Q: Why would anglers use a loop on the end of their fly line instead of a nail knot? Can you tell me which loop is best and how to make it?
A: During a fish fight, the leader, line and backing may frequently flow through the guides. It is possible for nail knots to either hang or slow the line’s passage through the guides and tip top. A loop is curved and will flow through many times without hanging.
There are two popular loop methods: One folds the fly line back on itself then secures it with a thread whipping or two nail knots. The other method uses a hollow, braided line to form into a loop that is then secured to the line. Properly constructed, either loop is stronger than the fly line.
The first method is fast and with practice can be completed in two or three minutes. This works well for most species, and I have used this whipped-loop connection for more than 40 years without failure.
However, if the angler is fishing offshore for very large fish, it is possible due to the strain on the line that the leader loop may cut through the line loop, resulting in a lost battle. For very strong fish, the braided-loop method is preferred.
To understand how to make the whipped loop, Google the name, and you’ll find the illustrated technique. If you want to use a braided-line loop, go to www.danblanton.com and click on Tackle and Techniques and then Getting Looped. Dan has excellent illustrations that are easy to follow.