Pullers vs. Pickers: A Knotty Problem

August 25, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

Gordon Wickstrom is clearly a picker. As he correctly asserts, with patience most knots can have their diabolical innards exorcised. “There’s a metaphor somewhere in this matter of tangles. Life itself might be thought of as a hopeless tangle, the ultimate tangle, the tangle of all tangles, of which, in the end, there is no undoing whatever. Still, it may be well to have the savvy of the angler to keep looking down into the center of the mess, as down into the center of Dante’s Inferno, to find a way out. Even though there is none.” In the Boulder Daily Camera.
I happen to be a puller, as a lot of guides I know are. Does it have to something to do with the speed at which I can re-tie leaders? Probably. Or maybe I just don’t want to ruin a good several minutes worrying over another of life’s Gordian knots. So I’ll give it a glance, take a couple of tugs, then follow Alexander’s example of going to the sword.
Here’s a pretty good tip, though: As we all know, fly lines tangle, and sometimes they don’t do it until you are just making that perfect shooting-line cast. When that happens, the first thing to try is to pull on the back end of the line, and leave the front end of the line alone. Think of it as the “last in , first out” principle of fly line tangles.