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  1. #1
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    Newbie questions on knots for backing, fly line, leader and tippet

    Sorry, newbie, but I hope I can get a fesw things clarified.

    I am new to fly fishing (going to Madison River in Montana in August). I have spent quite a bit of time on YouTube and the more I learn the more confused I am about the various knots and methods to attach portions of the line.

    First, is the "backing" the same as the "fly line?"

    If the "fly line" that came with my reel has a loop in it already, do I stay with that and attach it to the loop that is on the end of most leaders I see? Some seems to want to cut it off and do a nail knot instead?

    Do I attach the leader to the tippet with a nail knot or a surgeon's knot?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    Skipii. First, and with respect, do not apologise for being new to the sport. We've all been there!
    No the 'backing' is not the same as the 'fly line'. The backing serves the dual purpose of filling out the reel and providing a foundation/bedding for the line to sit on the reel. Secondly it's there when you need it - if a big fish runs out all your fly-line and caries on running after that.
    Attaching all this is all important - not least on the 'chain is only as strong as its weakest link' principle. If you have loops in your fly line - I'd be inclined to match them with a loop (figure of eight knot is what I use) to face them. ie just loop to loop once you've created another loop in the next bit in the chain ..

  3. #3
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    Henry,

    Thanks for the kind reply. I think I have it down as starters:

    Backing line attached to fly line with nail knot. Fly line attached to leader with perfection loop (using figure eight knot). Leader attached to tippet with nail knot (or surgeon's knot). Fly attached to tippet with double clinch knot.

    If I have all that down, my next lesson is learning which weights lines go with what since the numbering systems don't seem to correlate.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Re: Newbie questions on knots for backing, fly line, leader and tippet

    Lots of great info online (kilroys knot tying). You'll find differing opinions regarding knots. I like: Albright knot for backing to leader, Nail knot for leader to fly line, Loop to Loop if your fly line has a welded loop, or you have built a butt section with a Perfection Loop, Double Surgeons or a Blood knot for leader to tippet, and a Clinch knot for bugs.

    Learn them all. It can only help!

    ps-The higher the number the lighter the line.

  5. #5
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    Re: Newbie questions on knots for backing, fly line, leader and tippet

    Hi. Try the fish and fly knot directory, after that it's down to your personal choice. Remamber that practice makes perfect, don't let a poorly tied knot cost you the fish of a lifetime. Voice of experience speaking.

  6. #6
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    Re: Newbie questions on knots for backing, fly line, leader and tippet

    Quote Originally Posted by fishyman View Post
    Hi. Try the fish and fly knot directory, after that it's down to your personal choice. Remamber that practice makes perfect, don't let a poorly tied knot cost you the fish of a lifetime. Voice of experience speaking.
    I'm a newbie too and there's a few great gadgets to help you with your knots I used the winder comes with a great DVD explaining all the knots and after a while your be ace knot tyer changing the subject but I come from a course fishing background mainly large carp wanted to know are trout sight feeders ?? Heard that they have scent glands that can pick up food sources if so there's a carp fishing product that I've used called bug juice you spray it on your bait and it really does catch you fish do you think spraying the fly would help bring fish into the swim ?????

  7. #7
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    Re: Newbie questions on knots for backing, fly line, leader and tippet

    Hi! Trout are mainly sight feeders following their prey up and down through the water column given differing weather conditions. Fish have very strong chemo-sensory responses with an abundant number of taste buds and the ability to remember the scents and tastes of specific stretches of water. They know where they are by these senses as well as what is around them and what is edible versus toxic. Female trout signal with a water borne chemical when they are ready to mate. Injured trout signal with an alarm chemical to warn other trout. I think you will find that covering flies with attractors is frowned upon in practically every trout fishery.

  8. #8
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    Re: Newbie questions on knots for backing, fly line, leader and tippet

    I am also new to the sport but one thing I saw was a very good video on YouTube by Hywel Morgan who shows how to put backing and fly lines onto a reel and fit a loop to the end of the fly line. The most interesting part was he said that he thought the idea of having a pre-made loop in the end of the fly line was not a good idea and that it was far better to cut it off and replace it with a braided loop. The reason being was that the loop from the leader attached to the fly line could cut into the fly line and weaken it.

    Link to the video is: Loading a Fly Reel and fitting a braided leader loop. - YouTube

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