In my March column, I promised to share my recipe for what I call a 30-second nail knot. This knot is typically used to attach the butt section of your leader to your fly line or to join two pieces of leader material.
You’ll need to let your mind’s eye wander a bit, as this is challenging to describe on paper, but here goes:
Hold the fly line in your left hand with 6” +/- exposed and leader material in your right. Then overlay a loop of the material onto the fly line, going right over left, which will form a loop (you will want to have the loop 4-5” away from the end of the fly line). Make the loop at least 2” across for ease of wrapping the leader. Now begin to wind the tag end of the leader through the loop, making sure that the wraps also go around the fly line. Make 6 wraps through the loop and around the line. Now slowly begin to pull on the tag end of the leader material, which will draw the loop formed tighter around the fly line. Be careful not to pull the loop off over the end of the line. If this begins to happen, you can manually slide the loop back up the line. When done properly, you’ll find the loop drawing snugly around the fly line 2 or 3” from the tag end. The knot should be pulled snug until you see it bite into the outer covering of your line. Trim the tag ends off the leader and line and bingo! You are finished with this part of the process! To join additional pieces of tippet, I use a blood knot for leaders of similar test strength of diameters (example: joining 4 to 6 lb. test or 6 to 8 or 10 pound test. For significantly differing diameters (10 or 12 lb. test to 18 or 20 lb. test), I use triple surgeons knot.
There are any number of instruction books about knots available. My favorite is by Lefty Kreh, “Practical Fishing Knots.” Lefty’s book describes with sequential drawings a bunch of both fly fishing and spinning knots for both fresh and salt water. Remember, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Next month…Tick prevention…YUCK