Backing to Fly Line Splice

bonefishdickbonefishdick Posts: 67 Deckhand
I have seen threads on this and other forums regarding connection options for connecting the backing to the fly line. Growing up as a trout fisherman all we ever used was the Nail Knot and it was all one ever needed, In most cases the the Fly Line would be replaced a few years later and in many cases the backing was never to be seen again until it was time to replace the fly line.

The Nail Knot for Salt Water never quite seemed like it would be adequate enough for much bigger and stronger fish. Fly lines were manufactured without loops on either end and loops had to be added thru various means.

With regards to the backing I used the Braided loop as well as whip finished loops and connected the backing via the loop to loop. The one thing I never liked was the way these loops would go thru the guides. When they were going out it was not nearly as bothersome as it was when reeling a big fish in. The loop would make a noticeable impact on each guide and sometimes the resistance almost seemed like it could damage a guide and that always bothered me.

The one thing I like to do is tinker and try to come up with different ways of doing things. I finally settled on a splice that has served me well and it has never failed me yet. I have landed a number of big fish as well as once having a Tuna eat a Blue Fish and nearly spooling me until I just cranked down tight until something gave. The hook straightened out but I got everything back. I have had seals eat Stripers and it has never failed.

This is my splice and it goes thru the guide and you don't even know it is there. I do the splice the same way you wrap a guide on a fly rod blank and coat with Flex cement
"The Tug Is The Drug"

Replies

  • ZhunterZhunter Posts: 225 Deckhand
    Not bad, but I for one change my fly lines a lot. I do not store them on my reels in between uses either, so I need to be able to take them off easily.

    I use a double bimini loop and use a loop-to-loop to connect them. I whip my own loop in the fly line.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Bonefishdick,
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,180 Captain
    I posted a SBS for a spliced loop a while back. The problem with splicing hollow core spectra or dacron directly to your flyline is that with repeated stretching, the coating will seperate from the core of the line.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Mr. Dirty,
  • Carolina FlyCarolina Fly Posts: 66 Deckhand
    That is probably the thinnest method I have seen for that connection, quite innovative. What DOC said about the coating coming off is true for the common PVC coated lines. If you happen to use one of the Cortland polyethylene lines though it shouldn't happen. The method I use may be stronger in that regard but bulkier: large bimini in backing then if for light weight strains I just loop to loop. for stronger fish I put a surgeons knot in the double line making it 4 strands and loop to loop that. I think the bottom line on strength of connection though is to be sure the weakest link is the class tippet so it breaks before your backing connection so you don't lose your whole line.
  • bonefishdickbonefishdick Posts: 67 Deckhand
    I have tried most different types of loops at the end of the fly line for the connection to the backing but none of them have had less of a bump that will hit the guides on the retrieve than what I use.

    The picture is quite magnified but in reality the difference in the backing connection and the fly line is minimal compared to what a loop in the backing with a Bimini and connected to a **** finished loop or for that matter a commercial loop built into the fly line. I have used the loop to loop method and the amount of tension on the line with a big fish sometimes really can be almost disconcerting to say the least when going over the guides. I just don't like it but it does let you know you have a big fish on, so I guess that is a positive.

    Like I said I have never had an issue with one of these including splices on lines including ones that have lasted 5 years or more. As previously stated the weakest link in the system will always be somewhere within the leader to protect the integrity of everything behind it. That I do on purpose for just that reason.
    "The Tug Is The Drug"
  • ZhunterZhunter Posts: 225 Deckhand
    I have used the loop to loop method and the amount of tension on the line with a big fish sometimes really can be almost disconcerting to say the least when going over the guides. I just don't like it but it does let you know you have a big fish on, so I guess that is a positive.

    Trust me, this is NOT an issue, I can say that triple digit Tarpon test tackle to the N'th degree, and it has not been a problem.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Z hunter,
  • bonefishdickbonefishdick Posts: 67 Deckhand
    I'm not sure what a Regular Saltwater Fisherman is, but I"m guessing the prerequisite to being one must start with you have to use the Loop to Loop method to connect your Fly Line to your backing and yes my method works for me, very well in fact.
    "The Tug Is The Drug"
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Hey Bonefishdick,

    I would love to be a mouse on the beach and watch you at Christmas Island as a fish goes over the side and cuts your line off on the coral......Now walk back up to the beach, get your bobbin and thread out and make another ugly knot, and don't forget to "bring your glue" so you can attache another fly line to your backing....I think at that point, you might wish you were a regular saltwater fly fisherman? But then again with your attitude, maybe not?

    It seems to me that most of us try and learn more about our passion of saltwater fly fishing, we try to improve, learn new knots, new line systems, new flies etc....then some just stay stuck in the mud. with there eyes closed.

    my 2 cents

    Carl
  • clampmanclampman Posts: 130 Officer
    I cut the factory loops off the fly line and install my own made from braided mono on the running line end - for three reasons. One is that I don't trust the welded loops, having had them fall apart in the past; two is that they are too small and hard to get apart when using two pass throughs with a half twist between them to connect the backing; three is that they are bulkier than mine and don't slip through the guides so easily. Of those, the most important to me are one and two.

    I use blind spliced loops in the backing as well, and "upsplice" when using hollow spectra to heavier hollow spectra rather than knotting a blind splice loop to double it. That is purely personal preference - I simply don't like knots going through the guides.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Clampman,

    I agree totally with you on the factory loops. My problem with them was, My backing material would cut into the soft coating on the fly line loop, and really look ugly, I never did lose a fly line due to cutting through it, however it sure looked like it would break any minute.

    Installing 50# braided loops, then whip finish the ends is the smoothest ride through the guides that I know of. If you use Pliobond it will never crack due to stretching or fatiguing...again just my 2 cents

    Carl Blackledge
  • clampmanclampman Posts: 130 Officer
    My problem with them was, My backing material would cut into the soft coating on the fly line loop, and really look ugly, I never did lose a fly line due to cutting through it, however it sure looked like it would break any minute.

    I hear you there, Carl. Even with braided mono loops, I like either a thicker diameter backing connecting to it than what single spectra provides, or to double it as you do with a multi-turn surgeons.

    But being pig-headed about knots, even though they are inconsequential in doubled backing, I wound up up-splicing JB hollow spectra with relatively short lengths of higher breaking strength JB to increase the diameter of the blind-spliced loop at the end of the backing.

    But the REAL problem with knots is those I get in the running line ("a$$holes" as my buddy calls them) when night fishing or caused by wind blowing running line all over, or from not using a stripping basket, or from failing to untwist my fly line periodocally.

    And the hell of it is, I know the causes of them, I know the remedies, and STILL do nothing about it - except when sailfishing. :grin:grin

    Cheers,
    Jim
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Chapman,

    I understand what your saying.

    As I said before, I use 50 # power pro for backing on all my big game reels. I use the triple surgeons knot (6 times through)
    Then double the line and use a double surgeons knot on the doubled line, that system then looped into the 50# Braided mono loops, is the strongest system that I know of. My buddies and I in Mexico pull on big strong fish all day long, and I mean point the rod at them and pull (our fish come in cross eyed) I haven't had any failures. Now after all that being said.......If anybody knows a stronger and better way to accomplish the same results...I'm all ears, and Chapman like you said "I'm also really pig headed about strong knots" glad to see somebody on this site I can relate with.

    Carl Blackledge
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Chapman,

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