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Offering a few tricks for fly fishing

February 15, 2019
By GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The first time I bought a new fly line, I had no idea why the end had a loop in it. Being young and inexperienced with no fly fishing mentor and before YouTube or computers to provide instruction, I simply cut it off and attached a piece of leader material to the fly line with a knot that kept slipping off the line.

Later I became friends with a real fly rod angler that set me straight and explained the loop in the end of the fly line was to be used to make a connection to the leader whose butt end was also looped using a Perfection Loop knot. This set-up allowed a loop-to-loop connection which not only allowed a strong fly line to leader connection but also allowed the angler to change leaders without cutting or re-tying lines.

Most modern fly lines come with a factory-installed loop at the end of the line. Most pre-made packaged leaders also have a loop on their leader butts.

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Products like this Tie-Fast Knot Tyer kit can be a big help, especially for a novice fisherman.

Over time the fly line loop can be broken or the line coating cracked due to the stress put on it by the leader material.

There are many methods to repair a torn loop which would include forming a new loop and repairing it or cutting the line and knotting a new loop and short section to the existing line. YouTube has lots of tutorials on the subject.

Short looped sections can be bought or made from braided lines or simple mono.

Attach these looped sections to the fly line with the traditional nail knot, a uni-knot, or if your digits are as big as sausages and or, like me, age sight challenged and knot tying is more difficult each passing year, use a knot tying tool.

Long ago another angler introduced me to the Tie-Fast Knot Tyer (available locally). This ingenious little tool allows anyone to tie perfect nail knots, splices, snells and is great for constructing your own leaders with factory grade knots.

Now that your fly line has a new loop, attach your looped leader and you you're back in business.

Some fly anglers will shun the loop system, preferring a straight fly line to straight leader connection instead.

Cut off the damaged loop and attach the leader to the fly line with a nail knot or using the Tie-Fast.

If you do this, seal the end of the fly line so the core does not get waterlogged causing the end of the floating fly line to start sinking causing problems.

As mentioned, leaders can be purchased ready to attach or can be home-made. Factory one-piece leaders are tapered from the thick or butt end to the finer tippet end. Homemade leaders are made by using decreasing size sections of monofilament leader material tied together to form the leader and in some applications a single one-piece leader can be used. For example: a single piece of 30-pound test.

To utilize the loop system with your homemade leader, tie a Perfection Loop Knot in the butt end and loop in to your fly line.

Fly lines aren't cheap, so take care of yours. After fishing, lines should be cleaned in mild soapy water, rinsed and hung in large coils to dry. After drying, coat or treat the line with a conditioner to maintain its life and slickness as well as it floatability. Fly line conditioners and cleaning fluids usually come with a cleaning and product applying pad for the line.

Don't forget to attend the Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters Club annual membership meeting. Open to all. This is the time to join and learn from the local pros. Held at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or



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