Sunday Classic / Emergency Line Splicing

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Not Perfect But It Kept Me Fishing.  Photo by Louis Cahill

Not Perfect But It Kept Me Fishing. Photo by Louis Cahill

The other day I was out fishing with my buddy Rob Parkins when things took a sudden turn for the worse.

I was making a cast and the line at my feet caught on something sharp. I shot the line with so much power that my eight weight line was cut in two. We were a long way from the car and a spare setup. It looked like my fishing was going to be cut short.

I got the head back. About sixty or seventy feet had been cut off. It was enough line that I could make a short shot but shots were scarce that day and I hated the idea of being limited. I tried tying the line with a blood knot but it was impossible to get through the guides. Rob came up with a brilliant solution.

He suggested that I overlap the cut ends by a couple of inches, then secure them with a series of nail knots tied around the line with tippet material. I tied three nail knots to secure the line and trimmed all of the ends close. To my surprise, it worked pretty well. It took a couple of extra false casts to get the mended section through the guides (not ideal) but it was totally doable. It got me through the day at least.

When I got home I started wondering how strong the field repair actually was. I got out a spring scale and put it to the test. It held about nineteen pounds before it gave. Plenty of pressure to put on most fish. It’s not my first choice for a day on the water but in a pinch, it’ll get you through. If you carry a little UV Knotsence in your kit, a dab at each end will make it a lot smoother to cast.

Thanks for the great idea Rob!


If you don’t know how to tie a nail knot here’s a video.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Emergency Line Splicing

  1. Nice, I have several lines that are “spliced” together like that. One I still use regularly…too cheap to get a new line just yet.

  2. I have spliced line by exposing the core and using rod building thread and a needle. Stitched the line through the two cores overlapped, and then put some uv knot sense on it. Gave it to a buddy after i bought a new one and it still works. The splice was almost the same size as the fly line. I keep a needle and nylon string in my med kit for any suture-self situations so i had it handy. I am not sure of the knot strength, but it seemed good on the ” pullhard ” tests.

  3. Another great use for the nail knot! Thanks for that! Had a similar mishap, so I stripped line off to the backing, cut off a 4 foot section, reattached it to the fly line, and spliced the fly line together with three consecutive nail knots. The backing seemed to squeeze the line into a smaller diameter while still remaining somewhat malleable. Held up through several 14″-16″ trout before I retired it at the end of the day.

    Keep up the great stuff fellas, and tight lines!

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