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Image courtesy of Mad River Outfitters. Brian Flechsig [L] with Flip Pallot.

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter guide, author, and retail entrepreneur Jeffrey Cardenas told me of a factory-installed fly line loop leaking a plus 100-pound tarpon west of Key West off Boca Grande Key; I never again trusted welded loops in fly lines. That, of course, was years ago, over a decade. Today, fly lines and welded loops are an integral part of every fly line produced and assuredly better, but I still do not go there.

For me, it’s like cheap fly reels; don’t go there because you’ll lose out sooner or later.

Hand-made knot connection:

  • A nail knot is ‘sooo’ easy to hand-make, and I never had one ever fail me. Guides prefer hand-made knots.
  • The fly line connection to the leader butt section is critical.
  • A hand-made connection matches the diameter of the fly line – making for the smoothest, uninterrupted and hingeless connection.
  • Hint – use a little UV cure on the knot. It’s not going to be anything visible but I’m sure it seals the fly line “cord” from getting wet and rotting out.

The following YouTube video, by Brian Flechsig at Mad River Outfitters shows how to make a simple Snell Knot [so called Nail Knot] to attach the butt section of your leader. A butt section that has always lasted me seasons, not one fish or a season of many fish. Do yourself a favor and learn this most critical connection knot – fly line to butt section of your leader – and loop at the backing.


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