Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Michigan-Muskegon and Big M. Rivers
braided loop connectors
Hello, Kim. Here is a subject that is very polarized in the fly fishing world...I do love these loops. Many hate them. They have a tendency to "hinge" and must be reinforced where necessary. I use a product called "Power Pro" in 50 lb test to literally sew up through the loop and stitch or weave a continuous thread of material all around the loop in/out and come back down to the tag end. They must be installed properly or they are useless. I go to great lengths to prep the line and components before I install them. I cut the end of the fly line at 45 deg. to make a sharp point on the end. I use isopropyl alcohol to clean all oil/grease from the fly line about 6'' from the end. I use the good loops rated at 50# for my Steelhead rigs. OK now, slide a small dia. piece of low temp shrink tube approx 1/2-5/8" long onto your fly line followed by another larger dia. piece about 3/4-1" long. Next, "inch worm" your braided loop onto your fly line and VERY IMPORTANT make it go onto the loop as far as it can possibly go up...make certain it does not creep down later. I put some 6/0 tying thread onto the line and loop in three bands about 1/8-3/16" wide...one where the fly line stops up in the loop; next, in the middle of the loops length; and then at the bottom end (frayed)of the loop. Must work these in progression or the shrink tube will not slide over. Start at the base of the loop first and whip a band of thread there. Next put a very small amount of Zap-A-Gap onto the whipped thread band...too much glue will not hold as will very small amount. Next make certain if you choose another glue than Zap-A-Gap that it, too, is waterproof or the connection may fail. Now, before the glue can set slide the larger dia. shrink tube up onto the larger part to the loop and stop at the very base of the loop or just below the base to minimize "hinging." Now, have a 60watt incadescent light bulb burning (best if bulb is facing up so the heat rises onto the tube) with which to rotate the tube on the surface of the bulb and shrink the tube and set the glue all in one shot. Next, whip another 1/8 band of thread in the middle of the loop(I use a needle knot to secure the bands). Then come to the bottom frayed end and whip another band of thread this one about 3/16" wide and overlap the bottom of the line and loop area. Apply another small drop of Zap-A-Gap to this band and quickly slide the smaller dia. shrink tubing over this and shrink/cure this over the light bulb. I then apply a small amount of a urethane rod varnish to the middle band and seal all the ends of the tubing with a very small amount of this urethane varnish. I let this cure overnight and its ready to fish the next day. I must admit that this takes some time and effort; however, I am a perfectionist and I will say that I have never had one of these looped connectors fail me. Been using these for many years with my single handers. Have had the looped part to wear and fray on the end after drifting many many miles over the bottoms of the Rivers. I too, would like to hear some others "takes" on these loops or a better way to connect...my$.02. Best, Stiver
Thomas E. Stiver Please support this Web Site. History is His story.