How To Make a Loop Connection in Fly Line

Thursday, October 04, 2012 , , 4 Comments

There are two ways to connect your fly line to your leader, either by tying a nail knot or using a loop to loop connection. With a nail knot you invariably need to cut away a portion of your fly line when its time to put on a new leader, for this reason I prefer a loop to loop connection. Many fly lines come with  a loop connection already in place, but not all, and if you fish as hard as I do the manufactures loop may become damaged leaving you put in a new loop connection yourself. 

There are several products on the market which you can buy to put a loop in your line, most look like the chinese finger traps we played with as kids, there is a way however, to put a loop in the line itself without the need to buy an aftermarket product. After trying several methods, the following is my favorite way to do it.

*Note: The following only works for braided core lines, though these are the predominate type on the market.

Materials Needed:

Nail Polish Remover
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Nail Polish Clear
A Bowl
6/0 Thread, I prefer to match the color of my line as closely as possible
A Thread Bobbin
Sharpie Marker

Step 1: How your fly line will look prior to starting

Step 2: Take your ruler and measure from the end 3/4", mark there with your Sharpie, from that point measure down another 1 1/4", mark there, and again from this point measure down another 3/4" and mark. It should look like the following. 

Step 3: Pour Nail Polish Remover into a small bowl, until it is 1" deep. Take your fly line and place the first 3/4", where you placed your first mark, in the nail polish remover for two minutes and remove. 

Step 4: Now fold the fly line  between the second and third marks. Dip this section in the nail polish remover for 2 minutes. Remove.

Step 5: On those areas you soaked in the nail polish remover, you should now be able to slip off the outer coating of the fly line leaving only the braided core. If you have difficulty you may need to soak that section additionally. For illustrative purposes I colored the exposed braid orange so you can see what your line should look like. 

Step 6: Placing the two exposed areas alongside one another, take your thread and begin to wrap the two sections together, much like you would place your initial wraps on a hook, continue until the entire is sufficiently wrapped. *Hint: after I place my starting wraps I grab either side of the fly line so the exposed section and thread are in the middle. Then using the weight of the bobbin to your advantage swing the bobbin around the area to cover much faster. 

Step 7: Following this your fly line should look like this. 

Step 8: Take your clear nail polish and coat the entire area of thread, in two coats. Allow to dry and you are finished. What I like about this method is it is not bulky, as the two braided areas are roughly the same diameter together as the fly line itself. 


I don't know how I missed this post---this is an excellent example of forming a loop with your present fly line. It is much better than buying those loops and trying to heat shrink the piece of plastic tubing. This is the route I will go when my loops start wearing. Thanks for the advice

Atlas said...

Bill, not a problem. It has been a great system to me and I have not had it ever fail.

Unknown said...

Any idea if the nail polish can damage tungsten/weighted lines?

Atlas said...

I have been using this method for years and have never had one fail on weighted or floating lines, same with finishing on tungsten beads, thanks for the comments.