Ask the Expert: Fly Lines, Spools and Loops

We’ve had so many questions about fly lines submitted to Ask@MidCurrent.com that Phil Monahan decided to combine three of the answers in this week’s “Fine Lines” column. With the help of Bruce Richards, he responds to a question about techniques for spooling the line on the reel without tangles. Richards also answers a question about the “best” loop-to-loop knot for connecting leaders to fly lines, and lastly explains why manufacturers haven’t traditionally put fused loops on both ends of a fly line. Read about un-spooling fly lines, loop-to-loop knots and fused loops on MidCurrent.

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  • Ron Shy

    Over the last year I have changed how I connect fly line to backing and fly line to leader for all of my fly lines. I have eliminated nail knots, braided loop connectors (Chinese handcuffs) and needle knots. All of my connections are now loop to loop. The loop on each end of the fly line is made using a tying spool, tapering nicely and coating with hard head. (If you are paranoid, or love nail knots, you can still use a nail knot to secure the fly line to itself when forming the loop.) Backing loop is a surgeons loop made oversized to fit over the spool in case of an “on water” line or spool change. Leader is connected with a surgeons or perfection loop. All knots are simple and stand up to any abuse. If the loop gets worn, I remake the loop and sacrifice the 3 inches of line. These loops work for small lines in spring creeks, big trout and salmon and heavy saltwater angling. Additionally I can go loop to loop on furled, braided, tapered or hand tied leaders.