How To Make A Fly Line Loop

Most fly lines come with welded loops already included in the line, but you should not necessarily count on that. Knowing how to make your own fly line loop is an important part of fly fishing.

Lines can break forcing you to tie new loops or you may need to replace loops that have become worn from use.

You can use standard nail or Albright knots, but an avid fly fisherman will tell you there are times you will end up needing to make your own fly line loop with a bobbin and thread.

Understanding the Fly Line Loop

A fly line loop that has been correctly tied will give you a stronger connection to your leader than any manufactured loop will give.

A strong connection is important for fly fishing that involves big game species because nobody wants to lose the big catch of the day. Using bright colored thread also helps as a spotter when conditions make it difficult to keep track of your fly.

When you have cast your line and the leader is a fair distance away, the bright color at the end of your line helps you locate it. 

The leader is the main clear material connected to the end of the fly line. At the end, where the leader attaches to the fly line, it will be a heavier weight and as it tapers down to the point (where the tippet attaches), the weight also tapers.

The tippet is the lightweight part of this clear material that attaches one of the leader to the other end of the fly line.

The section of the leader attached to the fly line is the heaviest in terms of pound test rating and on average a leader will be 9 feet in length. 

Types of Fly Line Loops

The nail knot has been around since the beginning of fly fishing and is probably the loop you learned to fish with. These knots use friction to hold the leader to the line and require a nail knot tool.

Nail knots are easiest to ring through your guides so long as you cover them with a little resin but they are also one of the weaker knots you can use. This is because it only holds the leader to the coating of the line resulting in the coating coming off. 

Albright knots are also easy to pass through guides and have a similar profile to nail knots, except they provide a little more strength. The main drawback of an Albright knot is that it is harder to change your leaders with a tight knot and it uses up a little fly line each time you have to.

This knot can be difficult to tie and if not done properly, it does not securely hold the leader in place.

The Albright knot is a great knot to use, just make sure you have practiced and take your time to ensure it is done correctly. 

What Are the Steps for Making a Fly Line Loop

Steps to follow to tie a nail knot:


The first step is to cut your fly line at a 45-degree angle. You need to make sure you have a clan cut so you will be able to wrap the thread and the fly line in a way that leaves a clean tapered end. 


Next, fold the fly line over and secure it with thread wraps. Wrap the thread starting at the loop and working back until the cut fly line is completely covered. You then need to wrap in the opposite direction, back towards the loop. Make sure you keep the thread tight and precise so as not to create a bulky covering. 


Whip finish the thread a few times to secure it and then cut the thread. Make sure you always have a whip finish tool with you on fishing trips to help you tie this knot. 


Brush a thin coat of super glue over the thread to add extra security and tighter connection. Then cover this with a thin layer of Clear Cure Goo UV Hydro. 


The thread needs to be held under UV lighting for fifteen seconds, so having a UV light is a must in case you find yourself needing to tie this knot or under overcast skies. After fifteen seconds, everything will be cured and you will have a strong fly line loop.

Steps to follow to tie an Albright knot:


The first step is to create a loop in the heavier line and run approximately 10 inches of the lighter line through the loop.


As you hold the 3 lines between your thumb and index finger, wrap the lighter line over itself and the other two strands. Repeat this for ten tight wraps. 


Guide the tag end back through the loop coming out the same side that you entered.


Finally, hold both ends of the heavier line and slide the wraps down to the end of the loop. Pull the line and tighten, clipping the tag end to complete and close the knot.