The development of braided butt leaders has made the use of a loop at the end of the flyline popular because a loop to loop transition will move relatively smoothly through the flyrod guides - making the nail knot or needle knot un-necessary. I have felt that the loop was superior to other methods even before the recent popularity and have been using them for some forty years. The first thing I do to a new flyline is to form loops on the ends either by stripping off the outer coating and binding down the looped back braid or, more recently, adding a braided nylon loop. I find it particularly important to remove the loop provided on the butt end of a shooting head and replace it with one of my own the one provided by the manufacturer is done at minimum cost and tends to hang up in the rod guides. It is, also, subject to puling off with the resulting loss of the head.

Once you have the loops, with the exception of a braided butt leader, a loop to loop connection is NOT what you want, because adding a loop to a leader adds a second knot to hang up in the guides. What is needed is a low profile knot that is easy to tie and remove, and is secure.

I have been using a knot, a variation of the Sheet Bend, that meets the above criterion, with a profile much less than the more popular knots now in use. I use it for attaching tapered leaders to the flyline loop where the low break strength (70%) doesn’t matter (the nail knot is also a 70% connection).

An Illustration follows:


After the knot is formed, draw it up tightly and cut the tag end flush with the knot. There is no danger of the knot pulling out and any projection of the tag end will cause the knot to hang up in the guides. To remove the knot, use needle nose pliers placed on the Monofilament about 1/16" from the loop to force the Monofilament back through the loop. Once loosened the knot unravels easily.

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