Fly Fishing Knots
How many times have you had a good fish on only to have the line go limp and the leader return to you without the fly or part of the leader also missing? Especially in saltwater, this should rarely occur. If you had the fish hit or tangle around an obstruction like barnacle-encrusted pilings or bridge abutments this is understandable. I always encourage clients to bring their own gear with them so that I can see how they are rigged. I will check how the leader is attached to the fly line, their knots connecting each section of the leader and how the fly is tied on. Leader to the line could be a nail knot, or loop to loop, with a perfection or double surgeon’s knot on the butt section of the leader. Leader to leader can be a blood knot, double or triple surgeon’s knot. Since we use straight eye hooks for most saltwater flies, a good loop knot should connect the tippet to the fly. If a simple overhand, or “wind,” knot is present anywhere in the leader it tells me that they have casting issues that are causing tailing loops, weakening the leader fifty percent. Do an internet search for each of these knots and practice them at home with good lighting and some old fly line or leader of different colors. Knots usually fail from slipping, this can be avoided by having a tube of lip balm in your shirt pocket used to lubricate the knots as you pull it tight for complete closure.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at and (727) 504-8649.

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