There are numerous methods for making braided loops for use in fly fishing. Remember, these are the loops that are then connected at the backside of a tapered leader (instead of the loop to loop connection).
The old method for peeling the covering off the fly line using acetone, and then doubling the center back on itself, sewing the center together and covering with Aquasure (or super glue) still works but it has its downsides.
What you need to know is that most of the braided monofilament cores available out there today are rated at 20lb in terms of breaking strain. On the other hand, most braided loops are designed for 30lb strain!
As such, the best thing you can do is to make your own braided loops. Fortunately, that’s a simple and straightforward process and we’ll show you how to do it right below.
Also Read: How to oil a fishing reel
Braided Loops: How To Make Them Easily
All you require is a huge needle and a few pieces of braided Dacron backing, scissors, and a lighter (or a flame or matches) and some superglue.
Step by step instructions of making a braided loop at home.
The first step is to choose the end of the fly line you want to work with. We generally recommend going for the backend…a fairly thick backend works best. Don’t cut the line, work with the entire length. Also, you want to be careful so that the backing doesn’t get damaged or “unbraided ” in the process.
At approximately 4″ (10 centimeters) from one end of the backing, stick a thick needle. You want the needle’s point to pass right through the hollow center of the line.
Make your way up through the hollow center for approximately 1 inch and stick your needle out (see photo below).
With the needle perfectly in place, go for the shorter end of the line and thread it through the needle’s eye (see photo below).
When you thread the short end of the line through the eye of the needle, a loop will naturally be formed. Be sure to secure it using a pencil or something.
Pull the needle out of the line bringing its point to approximately 0.5 inches past the end of the fly line. Generally, you want to have the loop pulled fairly tight at this point. (See photo below).
Carefully remove the needle from the line. As for the exposed part of the backing that remains after removing the needle, you want to trim it down a little. Then burn it lightly over a flame while re-attaching it into the main line while it’s still warm. This will create a double backing.
To keep the double-backed section tightly together, apply a drop of super glue.
Prevent the backing from getting ‘unbraided’ by putting a needle into the hollow middle and applying light heat.
Slice to proper length and put a tiny piece of silicon tube over the end for extra reinforcement.
And your loop is ready!
Didn’t fully understand the 10 steps above? Here’s a useful video that you can also refer to.
Additional tips for Braided Loops
*Try not to be mean with the interlaced monofilament. For the first couple of times, you make your loops, begin with at least 6 inches of the braid. It’s simpler to deal with, till you understand how simple it is.
*The loop on the back part of the fly line may be more elongated than the front end. However, remember to use a loop-to-loop knit for a quicker and easier fly line change. Ocean anglers tend to make the loop quite long to go a reel through.
*Always Use a dull needle with a huge eye to knit the braid through effectively.
*Make sure you have at least an inch of fly line in the braided center.
*Trim the end of the fly line at a slight edge to enable the ‘inch-worm’ technique for advancing the fly line up through the braided center.
*Use a string bobbin that’s tight on the string’s spool so you can ‘spin’ the bobbin around the line for making the whip wrap up.
*Use good quality Superglue, for example, waterproof and saltwater Zap-A-Gap, safe.
*After the pulling through the loop, adjust it to the smallest size that you are comfortable with before cutting the waste away.
*Use the Superglue sparingly. Use only enough to attach the internal and external centers together without glue sifting through to the loop itself.
*Don’t attach your leader to the braid loop. Always make a loop-to-loop attachment between the loop and the leader.
Putting together two braided loops
The braided loop system has the benefit of being super flexible. You can combine two parts of the fly rig if you have loops on both sections.
Particularly if you need to change leaders, the loops will make the procedure quite easy. Experienced anglers may find the joint excessively hardened or find that it to have a ‘hinge impact’, however for the beginners, that frequently ends up with a tied leader or a huge birds nest, the simplicity of changing a leader is a great advantage.
This joined with homemade hitched leaders, can make the learning process considerably less steep.
Connecting large and small loops
You should use extremely basic large loop connections for between the backings and fly line for convenience. This comprises of two loops – a small one on the fly line and a huge one on the backing. The larger one ought to be huge enough to give the entire reel a chance to go through it, and the small one on the fly line huge enough to allow the double-stitched backing to pass.
Use the knotted loop design for the loop on the backing or simply make a large Surgeon’s loop on it, and use the “circle on a fly line” design for the fly line or another knotted loop as a second choice. Thread the huge loop through the little one and allow the reel to go through the huge loop.
Then, fix the loop tightly and arrange the knot as perfectly as possible. The loops will come effectively apart even after quite a long time of hard use.
Plastic Sleeve vs Whip Finish
Please note that the monofilament knot is whipped to the fly line rather than the plastic that’s commonly found on store-bought loops. Don’t get us wrong. Plastic sleeves function quite well especially when accompanied by a spot of superglue. But even then, the tidiness of the whipped finish is hard to beat.