View Full Version : Loop Connectors

12-17-2007, 03:39 PM
Folks, any and all ideas, input, and thoughts are welcome on this one. I have used the loop connectors since the mid nineties and I'm beginning to get annoyed with them. They don't stay secure unless you use some sort of adhesive, and when you do they end up being stiff as a toothpick. Eventually the line begins to wear at the seam.

I used to use the little connectors you kind of thread onto the line in the core of the line. They are not easy to thread on to small size lines.

I guess I'm going back to the old fashioned nail knot.

Anyone have any info or tips on how to splice line with needle and thread like they did in the old days?

Like I said: any input on this would be great.


12-17-2007, 04:28 PM
Hans, I had someone needle splice a loop connection of a flyline several years ago at a fly shop and it seemed to want to draw water into the tip and eventually cause it to sink. I went back to nailknotting myself. I replace them every few months and seal the tip with a dap of zap-a-gap. I like the red amnesia and tie a perfection loop on it.
The little brass nail knot tool hangs on my lanyard for on stream repairs if needed.

David Knapp
12-17-2007, 06:59 PM
I used to use the connectors but had one give out on me so I nail knot some heavy mono to the end of the fly line and use a perfection loop like Troutman was saying... I've been tempted to go completely to knotted leaders but it is so convenient to just use a loop to loop connection and have a whole new leader ready to go...

12-17-2007, 07:20 PM
I used to use the Cortland Braided Loop connectors, but in addition to becoming brittle and breaking off, I seemed to catch my tippet in the connection part, way too often. I had the same trouble with the nail knot I had tied before that, it always seem to snag my fly or tippet on casts. I know it probably has more to do with my casting style (or lack of one) than the type, but now that I have tied a double surgeon's knot in the end of my fly line and the leader connected directly to it (loop-to-loop), I get a much better turnover on the fly and don't seem to snag myself anywhere near as much (probably less than 1/20th of the times as before). It may be the heavier knot (or more practice casting:rolleyes:), but it just seems to work better for me. And I never need to worry about it.

12-17-2007, 09:00 PM

Thanks for the info on splicing. I was afraid that it might cause a problem. I probably will do the nail knot with some heavy mono as suggested by David.


I'm a little slow tonight, more than usual I should say. Explain how you attach the leader again. What do you do with the fly line?

Sorry for being slow.

12-17-2007, 09:01 PM
Have Daniel take care of ya...A small peice of mono nail knotted to your fly line and a loop connection on the end...It's certainly the best...I've never ran into that problem with SA's connector series....But it's much to heavy and I hate carring the extra adapter tool around with me! Doesn't make it easy to change and quite frankly I'm suprised to hear your using them....I know you pack lightly on a trip??? Felt like I just learned sumthin!!


12-18-2007, 08:47 AM
Buy a new fly line with the welded loops:biggrin: I've used them all at one point, i like the splice on my small stream rods, sealed with Pliobond or Knot Sense.
I'll nail knot a piece of Amnesia to a few of my rigs, once again sealing the end of the line.
I'm liking the welded loops the manufacturers are going to these days, i'll still splice my small stream rods so there aren't any knots going through the guides on the shorter rods.
Anyone remember the old metal spikes, i think they're still around:eek:


12-18-2007, 09:02 AM

Yes, I used the spikes for years, it worked fine until I got down to line sizes 4 and below. They become very tricky to attach in small sizes.

I've got a lot of lines so I don't need any new ones for a while, but when I do I wish all manufacturers goes to welded loops.

David Knapp
12-18-2007, 09:53 AM
Hopefully it was a fluke but I had one of those welded loops give out on a line that was less than a year old... Anyone else have any problems with those?

12-18-2007, 09:13 PM
I haven't had any problems with the loops - I'm sort of forced to use them with the furled leaders I like...the one problem I've had is at the other end of the furled leader - I've gone through three of them this year, and they're really supposed to last a year apiece. It might be the way I fish - I'm tough on everything - clothes, shoes, etc.

12-18-2007, 09:54 PM
Like almost everyone I have tried several connections. One I like is to put a loop in the fly line. Use your bobbin and good thread. Trim the end of the fly line for a flusher fit. Wrap the thread around the arms of your bobbin to tighten it up. Wrap it around the line to form a loop. Lay a loop of thread to pull the end thru the wound thread. Glue it up. Takes a little time, but it is a nice connection. Be sure to test your loop so it doesn't pull out. Use bright thread, sort of a strike indicator.

12-18-2007, 10:12 PM

Don't feel bad, I joined the bandwagon with furled leaders. I bought the ones which were and still are heavily advertised from a well known maker up north. Well, I went thru several in one summer and I even had one completely separate from my fly line while fishing on Hiwassee. needless to say I lost that fish, leader and all. I gave up on them, they don't work for me. I think they are good for big rivers with no obstructions such as rocks, trees, etc. I.e pretty useless in my opinion unless you fish smooth runs on a western river all the time. I'm sure others have had luck with them but I stick with the old mono.

12-18-2007, 10:14 PM

I have actually read about your method recently and briefly thought about trying it. I'm gonna have to do something this spring. I'm just tired of the stiffness and the bad turnover with the braided loop connectors.

12-18-2007, 10:19 PM
check the dave whitlock system , of connecting leader to flyline by using a needle up the center of your flyline and drawing the leader back thru and gluing with ca and coating uv knot sense works great no hang up in guides . i have used this connecting works great.[ umpqua has a kit for this connection ask lro for one

12-19-2007, 01:35 AM
Hans...yep, you're right - the Blue Sky ones said they were originally developed for the chalk streams in England, which are a far cry from the Smokies. They really aren't designed for the small streams I like to fish, but I will say one thing - I'm able to really present a fly delicately and accurately with them. It's ok for me, since I'm not up there fishing all the time; if I was, I would probably go back to the mono...I have all the leader material, and the formulas, etc. If I fished every weekend, I would have to go that route, for economic reasons if nothing else.

12-19-2007, 07:51 AM
This past year I have gone back to the old method of leader nail- knotted to fly line. I think this is less wind resistant plus fewer knots and less tangles. I find it also turns over more smoothly for me. I would like to hear what the guides like Hugh and Rocky have to say. They probably get to fish more than all of the rest of us.

12-19-2007, 09:15 AM
This past year I have gone back to the old method of leader nail- knotted to fly line. I think this is less wind resistant plus fewer knots and less tangles. I find it also turns over more smoothly for me. I would like to hear what the guides like Hugh and Rocky have to say. They probably get to fish more than all of the rest of us.

If you like the nail knot, the leader splice would suit you as well. I use loop2loop on guide trips on account of all anglers aren't equal casters. In other words, some folks can destroy a leader in a short amount of time no matter how much coaching you give them:eek:
The nail knot or leader splice give you the smoothest connection, should you pull the leader through the guides while bringing in a fish. I try to stop at the nail knot, especially with smaller tippet attached, it's just big enough to hang & possibly snap the fish off if you get it inside the guides.
Once again, i treat the splice or nail knot with Pliobond or Knot Sense to make a smoother connection & to seal the line.
On a few 5/6 weight outfits, i have tied a loop into a .021 butt section of mono & threaded it into the end of the fly line, pulling the loop knot all the way into the line,that makes a smooth connection for the loop to loop & the only knot there is on the leader loop. This dosen't work to well on smaller fly lines, then again, you maybe able to use a smaller diameter mono & accomplish the same, i'd be cncerned about the strength of the loop though.
As i always say, what works for one, won't work for the next 10, as long as you're happy, go for it:biggrin:


Hugh Hartsell
12-19-2007, 09:55 AM
Guys, I think that I have gone through everything that has been mentioned as time has passed on the stream. For quite a while I like to use a Nailknot and 20lb. Red Amnesia with a loop about 3-4in. long. This made for a good loop to loop connection for tapered leaders, but, it wasn't always smooth flowing thru the guides. I did change to the Cortland Loop Connectors, which I really liked; but they had some of the problems of failing. After reading how some guys used the flexible type of Super Glue, or Knot Sense, or Pliobond, this seems to have worked the failure problems out. I did switch last year to the flylines with factory made loops on the end. I have not had a problem since then, and they cast well.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

Elk riverrat
12-19-2007, 05:07 PM
On my newest lines that has the factory loop I use them, on lines say a year or so old or older, I have on the light line rods, the "Whitlock" glued in the line splice and so far haven't lost the line or any mountain trophys. On the rest of the older lines, I have a nail knotted mono with a perfection look.

I have and like a perfection loop on all my lines, makes for easy and quick leader changes.

12-20-2007, 08:36 PM

That's what I'm going to do, use a length of mono and nail knot it to the line, and in a few years when I need a new line, I will try to find one with welded loops.

12-20-2007, 09:42 PM
I took the loop end from old used up leaders and nail knotted them to the end of my fly lines. Instant loop connector. I have about 2" of the mono sticking out between the end of my line and the loop. I also have one of the lines with the factory loop on my 3wt and have had no problems with it either.

The old used up leader thing is the cat's meow though and it's essentially free since I would have otherwise thrown it away.


12-24-2007, 02:01 PM
This season I have totally done away with loops and I find the line never hangs up when casting. I Nail Knot about a foot of 25# Amnesia to my fly line. I use this as both an indicator and and a base for the leader. To that I Blood Knot 4 feet of 25# Maxima Clear + 2-1/2 feet of 20# + 18" of 0X + my tippet. I can change leaders by just cutting off the clear and adding a new one to the Amnesia. I only have to re-tie the Nail Knot once per year.