Loop Knot or Nail Knot?

May 18, 2013

advice, Education, Frenzy, Tips

Fly Fishing Knots

I was reading an article recently about the fly fishing knots and the topic came up of what is the best knot to use when tying fly line to leader.  It got me thinking and in the past I almost always used the nail knot.  I used that for a couple of reasons:

  • Less bulky and smooth transition from line to leader.
  • Easier ride through the guides on my fly pole.
  • I got to carry a cool tool to help me make it. :)
  • Strength of the nail knot.

But over the last 2 years I’ve almost exclusively used the loop to loop knot for my connections.  Probably because I’ve gotten lazy in my old age, but these are the advantages I came up with:

  • It’s convenient and fast.
  • Attaching a welded loop to an existing loop on a leader takes seconds rather than minutes and rarely needs to be re done.
  • Many claim the loop to loop is stronger than a nail knot.  (I’d love feedback here)

So, with the facts (some of them) laid out I still leaning on the loop to loop fence, but I’d love to hear your argument either way.

What say ye?

Loop Knot Description to tie:

 

Nail Knot description to tie:



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9 Responses to “Loop Knot or Nail Knot?”

  1. Spencer Cook Says:

    I personally use neither… I like to cut off my welded loops and attach a permanent butt-section of .10X (40lb) mono, using a nail knot, with either a perfection loop or double surgeons loop on the end. Then I attach my leader to the butt section with a clinch knot (not an improved clinch!). To me it is the best of both worlds. A clinch knot is easily untied with two pulls on the knot. It is also MUCH faster to get an entire leader on and off. I’ll even rig up individual leaders with an indicator, split shot, and flies and keep it wound on a spool in my chest pack just incase I need to switch to a nymphing rig later on or vice versa. I also tie my own dry fly leaders… (google: “Harvey slack leader”). All in all it boils down to ease of use for me. And I don’t want to have to snip back my fly line when I have replace a leader. I use a new leader basically every trip. Anyway, great conversation. Thanks!

    Reply

    Chubbs Reply:

    Great info and insight. Thanks spencer!

    Reply

  2. Steve Root Says:

    It depends on how often you change setups. If you’re throwing dry flies on a small stream all the time, then you can nail knot a tapered leader onto your line and not have to deal with it very often. On the other hand if you’re fishing big water using different sink tips, changing from swinging to nymphing under an indicator, or using a shooting head setup where you’re changing heads to meet changing conditions then you’ll find loop-to-loop connections will save you a lot of fishing time.

    Reply

    Chubbs Reply:

    Steve, thanks for the info. Great stuff.

    Reply

  3. Bender Says:

    I have always used the loop to loop using the perfection loop on my fly line. I was on frenzy this year and used a loop real that had a 3″ section of 20lb mono leader tied to the fly line with a nail not then a perfection loop on the other end and since then I have changed all my reels to that setup. It was strong and very convenient. Just as Spencer above mentioned it is all about ease of use and reliability.

    Reply

    Chubbs Reply:

    Bender! Love the info bro!

    Reply

  4. Bob Says:

    The Needle Nail Knot is my preference. If you place the five wraps of the butt section on top of the point where it emerges from the side of the flyline, and then super glue there is nothing stronger. And there is no hingeing at the fly line to butt connection. Goes through the guide cleanly, and I have never in 40 years had one fail. Then you can either finnish the butt section with a loop or tie the leader on with a clinch. Your choice, though I prefer the clinch for smooth transition.

    Reply

    Chubbs Reply:

    Awesome Bob. That is great stuff. Man, i’ve loved the great info and insight we’ve received from the great fly fishers worldwide!

    Reply

  5. David Says:

    Great post, My vote is a nail knot. A nail knot is versatile and flexible for different materials and thickness. Also holds well when used with Flouro. In my “not calibrated” tests the nail knot was close to 85% of nominal line strength.

    Reply

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