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Thread: Fly lines

  1. #1
    Richard Drayson Guest

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    I've recently re-kindled my interest in trout fly fishing and I can see that although it's been over 15 years since I last wet a fly line, some of the problems associated with joining backing or leader to fly lines still exist.

    Lets take a look at the ways in which this can be achieved. Firstly, there's the Albright knot, secure but bulky and inclined to catch in the rod rings. Then there's the Needle knot and Nail knot, these can sometimes fail and strip the outer covering of the fly line in the process. Braided loops, these rely on the gripping properties of the backing to effect a secure join but are liable to slip when not under tension. Having to superglue the braid and/or slide a piece of plastic tubing over the join doesn't inspire confidence!

    All in all, none of the above are 100% satisfactory. Thinking about this last night, I wondered exactly how fly lines are manufactured. I also wondered if it would be possible to manufacture a fly line with the central core that extended out of the rear of the actual 30 yards or so of fly line would be possible. In effect, producing a fly line and backing as one complete line. Of course, you could presumably have different breaking strains, depending on the size of fly line, eg. 20lb backing for lines up to AFTM 7 and 30lb for AFTM 8 and over.

    Any thoughts guys???

  2. #2
    Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA) Guest

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    If you want the central core to extend out of the rear of the fly line, cut away a little of the coating. I have done this many times.

    The whole idea of braided loops is to slide a bit of plastic tubing over the join. Just a dab of superglue and it will never shift. Been doing that for years.

    If you want a needle knot to slide through the rod rings easily, whip it, filling in the low points withfine fly tying silk and then varnish it with a good polyurethane varnish.

    Personally I don't bother.

    Fly lines are manufactured by coating a braided or a monofilament core with either Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or Polyurethane coating, which is tapered to suit the profile of the line. The floating line utilise a coating which is full of little air bubbles. Sinking line are impregnated with tungsten powder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I thought the question of braided loops and the plastic locking tube had been long since sorted out and solved ? Or am I the only one to have realised that low temperature heat shrink tube is the perfect answer ????

    You put the braid on as normal, use a normal locking tube with a dab of superglue at the end of the tube (which goes down inside the tube whilst liquid, drawn by capillary action).

    Then a two or three inch length of the thinnest shrink tube you can get which will fit over the braid and locking tube: thread it on by running a loop of fine mono through the shrink tube and eye of the braid loop, then just slide down and over the locking tube and the end of the braid, running an inch or two further on to the line. Then a two minute dunk in a fryingpan of boiling water, shrink and then let it cool. Job's a perfect one.

    Nice and flexible, + smooths and facilitates the passage of the link through the rod rings. It is no longer possible for a rod ring to jar and dislodge the locking tube and therefore release the braided loop unintentionally (and superglue is all very well but no superglue is truly waterproof forever). The shrink tube keeps it all safely in place and under tension, stable and fixed all in one, with none of the action spoiling stiffening effect of superglue.

    Works at both ends, not only for attaching backing but also at the leader end. I have complete confidence in it these days.

    Together with a further modest personal refinement of my own which I haven't read anywhere else: shrink tube comes in lots of different colours (including clear for clear lines).

    One or two (or even three) short half inch pieces of shrink tube of contrasting colours spaced an inch or so apart shrunk down on to the braid and line makes a hell of a good and very visible line end for bite detection purposes !

    I find a couple of pieces of flourescent orange shrink tube or black (or alternating) work beautifully on a yellow floater, white on blue, etc etc. You will all no doubt find your favourites.... Doesn't interfere with the float or sinking properties or flexibility of even the finest tipped lines in my experience.
    PaSC (failed).
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    £5 ransom by Paypal NOW or I will attend your fish in !

  4. #4
    Richard Drayson Guest

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    Thanks for your input Ron. My idea was for the central core to extend for perhaps 50 or 100 yards thus eliminating the need for seperate backing. You're obviously confident in using braided loops but many fly fishers aren't (look around on fly fishing forums and you'll see that).

    Windy, thanks for the idea of using heatshrink tubing. You're obviously not as confident as Ron is in just trusting in the superglue bond.

    I still think my idea is a good one. Whether or not it might be possible to manufacture is another thing completely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Richard

    The Rio Gold fly lines come with a moulded loop for the leader. All part and parcel of the fly line. These days I too use braided loops for both backing and leader and not a prolbems. Before, I used to use needle knots and again without problems, though I always used super glue for added security.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Heatshrink tubing is more than just an idea, it definitely works, though you still need to use a conventional locking tube over the braid, then the heatshrink over all and overlapping the end of the braid on to the line. Done properly it streamlines the whole profile and smooths over the lumps and bumps, making it not only secure but also rod ring slip through friendly.

    Plus it has to be the low temperature type heat shrink which will cure in boiling water, obviously, causing no damage to the line. It works with or without superglue, locking everything safely in place (just so long as the starting diameter is a pretty tight fit too, obviously).

    I just use the superglue because of habit and like crossing fingers for luck, but the simple chemical fact is that any and all cyanoacrylate glues are in the end water soluble and will fail, even the supposedly waterproof types, and with the shrink tubing in place it is strictly unnecessary.
    PaSC (failed).
    Officially warranted Weather Jonah.
    £5 ransom by Paypal NOW or I will attend your fish in !

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