questions. Havn't used the flexable Zap-a-gap as of yet but will when I am in a hurry to splice a line. We have been using Aquaseal slower drying and a little on the messy side. We use a little tool called a "dubbing pic", it is a tool that a dentist uses for root cannels with some slight modifications, instead of pin in a pin vise. Substitute .012 stainless leader wire for the dental floss for pulling the core through.
Hope this helps
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2001, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: loco_altoDate: 2/5/2001 4:10 AM
The dental floss kept breaking so I tried guitar wire (0.010) and wonder now how to get it through the hollowed out line. Do it as with the dental floss (pulling through needle eye) or try to feed both ends of wire through the hollowed core of the splice line?

two more questions:
Where along the exposed core do you place the loop before pulling it through?

How do you hold the hollowed out splice line as you pull the wire through? with fingers? pull fast or slow and steady?

thanks, Steve
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2001, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originator: SpeyrdDate: 2/5/2001 3:02 PM
Hi Steve,  Take about a 6" peice of wire and fold it in half and flatten the fold into a point. Make two of these. Lets call these "splicing needle's". Here is the drill, make your hole (step 3) insert SN into line core and outside line coating. Thread second SN into first (step 5) leave loop about the size of a penny protruding from the cut point.
I like to fray the end of the exposed core about 1/4" and put that part into the eye of the neeedle. Usually strip about 2 1/2-3" of coating off the line to be spliced (step 7&8 )
Hold hollowed out line in my opposite hand, I'am right handed. Pull with steady motion.
Hope that this answers your questions.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-13-2001, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: bubbaDate: 2/13/2001 3:55 AM
poor man's splice technique:

take cut end of line. briefly run over flame from a lighter until PVC is smoking and turns color (but not on fire). remove from flame and quickly strip with fingernail of thumb and index finger. (derek brown showed me this lighter trick)

my quick splice:
take the two ends of stripped dacron core and tie a double overhand knot so that the coating parts are as close together as possible. throw another double overhand knot and firmly seat by pulling on the free ends with pliers. now it is strong enough to hold summer run deschutes fish (trust me) and winter fish too in a pinch (trust me).

to make it permanent: whip finish the tag ends with 6/0 uni thread (go and buy dental floss threaders from a drug store... chap and excellent as bobbin threaders too). put a drop of zap a gap or krazy glue over the dacron knot, and cover the threads with soft tex or marine goop cut with toluene (either will peel eventually, just recoat as needed).

a small diameter, flexible splice results which is pretty stinking strong. it is the weakest link in you line, so if you snag your sink tip around a rock and pull like a donkey on the line, you can break the splice (trust me), but it won't come apart on a fish (trust me).
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