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Discussion Starter #1
How do you guys feel about putting loop connecters on the end of tips to attach leaders. I use them on my floating lines for single handed rods but I'm wondering if they will allow the fly to turn over with a spey rod, particularly on the floating tip. If you use them, is there a specific type or just the regular Rio,Cortland,Orvis etc. in most fly shops? Thanks!
Kim
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Hi Kim -

Since most of my spey leaders are as long as the rods, a loop connector would not deter most fish I am swinging to on a dry line - but with sinktips I often fish very short leaders (4'-6') and don't like the loop connectors down there swimming with the fishes especially if they are flourescent green or white.

My favorite connection for butt to line is the epoxy splice - simply remove the last half inch of coating from a fly line with acetone and sharpen the butt with a razor like a pencil. Sounds crazy but it works. Then inch-worm the butt inside the braided core and keep going until it's a half inch further under the line coating. You will see the bulge. Then apply a drop of zap a gap or roll the end in thinned aquaseal and let dry.

A nail knot works just as well. I have a big doll needle in my fly box that makes nail knots take about 15 seconds to tie standing in the water.

If you plan on changing the whole leader a lot a loop is a good thing to have but frankly I only change the taper and tippet so the loop doesn't serve any purpose to me and I avoid it.

Others may differ in opinion...
 

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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
 

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Loops:

If I'm never going to put a tip or sinking leader on my line, I'll attach a piece of 30 or 40# Maxima with a nail knot. You can attach the rest of your leader with a blood knot.

If I want a loop and I'm feeling ambitous, I'll strip the coating off 3/4" of line (acetone helps), fray the end, and whip a loop with thread, coat with several coats of thin aquaseal.

If I'm in a hurry or standing in the middle of the river, I'll just double over the line and tie a nail knot over both pieces with 12 or 15# Maxima. Make sure the mono is well wetted and tighten carefully. Takes about ten seconds if you know how to tie a bait-fisher's snell knot or a fly-tyer's whip finish knot by hand (same thing). A little bulkier than the thread whip, particularly with very thick lines, but very simple. Needs to be checked regularly because mono does lose it's strength over the years or can be damaged on a back cast or if snagged in the rocks.

A downside with some lines (for the nail knot & both types of loop) is that the flyline finish can crack just above the loop which will cause a hinge and require a re-loop.

Can't recall a failure with any of these methods.

Poul
 

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colored loops spooking fish????

I respect Juro's choice to eliminate the loops on his sink tips. I use the "Marks-A-Lot" permanent ink felt tips to color my loops with either a brown pen or black and the color does not wash out. I use the colored loops for the reel side connection while I use the clear and then color them with a felt tip on all my working end tips. I must also add that my main reason for doing the loops is that so often when I am winter Steelheading and the wind is howling and the air temps are in single digits or once in a while below zero F, I just simply CANNOT tie good knots under those conditions as my fingers do not have the feel to do them correctly. I loop to loop every connnection I can possibly do. I even use the small to med sized "snaps" (with no swivels) to tie onto my f/c tippets when I swing flies; thus, eliminating the need to retie any knots. I can change flies by just opening/closing the snap and away I go. Truly, this allows more action as does the various fly to tippet looped knots in use and I have never noticed any reduction in takes when using these snaps as opposed to knots. Winter fish in MI are hard to come by and one certainly does not want to lose any by a failed knot. I had so many knots in my earlier winter outings fail me due to cold fingers that I was forced to find a "better mouse trap." Best, Stiver
 

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Until recently I have done what Poul does - that is the nail knot then the loop. However, when I got my supplies to build the Ed Ward line from Aaron's shop I was fortunate to get a lesson in line building from the Sultan of Splice himself - Brian Simonseth. In addition to the fine points of the epoxy splice he showed me how to make and install the best braided loop set-up I have ever seen.

It consists of handmade loop of braided nylon - using the cool little Cortland loop tool. Making the loop is not that big a deal, but what makes the connection awesome is that before the loop goes onto the end of the line the last couple of inches of coating is stripped off and drawn all the way through the loop. This is accomplished by pushing the Cortland tool down the the loop and out the bottom, where the frayed end of the line core is hooked in the tool and drawn back up through the entire loop! Then the stripped core is pulled by hand until the unstripped line butts up against the the buried leg of the loop. The brilliant thing about this is that the core of the line goes all the way through - and there is no hinging - since the loop has the same flex properties as the line! The connection is completed by whipping a small wrap of tying thread at the base of the loop (where the core was clipped off and again at the lower end of the braided nylon. Finally the whole finished loop is dipped in Aqua Flex.

I have been busy converting all my lines to this very slick system. Stay tuned as Dana, myself and the Sultan of Splice have been discussing the possibilities of a photo/video piece on line building - possibly this fall!
 

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question for Tyler...loops

Hello, Tyler. The method you describe sounds fantastic. I must ask a question about this method...if I understand correctly, one would have to have a mono or other solid core fly line and not a braided core? Do I read this correctly? Thanks, Stiver
 

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Not at all, the braided core fly lines work the best. Strip the coating, fray the last tiny bit, then pull it up through the loop with the tool.

If I get some time later I will try to get a few photos up.
 

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Use a needle

to thread either mono or braided core up through the braided mono and out the bottom side of the loop. Either core type works fine. Brian is a great instructor of the method.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What about sink tips?

All these methods(although a little hard to visualize :confused: ) sound great for a floating line, but what about loops on a sink tip? Do you use pre-made loops and just reinforce the slip on connection with nail knots? Thanks again to all.
Kim
 

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Just lucky, I guess...

but I stumbled onto that idea too, late this winter when building tips for a Skagit line. It does work great, no hinging, and is very durable. The only step I added was that after inserting core and whipping the based of the loop, I added a small drop of liquid (not gel) super glue to soak through the wrap/core/braid connection. Then I coat the loop in Loon Soft Head. I'm tossing T-14 on a modified WC 11/12/13 (Skagit line), so if it was gonna hinge, I'd have seen it.

Stiver--if you want I can show you the above connection this Friday.

Kim, I use the above mentioned loops for connecting tips to the main line. I connect leader butt to the floating tip using two nail knots spread out. I generally tie a loop in that piece and loop-to-loop my leaders. On the ends of my sink tips I generally use mono and nail knots to make a loop in the end of the sink tip by reversing the tip end into a "U".

Carl
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Sounds awesome! Please get that video up :)
 

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Popcorn and video

I'd stand in line for a ticket to this premier. Sounds like a great loop system. Klem
 

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Carl

You can put a loop in the T-14 by stripping the coating and running the mono core up the braided mono loop. It is bomb proof and reslts in a nice small loop. Then do a loop to loop connection with your leader.
 

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Okay, here come some photos. Please excuse a couple that are less than sharp. This is by no means the aforementioned video, that will include the whole line splicing/building process. Dana and I have yet to work out the details with the Sultan of Splice - but Brian has agreed in principle.

Photo #1 is simply the Cortland Loop tool in case some are not familiar with it and a loop made with it from braided mono.

Photo #2 is a little blurry, but it shows where the tool is inserted back into the loop and is threaded out the end to catch the frayed end of the stripped core

Photo #3 shows the core about to be pulled through the loop

Photo #4 is after the core has been pulled all the way through the loop, (I find you need to pinch the loop junction as you pull through so as to prevent the loop from pulling out).

Photo #5 shows the core pulled through until the unstripped portion of the flyline butts up against the buried leg of the loop
 

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Here are the rest of the Photos

Photo #6 shows the excess core having been cut off, then overwrapped and whipped with tying thread.

Photo #7 shows the whipped thread over the back of the braid and the flexible cement that the whole thing will be dunked in.

Photo #8 is the completed loop. One must slowly turn the loop after dunking it in the Aqua Flex to make sure that it dries evenly.
 

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Looks like a wonderful system for making connecting loops. Thanks for sharing this info.
One question, when you make the initial loop in the braided mono, do you do the second pull through to make the locking loop or just form the loop and then go to the above procedure?
Forgive the poor wording of this but I do not know the vocabulary. :eek:
 

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I asked Kush the same question by phone the other day. I tried both ways and the second lock pull made it harder to pull the core up but it was do-able.

Here's a suggestion:

Use just the single pull thru for the loop, but make it a little longer than shown here. Then instead of cutting the core flush, lay it into the crotch of the loop doubled back before whipping, then cut it flush after having been doubled over, cement, and you have a more significant attachment to core without the double tuck.

Or just use the double-tuck, it wasn't that hard to pull it through. However having two pulls limited the distance that the line with core could be advanced toward the loop.

BTW - I will post my own loop technique as well for comparisons sake. Anyone else with a killer loop system go for it, maybe I will convert these into an article for the Expertise pages. About time to update it and this is a cool topic for sure.
 

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Modification

I have found it easier to use a needle to run the core of the line up (from the open end) through the mono loop than to use the splicing tool to pull it through - obviously both work.
 
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