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Speaking of loops.....

clampmanclampman Posts: 130 Deckhand
and loop to loops.

There are more reaons I don't like welded loops than the strength issue. I think manufacturers are getting better with that but at a price. The loops are getting fatter so they are bulkier going through the guides. They are also smaller, so they are both harder to get together and apart, and they have enough memory so they can spring apart and convert the "handshake" connection of backing/leader into the other kind that digs into the fly line loop.

Properly made braided loops not only can be made whaterver size you like, but the loop can also can be spread apart by pushing the outside section of the loop down - making it even bigger temporarily while you are messing around with the connection then can be milked back down to its normal size. This is a huge advantage for fat-fingered guys or guys with arthritis.

That way you can make a two pass through connection with a hafl twist between which will cinch the connection up - narrowing it and preventing it from changing form. There is not room inside factory loops to do this and then get it apart again without a rigging needle or something.




That backing is up-spliced hollow spectra and what is shown is probably 200 lb test or something. That's why it is so thick - and its thickness is the reason for up-splicing not strength.



  • trout069trout069 Posts: 5,933 Admiral
    most hardcore Tarpon fisher folk I know have gone away from braid backing.between nearly losing a digit and it digging into itself they are going back to dacron backing.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Trout 069

    Earth to trout, all backing can cut the hell out of you if you don't use a little common sense :)

    Again if the Spectra (AKA) braid is installed correctly, you won't have any problems at all with it cutting into it's self. I would think the hard core Tarpon guys would know that.

    Carl Blackledge
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 301 Deckhand

    I use spectra 40-80(Braid for backing on all mine from trout to tarpon...But I always use gloves...the left hand glove in the pic is my goto spectra glove it's full finger and fly to conventional as in laying on the braid to fly reels to Penn Inter/conventional of all it's an industrial/shop Kevlar glove liner available two weights light for about 3 bucks pair heavier 6 bucks pair. I get mine at Grainger's Supply....inexpensive and they work no cuts
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    I never changed from Micron (that's a braid!!!!), maybe it's because Cortland gave me 2 service spools, now 3 decades ago (it's still good).

    I do not use sleeved loops on anything in salt water. I take the time to whip finish a small loop directly in the fly line, for rods of 6-8 wts. For rods of 9 wt. and heavier, I nail/needle knot a permanent leader butt. This butt contains the first taper of my leader, usually 40 > 30 lb. test. Then I put a perfection loop in the 30 and loop-to-loop tapered "tippets" as necessary. My leader butts are so much stronger than any tippet I might use, that they last for years if unaffected by something abrasive.

    Anyone wanting to try this, my only tip is to be sure your permanent butt is of a diameter equal, OR (better) very slightly less than the fly line. In floating lines, I would also take the time to make a needle knot, as opposed to a nail knot. Just MHO
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Mr Rat

    With all due respect, it sure seems to me that's a good system for trout fishing, However for blue water fishing it's pretty much a joke.

    I used to do pretty much the same stuff as you do now. Then I went to Mexico twice with the late Bill Nash who wrote the book on knots, when I came back from Mexico and after I broke everything I had, I then started listing to the experts and installed loops on everything, since then I have broken fly lines and leaders, however I haven't ever had a loop failure. Just remember, if it works on big fish, you know it's going to work for smaller fish....just my 2 cents.

    Carl Blackledge
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Well Carl, there is no way I have had your blue water experience, but 15 lb. is 15 lb., no matter where you are fishing. If using that class as a tippet, there is no way you can apply more pressure and still be affixed to said fish, be it a tarpon, sailfish, rooster, trevally.....whatever.

    That said, I can assure you that I have had plenty of experience with tarpon over the 50 lb. mark and I put the maximum pressure to them. I also coached my clients, showing them what 15 lbs. felt like, before we went fishing. I think in the long run, this saved some fish. Point is that I have never had a failure with my tackle, using a needle or nail knot and creating a permanent leader butt. What's more, there have been times when (by accident) I think my leader butts lasted 2 seasons. Still no failure. Fluorocarbon hadn't been "invented back then, so I used good 'ol Ande mono for all my leader components. (Still do.)

    On the other end of the spectrum, my 6 wt rod may have a **** fly line loop and you are right.......essentially we are trout fishing, even though there may be a bonefish or dinnerplate permit on the other end. The rod is the same and even though my class tippet may be 8 lbs. (this is solely for ease of tying on flies at my age) the rod is almost never exerting more than about 3 lbs. of pressure. The butt end of my 11 ft. leader is close to 40 lb., so the diameter is plenty big enough to not cut into the fly line coating while fighting the fish at those pressures. This is my reasoning and experience. So far so good. Before I go to Xcalak again, I will inspect everything, but.....

    It's all a matter of what you're used to. I see no harm in newbies learning the other techniques. Properly done, they will work just as well. I just don't understand how you can tell a man that his leader system is a joke, when he has a decent amount of experience and no leader failures over a 15+ year period, both himself and his clients. JMHO.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Mr Rat,

    With all due respect again. I know you have been around a long time and if your system works for you, that's great. I was comparing your 15 pound system pound to pound to a blue water leader system, Where in Mexico we might go as high as straight 80 pound for Dorado. That's where the aspect of the "joke" came from. No harm met.


    In Mexico when Dorado fishing, I might be using a Cortland 12 wt clear floater when running around hunting for fish, we might come up on a Sailfish or Marlin or a whole pack of either on top of the water sunning themselves, and only have a few seconds to get a shot, so therefore I sometimes just use straight 80 Seagurd, with my 50# braided loop. Dorado have little hack saw teeth and billfish have that long sword that's very abrasive, so we use the 80# for bite, after it gets chewed on , we then cut it shorter and keep on fishing.

    Carl Blackledge
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Carl, that sounds OK, but don't you think it might be better to have at least a part of your system that breaks before the fly line (at about 30 lbs.)? Maybe the newer 12 wt. fly lines are stronger now, but last I knew, the breaking strength of a fly line was somewhere around 30 lbs. Perhaps the newer mono/clear braided cores are stronger. (I have been out of big game fly fishing for a long time now, so forgive me)

    If it were me, I would learn the breaking strength of the line and make a tippet so as to preserve my fly line. I also might go to 100 lb. for a shock leader. We're not fishing IGFA here, so that shock could be as long as one deemed practical.


  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Mr Rat,

    Mr Rat,

    Your right, some of the guys do put a "fuse" in the leader system. My fuse is the #50 braided loop. The Rio big game Lines we use sometimes have a breaking strength of near 70 pounds. I think the Cortland clear line is near 40, I don't have a clue what the Monic is and really don't use Monic products any more. I very seldom lose the whole fly line, and of course I always have spare everything in the boat bag.

    As you can tell I love pulling on big fish. When tarpon fishing we used to "bow" to a jumping fish, in Mexico when a sailfish or Marlin jumps I pull them over backwards, I like fighting them like they owe me money. to each his own I guess.

    Carl Blackledge
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