DIY Fly Line Loop with Step-by-Step Instructions

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Most fly lines these days already come with welded loops at the ends for the easy attachment of backing and leaders.

If you fish as much as I do though, eventually they get worn out and need to be replaced. Most anglers just use a standard albright knot or nail knot to fix this. It works perfectly fine, but I prefer instead to tie my own fly line loops with a fly tying bobbin and thread. Done correctly, it will provide a stronger connection to your leader than the manufacturers welded loops or knots you tie (this is important when fly fishing for big game species). The bright thread that you tie the loop with also works really well as a spotter. It comes in real handy when you’re fly fishing and you have conditions where it’s hard to keep track of your fly in the water. That bright spot on the end of your fly line provides a quick reference that your fly is a leaders length away. Below are step-by-step instructions for tying your own fly line loops.

Materials Needed for the DIY fly line loop

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Photos By Louis Cahill

Pair of Scissors 
Bobbin with Flourescent 140 Ultra Thread
Loctite Super Glue (Optional)
Clear Cure Goo UV Light (Can be eliminated if you use Loons UV Knot Sense)
Clear Cure Goo Hydro (Can be eliminated if you use Loons UV Knot Sense)

Step 1: Cut fly line at a 45 degree angle

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You’ll want to make sure you make a clean 45 degree cut on your fly line before you start. This will allow you to wrap the thread and fly line, finishing with a nice tapered end.

Step 2: Fold over the fly line and secure it down with thread wraps.

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Start wrapping your thread at the loop and work your way back slowly until you’ve covered the 45 degree cut fly line all the way. Then, work it all the way back up to the loop. Be precise with your wraps, making them neat. Doing so, you won’t have to build everything up so bulky and use so much thread wraps.

Step 3: Whip finish to secure thread and cut with scissors.

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Whip finish the thread a couple times and cut the thread. Pack and use a whip finish tool if you need one to tie this knot.

Step 4: Brush on a thin coat of Super Glue

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This step is probably overkill but I’m a man that believes in redundancy. I don’t have a problem waiting ten seconds for the glue to dry so I have two layers of protection and strength.

Step 5: Coat thread with Clear Cure Goo UV Hydro

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Brush on a thin and even coat of Clear Cure Goo UV Hydro to the threaded area. Remember, you can always add a second coat if you need to, so don’t get messy here.

Step 6: Use UV Light to Cure Everything

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The UV light is a must if you’re doing this indoors or on really cloudy days. I carry it with me most of the time, simply because if I don’t have it, that’s when I’ll need it. Fifteen seconds with the UV light and everything should set up a nice and you’ll have yourself a super strong fly line loop.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 
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11 thoughts on “DIY Fly Line Loop with Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. I used always do it same way as you until I discovered this guy on youtube “weld your loop ” well worth a watch.

  2. I’ve been using this method for 30+ years. I’ve always used lime green dental floss for the whipping tread and then sealed with Aquaseal. Also used loops spliced with Gudibrod or Dacron. I got desperate on one trip and used Brickey’s cord to make loops.

    These days the only difference is I use Loon Knot Sense as you don’t need a UV Light. Cheers BM

  3. Simply genius! Now I know what to do with that old, ratty bobbin that hides in one of my bins. It goes in my pack, loaded with thread:)

  4. Shrink tube line welding works good too. Lots on youtube.

    I use the thread whip & glue method to attach mono running line to skagit and skandi heads. Works great.

  5. tie 2 6 or 7 turn nail knots with a small space between them and use whatever adhesive you prefer to coat and bind the knots to the fly line. when I had my fly shop in the late 90s this was the setup we used. I personally tested this connection’s strength by double line looping 40 lb. monofilament (like a tarpon leader butt except with bimini twists and double surgeons loops at each end of the monofilament) and tying it off to the trailer hitch of my truck. the fly lie (SA tarpon taper back ends) broke several inches from the loop each time we did this test. the tests were done at different times with pieces from different lines to make sure we didn’t have defective pieces of fly line. those loops were stronger than the fly line!!

  6. Awesome tip. I’ve been using the tension loops made by anglers image but I just don’t trust them. I usually add some UV glue to them but this looks much better, thanks.

  7. With the double nail knot system I described you can do it in the field without glue. You can also use uni knots instead of nail knots so you don’t need a nail knot tool of some kind. I use 16 or 20lb. mono or fluorocarbon — I’m fishing salt water. Also, cut the end of the fly line at a 45 degree angle if you choose, just like the article says. If you don’t cut it at a 45 degree angle it still goes thru the guides just fine. I’ve never had a hangup. BTW, I’m going to start welding loops in my fly lines and tying 2 nail knots and cementing them when I’m at home. It’ll probably be a smoother connection and be just as strong.

  8. Here’s my version (all of the above probably work well): I use a “garotte” doubled length of heavy mono to strip the line coating off an inch or so of the line end. This slightly reduces the overall diameter of the splice. I fold over the line end, then tie medium strength tying thread on a tying bobbin a few turns at the base of the intend loop. Then I whirl the bobbin around the standing line and bare line end, with 10-12 open turns to the end of the bare core, and take a few half-hitches there. I cover these thread wraps with a thin coat of super glue and let it dry. Then I whirl the bobbin and thread, using momentum, in tight sequential wraps back to the base of the loop, where I whip-finish and clip the thread. I then coat the thread wraps with six coats of Hard as Nails or similar fingernail hardener. This leaves a compact, very strong loop. It takes a while, allowing a short drying time for each coat. The UV cured cement would be much faster, if speed is needed.

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