Leader Connections


Tim Hubble

I've decided to take up fly fishing again after many years and have bought
a starter outfit and a good selection of flies and lures to get me started.
The outfit includes some braided leader connectors which slip over the
end of the fly line to allow easy attachment of the leader.

Are these things trustrworthy? When I took my rod to the park for some
much needed casting practice (to the delight of the local low life) I noticed
that the braid seemed to slip. Do I need to glue or whip them on?

Any advice would be most welcome but I am considering reverting to
using a needle knot at the moment.

Rob Brownfield

The braided loops should have come with a wee section of plastic/rubber tubing about 1 inch long. Slide the braid onto the flyline, at least 4-6 inches, then slide the tube up the braid until it just overlaps the braid/flyline section. This should be fine now. I have used this method for Salmon and Pike fly fishing without a problem.

Some people super glue the connection too...but thats a bit silly as firstly, it prevents the braid from constricting under pressure and therefore gripping the flyline tighter, and secondly, u cant change the loops. Sometimes I will use a fast sink loop on a floating line to make a mini sink tip etc.

Hope this helps

George McRobbie

I have to disagree with Rob, my experience has not been so good. When braided loops first came out I loved them and like Rob used to change loops by sliding off the sleeve. But after losing 2 good fish complete with my whole leader within as many weeks, I never again trusted the silicone sleeve on its own. I think, particularly on lines with fine tips, the sleeve can get pulled off or loosened by a rod ring as it travels through. Both fish were lost at the net and this may only be a problem with long leaders. I still wince when I think of those beautiful Brownies swimming off with 15 ft of leader attached.

If you glue the loop use a tiny amount of super glue at the "trimmed" end of the sleeve. All you need to do is stop the sleeve from slipping, you should not glue the braid. The glue will wick through the sleeve but not down the rest of the braid and still allow the braid to grip the fly line. The down side is that this makes a stiff connection which I dont like.

Now I nail knot a short length of heavy mono to the end of my line and tie a perfection knot in the mono.

When I use braid loops I no longer use the sleeve but on heavy lines secure the loop with a 10 turn nail knot tied over the braid using 10lb mono. On light lines I whip over the end of the braid with fly tying thread and in both cases coat (just the nail knot or the whip} with a thin layer of 'Loon UV Kot Sense'

Thats how I do it but lots of folk like Rob never have a problem.

PS The heavy brigade experts in the USA, flyfishing for Tarpon, use braided loops, but they make their own using 50lb braid. The loop in the braid is formed with a double tuck rather than the single one used in commercial loops. Then the loop is secured to the flyline with 2 nail knot tied with mono, one behind the other.

Rob Brownfield

George, fait comment. I did have a "moment" when I realised the loop had slipped, but I do tend to push quite a bit of line inside the braid, and i do check it a lot....but then thats just me. I have seen several other anglers have problems though, especially when trying to land trout with the rods held very high, causing a great deal of friction in the tip ring.

I must confess, on my Pike fly outfits, i push the line in the braid until it hits the end of the loop, then i run superglue around the loop/top inch of line. I really dont want 20 pound of pike swimming off with my fly.