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Having always used the standard clinch knots myself as I swing for steelhead, I'm wondering if those who use perfection loops instead believe that there is a substantive difference? Wondering what the collective experience on the board has to say and if anybody has ever tried to make a comparison.

Thanks.
 

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Many folks believe the freedom of action of a fly tied with a loop is greater than otherwise. It makes sense, for both wet and dry fishing.

Why don't you do your own testing? Alternately tie flies with your regular clinch knot, then a non-slip mono loop, regular....etc.

Do not use a perfection loop to secure a fly, because it is relatively weak. A Perfection loop is advantageous for looping the stronger elements of a leader system such as the butt section, because it is among the least bulky knots, can form very small loops and a weakened butt section is still far stronger than smaller elements of a leader system.

If tying a non-slip mono loop is a bit daunting initially, use a Duncan loop, which can be slid up and down the standing part of the leader to adjust knot size. When you catch a fish, and the loop tightens, slide the knot back to form a loop before recasting.
 

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I think it depends alot on tippet and fly size. If using small flies for some reason and heavier tippet (we use flies down to size 12 on the Klamath at times) I think a loop helps quite a bit but if you are using essentially the rule of 4, fly size divided into hook size, more or less I think the clinch works fine. I argree if you use a loop use the Kreh no slip loop - very easy to tie.

If you ever nymph fish, this is another good time to use a loop
 

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I second Bob's warning not to use the Perfection loop as it is a weak knot. After thinking about this for a minute though, I'm not sure how you would even tie a perfection loop used for a to hook connection. Either way, don't use it.
 

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Here is a knot I used for years (before I went primarily to tube flies) - I still use it when I use a regular fly. I also used it for stripers this past July - it is excellent and I have never had a failure.

Here are some instructions: http://www.flyfishlouisiana.com/nonslip_loop_knot.htm
 

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I use the non slip mono loop year round. If you can tie an improved clinch you can tie the non slip loop.
 

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NO the knot you use has no bearing at all on how many fish take your fly..
some people think a looped knot allows the fly to swim more freely and look more natural i am sure that is true, but does that make it more appealing to a steelhead? I see no evidence that it does
 

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I switched to a non slip knot this year and swear I’m getting more hits. However, roballen states and Bob Pauli eludes to the fact that it may not make a difference. In that case, maybe I’m just fishing more water that actually holds fish. I’ll keep using the non slip loop knot because it does add life to the fly. I’m not sure if it is as strong as a clinch. If I find that its knot (TEE HEE, TEE HEE) then I’ll switch cast back. OH God, I kill me. Man I need to go fish.
 

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roballen said:
NO the knot you use has no bearing at all on how many fish take your fly..
some people think a looped knot allows the fly to swim more freely and look more natural i am sure that is true, but does that make it more appealing to a steelhead? I see no evidence that it does
Do you have any evidence it that it doesn't?
 

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Kerry nope i sure don't and I never will. Why? because i cannot no matter what I do think like a steelhead.

I believe that everyone should do what gives them confidence. However other than showing your fly to as many fish as you possibly can I don't think there is anything that anyone can do to improve their odds at having a strike.
tippet size doesn't matter, fly pattern doesn't matter, color and movement don't matter.. each one of thoes things might contribute to a single fish biting but in the overall I don't think it will catch more fish than anything else.
for example..

You might one day run across that will grab a skykomish sunrise and not a skunk but just as often you'll find a fish that'll take the skunk and not the sunrise or more likely you'll find a fish that will take either one.. Therefore there is no advantage to fishing one or the other..

I don't believe the little things make a big difference it's 100% about covering as many fish as you can til you find a biter.
 

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This loop is easy to tie and holds very well

kush said:
Here is a knot I used for years (before I went primarily to tube flies) - I still use it when I use a regular fly. I also used it for stripers this past July - it is excellent and I have never had a failure.

Here are some instructions: http://www.flyfishlouisiana.com/nonslip_loop_knot.htm
I learned how to tie this loop from Dan Blanton's website a few years ago.

It works very well with Stripers in N California and Maxima tippets. If you don't use some type of loop knot for your flies while fishing for Stripers :tsk_tsk: , you will not catch many fish. In fact you might not catch any. Not enough steelhead in the past few years to even worry about knots. :(

This knot with me doesn't work well with any FC tippet with the exception of Seaguar. I haven't tried the new Maxima FC.

Re the Duncan's Loop, I was taught how to tie the Duncan's loop by the young gentleman, Greg, at Bob Pauli's and my local flyshop. Fishing Putah Creek if you don't have a loop for your flies, you don't catch many fish. I may be tying the Duncan's loop wrong :( , but any trout over two pounds will pull the loop really snug. We use very small tippets on Putah creek with small flies and potentially big trout. I could never catch more than one nice trout on each Duncan's loop. The loop would be so snug that I couldn't pull it backs. Kush's loop doesn't have that problem and works well with Seaguar tippets down to 4 # with Putah Creek trout from 4 to 6 plus pounds.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Meaning no disrespect to anyone's thoughts on the topic - I'm not sure it's anything more than a matter of personal confidence. I never use any loop knots on any flies or species and seem to have some measure of luck hooking up.

I believe that the purpose of the knot is to hold the fly to the tippet, so strength is it's most critical function. Thus the palomar gets the nod for all cases except those where there is a call for a double-turle, and those are good days indeed even though I would bet against it's performance in a strength contest a loop eye deserves it. A riffle hitch makes the outlook even better.
 

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Perfection Loop work great for flies

I always use a perfection loop to attach the fly because is easy to tie, and strong.

It is very easy to tie, you just thread the fly onto the tippet then tie the knot as usual. The fly needs to be on the first of the two wraparound loops, the loop that gets pulled through the first loop.

To learn it, just tie a few perfection loops, slowly, taking note of where the fly would want to be to end up in the final loop. After a few you'll find it is easier to tie with a fly there because it gives you a good handle on that loop.
And after a few more you'll be able to control the size of the loop. After a few more you'll find it easy to tie even in the dark, assuming you can thread the fly onto the tippet.

When it cinches down right, the tag end will stick out perpendicular from the knot - it can act as a snag guard on light flies if you like. If the tag doesn't stick out perpendicular, start over as it's very weak that way.

As with all knots, pull good on it to test it before the fish gets a chance.

I tested the perfection loop against improved clinch knot by tying a fly with each knot then pulling them apart. It always broke at the clinch knot.
The perfection loop is easier to tie than improved clinch knot because once you've threaded the fly there is no more need to pass the end of the tippet into some small opening of twisted line.

More generally, loop knots seem to resist tangling and wind knots - I believe I first read that in Charles Brooks' Larger Trout for the Western Fly Fisherman and it seems true to me. I don't know if it makes a difference on the action of steelhead and salmon flies but I think the loop knot gives nymphs a more lifelike drift. That part gets a lot of emphasis in Brooks' excellent book.

Vinnie in Juneau
 

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Use a loop for lead eye flies.

I think the primary reason to use a loop knot is to allow lead eyed/cone head flies to sink faster. The loop allows the fly to tilt head down and sink head first thereby allowing for a smaller profile and a faster sink rate. The same fly tied tight to the leader will sink more horizontally with a broader profile and sink slower. You can prove this to yourself by setting your rod on the bank and taking the fly with you into waste deep water in a swimming pool.

A loop on a non-weighted fly has the opposite effect in that it will allow the fly to sink tail first which on a heavily hackled fly creates a parachute effect.

I like to use a Clifford Knot on swinging flies. A Clifford is a clinch knot tied around the head of the fly after inserting the tippet through the eye, similar to a Turle Knot. This way you pull along the axis of the fly and not up or down or to one side. I only use a loop knot when tossing lead head flies and in the saltwater.


FWIW
 
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A perfection loop may be stronger than an improved clinch, but the non-slip mono loop is stronger than either. In fact, if tied properly it tests out at close to 100%. The three strongest non-loop knots for this purpose would be the palomar, as Juro mentioned, the pitzen, and the Trilene knot. All are very close to 100% if tied correctly. I prefer the pitzen from that group as it uses less tippet material. When I used to gear fish I used the palomar a lot, but it uses a lot of material and that means tying on new tippet material more often than I'd prefer. For up-eyed salmon style hooks I've replaced the double turle with the Duncan hitch for the same reason. It functions the same way by closing up on the hook shank, but is quite a bit stronger than any turle I've used.
 

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I understand that the Palomar is rated by IGFA as the strongest knot known and the common (and popular) clinch can be as much as 30-35% weaker. I've been using it for 25 years and haven't found a stronger terminal knot and it's so much easier and faster to tie than many of the other knots in the top 5%. I guess like so many things it boils down to personal preference.

I assume by duncan hitch you mean a sliding duncan loop and passing the loop inward through the eye. Aesthetically, I prefer the turle and double turle.

I especially like the way turles let you pick a fly, thread it on the tippet and let go to drop the fly so it runs down the line and out of the way. Then with hands free tie the turle (or double turle). When the turle loop is prepared, hold the tippet upright so the fly falls into position. Then lasso that puppy, tighten and cast!

Just a single line comes thru the loop, and the knot is neatly tucked behind the eye not protruding out ahead of it. I just can't get myself to tie a loop eye any other way.

For light summer run tippets (e.g. 8# maxima) I alway use a double. For larger tippet sizes I'll use a (single) turle with the half-perfection wrap. When fishing deep winter flies I will tie a double regardless of the tippet diameter.

The Double turle puts two strands of line around the shank, like the palomar - which is where I think it derives it's strength. Anecdotally, I have been amazed at the snags I've pulled out when fishing sink tips in winter.

Meaning no disrespect, I have to wonder if the Duncan loop hitched is really any stronger than a double turle when used on a loop eye hook with the half-perfection wrap at the base. Do you know of a test comparison?
 

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barrel or surgeons knot less than 100%

If you seek a terminal knot of 100%, what do you use for your tippet to leader knot, to avoid losing your tippet with every breakoff?

Except for when you are seeking IGFA world line class records, don't you want a terminal knot that is slightly weaker than the barrel knot or surgeon's knot at the other end of the tippet?

-Vinnie in Juneau
 

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Ideally both would be at 100%, tapered knotless leaders notwithstanding. The surgeon's knot is as close to 100% as any knot as you might already know. In a controlled linear tensile test I would agree the result of a weaker rear knot would be a lost tippet. Odd that it happens so infrequently.

Perhaps that's because when fishing, the terminal knot is on the business end of a thrashing gamefish dealing with significantly greater shock and shear forces than the trailing leader knot could dream of experiencing, as evidenced by the number of break offs at the fly verses the junction to tippet.

When tapered gradually down to the tippet even hard snags break at the fly for me, most of the time. I try to use measures other than knots to deal with snags, like fine-tune sinktips or modify fly designs, choice of spots, etc.

Yes, I'll take the strongest terminal knot every time... again personal preference.
 
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The only close to 100% knot from leader to tippet that I know of is the ligature knot, referred to as the Simple Blood Knot by Kreh/Sosin. It is what I almost always use when tying the tippet to the rest of the leader. It is definitely stronger than any surgeon's knot and quite a bit stronger than a standard blood knot. Though a little tricky to learn, it is not all that hard to tie once you've practiced it several times. Juro, yes a Duncan hitch is a Duncan loop (or Uni-knot) where the loop is then inserted into the eye and fed around the entire fly. I'm not familiar with the perfection wrap you've mentioned, but I've found the hitch to be stronger than any of the dozens of turle knots I've been taught. It seems like every guide in Canada has a slightly different way to tie a turle even though the finished knots are all pretty much the same. When using the Duncan hitch (or a pitzen) with the ligature knot, one never knows where the break will occur when you get snagged. The truth is that if snags are inevitable (like in much steelheading) using a weaker knot may very well be preferable on either the tippet-to-fly or tippet-to-leader. The setup I describe I use for Atlantic salmon where snags are far less common.
 
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