Illawarra Flyfishers Club

How to Properly Attach Braided Loops

Braided loop connections have been around for a while now, and are a reasonably good way of simplifying the connection between leader (or tippet) and flyline, while making it easier to change leaders over. Unfortunately most people go and buy them and then find it difficult to find the best way to attach them to the end of their fly line.

For this demonstration, I will be using a previously made loop formed out of 30lb Cortland braided monofilament, commonly sold as running line for shooting heads. It is exactly the same material as the braided loops that are sold in two packs. For instructions on how to make this braided loop, click here.

For starters, I think there are 2 things wrong with the braided loops that are commercially produced:

  1. They are twice as long as they need to be, which creates unneeded weight and bulk on the end of your flyline. You will really notice this if you fish with a floating line (whether you use wet flies or dry flies), where the flyline needs to float relatively high on the water.
  2. There is a short soft plastic tube that they come with that is designed to slide over the braid once you have threaded the end of the flyline through it. I have seen these come apart even under super glue, so avoid using it.

What you will need:

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1. Take a pair of sharp scissors and cut the end of the flyline at an angle of 45. This will make pushing the flyline up into the braid a lot easier.

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2. Carefully feed the flyline up into the braided loop until it is fully inside the tube section. Make sure that the flyline hasn't penetrated the inner hollow layer of braid - this is easy to do with thin flylines (5wt and below)

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3. Take a thread in the bobbin holder (yellow thread used for clarity) and start binding from the head of the loop, not the tail. If you go from the tail you will push the braided loop up slightly and you will be left with a gap between the end of the flyline and the start of the loop. For light outfits this will not be a problem, but for outfits that cast heavy lines and flies, you will get a 'hingeing' effect at this soft point.

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4. Take care when binding down towards the start of the loop to make sure that each wrap of thread is hard up against the previous wrap, to ensure a strong connection. Once you get near the end of the loop, trim the tag ends of the braided mono. Wind the thread down over the remaining tag ends and along the fly line for a few millimetres so that there are no bulky sections on the transition from flyline to braided loop.

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5. Take the short piece of mono folded in half and place it over the end of the loop. Bind the thread 10 times over the folded piece of mono. Cut the thread and feed the tag end down through the mono loop.

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6. Pull the tag ends of the mono loop so that the tag end of the thread is pulled back under the last wraps of thread over the braided loop. Pull it all nice and tight, then trim the thread off close to the overbindings.

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7. Coat all the overbindings with one of the flexible cements listed above. The advantage with using flexible cement over super glue is that the super glue becomes hard and brittle when dry, and repetitive casting will crack the glue and eventually break the connection. I have a preference for SoftDip/Softex over Aquaseal as it only takes a few minutes to dry,  whereas Aquaseal needs to be left overnight to fully dry.