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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone else have problems with their line finish cracking just above the loop or nailknot leader attachment? I have found it frequently, and on different line types/makes. I assume it is the result of a casting error in my double spey cast.
 

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Not sure what causes it but I know most manufacturers stand behind their lines. In fact, Airflow has a 5 yr no crack warranty. So, you might touch base with the shop where you purchased your line and see what's up.
Chris
 

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nail knot

can damage the coating of the flyline. You have stiffened up a spot on the line, with the knot and this can cause the failure there. This is another reason why I do not use a nail knot. Dana had a thread talking about how it can interfere with energy transfer, and went to a loop in the end of the line. That or a braided loop should end the failure, unless the line is old and subject to cracking.
 

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Ted,

Its happened to me too. I am too new to spey casting to know why or how to fix it. I ended up putting some flexi-cement on the crack and the nail knot. I haven't tried this, but I was wondering if putting a section of the shrink plastic over the knot like they use over loop connectors wouldn't work. I figure the extra firmness would help protect it from having a violent hinge, which is what I suppose is happening to my line at the knot and the cause of the crack.

Joe
 

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Jack Cook
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Fix it

Actually I think you will find that stiffness is the culprit. Assuming the line is not old and brittle. Most folks use a butt section on their leaders which is way stiffer than the fly line at the junction point. The key to energy transfer is to match the stiffness of the end of the fly line to the stiffness of the leader material in the butt section. I used to listen to folks who used 40# maxima and Mason for butt sections. I rarely use anything over 25# Maxima for the butt sections of my leaders on lines in the 8/9 and 9/10 range and the stiffness matches very well. When the transition is smooth no damage will occcur to either the line or the leader. Not to mention your leaders will turn over much better.

If you need an article on building you own leaders email me, [email protected], and I will send you one I wrote a few years ago.
 

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verne
Speyman must have been reading my mind. If you are using a seriously heavy mono butt section you might consider dropping down a bit. I doubt your casting stroke is causing the line to crack. With the lines of old we could get away with using 40lb mono for the butt. Todays longer, finer front tapers rarely require you to go above 25lb for the butt section. For me and the lines I cast and fish 20lb is the norm. And I do use a nail knot to attach the leader to fly line, so far no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you may have hit the problem, thanks. I just recently went to 40# maxima for the butt when the trouble started big time. I couldn't understand why lines from Airflo, SA and Rio all developed problems all of a sudden. I will try 25# for the butt.
 

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I've had trouble with cracked line coating just above braided loops and nailknotted leader butts. At least part of the fault was mine: I used stiff and too-thick finish over these parts. Something like Flexament or Pliobond probably flexes enough to transmit energy more smoothly. And some brands of line seem to have less durable coating than others; but my experience isn't comprehensive, so I won't libel anyone's product here.

Speyman is on to an important point. For a long time, the advice in print has been to use heavy, heavier diameters for leader butts. I observed early in my experience that conventional wisdom may be unrealistic. Watching a friend cast my rod, I could easily see that the smoothly unfolding loop of my 444 WF7F was suddenly interrupted by the resistance of the .025" Maxima butt. I experimented, and found that a butt as small as .013" in a 12-foot leader would turn over slowly but properly with small flies.

There's a simple, empirical test I've used for decades to match fly line tips to proper leader butts: Take four or five inches of the line tip between finger and thumbs on each hand; flex it a few times to get a feel for its resistance. Now pick leader butt material that feels the same when tested the same way. Use it. It will work.
 
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