Here are a few examples of how we like to attach our Leader to our Fly Line, and then how we attach a Tippet Ring to the end of our Leader:
Braided Loop – These can be purchased from Cabelas – specifically, Rio Braided Loops. The Fly Line is inserted into one end of the Braided Loop, SuperGlue applied to the connection, and then a plastic sleeve is slipped over the connection. Also, other brands use a heat shrink tube instead of the plastic sleeve.
DIY Loop – There are different techniques to make a loop in your Fly Line, some are elaborate and others are not so elaborate. In our case, it’s not so elaborate… form a loop at the end of the Fly Line, SuperGlue the tag end to the Fly Line, and then wrap with Fly Tying Dacron Thread or Dental Floss, SuperGlue the Thread/Floss, and then apply Head Cement or Tough as Nails Clear Nail Polish. Let dry, and then go fishing!
Nail Knot – Using a Nail Knot Tying Tool, we connect the Leader directly to the Fly Line. Simple and quick to tie; add a little SuperGlue to the knot for extra insurance if you feel like it, else pull it tight and leave “as is”. This was the connection we used when first starting out because that was what the fishing books at the Public Library told us to use.
Nail Knot Variant – We still use the traditional Nail Knot today but instead of tying the Leader directly to the Fly Line, we take a 10″-12″ section of 30 lbs mono-filament and tie it to the Fly Line with a Nail Knot. And then, we tie a Perfection Loop Knot on the other end. Once everything is pulled nice and tight, we are able to attach a Looped Leader to our Fly Line using a loop to loop connection. Makes it easy to change Leaders just like when we use a Braided Loop or a DIY Loop and saves us from cutting and retying the Nail Knot.
Tippet Ring – With the Leader attached to our Fly Line, we then attach a Tippet Ring to the other end of the Leader using a Trilene Knot or an Improved Clinch Knot. And then, we attach our Tippet to the Tippet Ring using a Trilene Knot or an Improved Clinch Knot as well. (Note: We picked up the Tippet Rings at Cabelas. They are listed as Wapsi Tippet Rings and are in the Fly Fishing Section but it can be hit or miss on their availability.)
Although there are other ways to accomplish what we described above, we seem to keep using these connections year in and year out. Moreover, we have been using the Nail Knot Variant more often lately since…
We ran out of Braided Loops; are too lazy as well as impatient to make a DIY Loop (gotta glue, then wrap, then let it dry,… by then, we could have gone fishing already); and tying the Nail Knot is quick especially with a Nail Knot Tying Tool but we hate to cut off a piece of expensive Fly Line every time we change Leaders!
All for now and Good Luck and Good Fishing!