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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The helpful people at FIsh First in Chico were showing me knots, including a slip knot. Fishing for 5-10 pound steelhead using a small 16 -18 fly has me really concerned about drag (using 8-10 pound tippet).

A guide told me he used 10 pound tippet on small flies and the steelhead dont seem too mind the drag. What is the capacity of a "duggan" slip knot? Do people thing the loop behind the fly would be more of a detractment than the drag caused by a nail knot?

The guide told me steelhead are not too finicky about drag (caused by using 10 pound tippet on a size 16 hook) and not to worry to much about it. Especially when compared to some super finicky trout of northern california like those on the hat and the yuba
 

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The folks I fish with all fish the swing and thus the fly is fished under tension (drag). There's no concern about drag. Drag is good.

New steelhead aren't leader shy, but how strong of tippet can you use with a size 16 or 18 (!) hook? Seems you'd have excess tippet strength as one of these hooks would bend or break well before you reach the a load that will break 10lb tippet.
 

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I am not familiar with the Duggan knot mentioned, but I have always used 10lb maxima for all steelheading. On occasion, in the late fall when things drop really low and clear and if I am fishing small water I will go down to 8lb Maxima. I use the standard clinch knot on all my flies.....I've never had a problem. You really dont need to concern yourself to any great extent about tippet diameter and the regular trout considerations when steelheading. I have also used small flies (size 6 and 8 glo bug hooks) for steelhead in small water (like the Kalama) and still use 10lb maxima. Good Luck.
 

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Drag

I believe the knot you are refering to is actually called a Duncan Loop and not Duggan. If you are fishing for 5-10lb steelhead 10lb maxima is overkill and you should be using something smaller. There are lots of inexpensive flourocarbons now like Berkley Vanish that are thinner, less expensive and about as abrasion resistant as Maxima.
 

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I would go to either 8# or even 6# maxima green - strong - stuff and would use a non-slip loop - Krey loop for small flies to allow them to swing freely. The Duncan Loop slips and tightens up under tension and you then have to open it up again. I think the non-slip loops are close to 100% knots
 

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The Duncan Loop is an excellent knot.

It is easy to tie, is secure, and the size of loop can be easily adjusted. The loop will slip to the eye when you hook a fish; merely slide the knot back to the loop size you desire.

An interesting aside re the nail knot and the Duncan Loop, also known as the Uni-Knot comes from the number one knot person in the world, IMHO, an Australian named Geoff Wilson. Wilson has published a number of books [Amatobooks.com] on knots and proves with diagrams that the nail knot and Duncan Loop are identical. Wilson rates the Duncan Loop as an excellent knot.

For the knot enthusiasts on this board, take a piece of small diameter [1/8" -- 3mm] cord and tie a dozen Duncan Loops and a dozen nail knots and you'll prove to yourself the knots are identical.
 

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I used to use the Duncan loop knot consistently but recently have started fishing with a turle knot when using up eye hooks. A guide this summer reccomended it to me. Haven't decided if it's better / same / worse.

Gillie
 

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Gillie

Up-eye hooks should be used with a knot that wraps around the shank, because the up-eye is in a disadvantageous position to hook and hold fish. The turle knot accomplishes this. Also a Duncan Loop threaded through the eye, around the shank and out the eye before proceeding to the standard Duncan Loop tie accomplishes the same objective.

Why up-eye hooks exist is a topic for another thread.
 

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Rick J said:
I would go to either 8# or even 6# maxima green - strong - stuff and would use a non-slip loop - Krey loop for small flies to allow them to swing freely. The Duncan Loop slips and tightens up under tension and you then have to open it up again. I think the non-slip loops are close to 100% knots

are you sure it's not over kill for the 8 pound test now 6-4 pound test i could see for fish 5-10 pounds. reason is i use 8 pound main line on my spining gear and a 6 pond leader. for large fish on the big man in michigan you know 10-15 pounders. we have no trouble with these but the rod is a ultra light noodle rod. all the bank huggers up here use them this is why i want to throw it away and start to spey. and remember to set the drag buy spring scale to 20% of the breaking strength of the tippet. at the reel not the tip of the rod. also this is why i love 7x and click pawls !!!!

any ways good luck and tight lines brownie1013
<'}}}}}}>~~~~~<
 

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Heh Bob,
Even with a traditional up eye classic salmon hook,I use a nonslip loop knot.and,I dont do anything special.I just thread the line through the eye.I am looking for maximum movement out of the fly as it encounters current changes.I feel it can wobble a little and I particularly want it to be able to dip up and down in the front.Sort of a slight jig action in certain current changes.I even prize this method more if I am using a leadeye fly like an eggsucking leech.when I fish my intruder shanks I do thread the loop around the hook shank to hold my hook in a fixed position without a lot of flopping around on the cast.I also want itheld pointing up. Beau
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
pescaphile said:
The folks I fish with all fish the swing and thus the fly is fished under tension (drag). There's no concern about drag. Drag is good.

New steelhead aren't leader shy, but how strong of tippet can you use with a size 16 or 18 (!) hook? Seems you'd have excess tippet strength as one of these hooks would bend or break well before you reach the a load that will break 10lb tippet.

I am using tiemco 2x strong scud hooks and daiichi 1x strong scud hooks. Have you ever used a 2x strong tiemco scud hook? You could put 20 pound test through it, latch unto a 20 pound salmon, and the hook wouldnt break.

I use 14 and 16's, but scud hooks are shorter so a 16 is really like a 18.
 

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I've never used such a hook for a steelhead or salmon either. I must admit the idea of using a size 16 hook for steelhead is quite foreign to me. Size 8 or 10 would a small steelhead fly for me, perhaps with the body undersized for low water.

8 lb Maxima or one of the flourcarbons fit these flies well and should yours too. I'd think 6lb Maxima or the correspnding flourocarbon would work on your smaller-sized flies too.
 

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It's a California thing

Many big steelhead in northern California's central valley rivers are taken on size 16 nymphs. Seems that by the time they get this far up the system they've reverted to trout-like behavior. 2X Rio Flouro flex is good tippet for these small presentaions as it has good breaking strength and of course is not supposed to be as visible, and those little saltwater hooks hold just fine. This is really indicator fishing though, I can't seem to fathom trying to swing a size 16 nymph through steelhead water and have yet to see anyone who has a nymph that small tied on without the bobber and a trailing egg pattern. I like to swing larger flies and have been very happy with 6# Maxima Chameleon, but have recently switched to Rio 0X Flouro-flex per a friends reccomendation and like it well enough. Given it's invisibillity benefits it's great for clearer water, but in water that is not so gin clear I'd stick with the Chameleon for it's stiffness; it's ability to turn over better.


I use the Duncan loop and find it acceptible, but I should try the no slip. The Duncan does tend to tighten down.
 

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What's wrong with trilene knot. Run the end of line through eye of hook and double back through the eye a second time. Next follow clinch knot pattern.
The knot has 95% of the original line strength.
 

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I've used the Trilene knot, aka double-loop clinch knot, almost exclusively for many years. It's very reliable. To clarify, the tag end goes through the two loops, and is tightened with thumb pressure against the hook eye or fly head; it is not passed through the upper loop like an improved clinch. Do it right, and the tag is so short that it's almost not worth trimming.
 

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Bolen & Nooksack,
That knot is a good knot but I think what promted the original question was a knot that tightens up to the eye of a small hook if the tippet is too heavy will not let the fly swing properly - thus the discussion of loop type knots
 

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Peter - that is essentially the Krey loop. I have seen discussions where you don't pass the tag through the overhand the first time just make your wraps then back through the overhand knot. This knot may be a bit stronger though I use them both. The number of twists depends on the tippet size. For smaller tippet sizes you should twist 5 times to get maximum knot strength.
 
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