How to Make a Leader's Knot for Fly Fishing

How to Make a Leader's Knot for Fly Fishing
One of the worst things to realize when fly fishing is that a trout got away because of a poorly tied knot. In fly fishing there are specialized knots for attaching backing to the spool of the reel, fly line to backing and leader to the fly line. The preferred knot for attaching leader to line is the nail knot, which is more easily tied using a small-diameter tube.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to Make a Leader's Knot for Fly Fishing

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly line Fly leader Small-diameter tube
  • Fly line
  • Fly leader
  • Small-diameter tube
Step 1
Place a small-diameter tube alongside the tag or loose end of the fly line. Allow a couple of inches of the fly line to extend past the end of the tube. Hold these in place firmly with your left hand.
Step 2
Use your right hand to form a loop of about and inch or so in the tag end of the leader. This will be done using the larger end of the leader so as to more closely match the diameter of the fly line. Form the loop about 3 to 4 inches from the end of the line. Place the loop between the fingers of your left hand holding the line and tube.
Step 3
Wrap the tag end of the leader back around itself, the fly line and the tube with small concentric loops. Make sure the loops are located tightly against the other. Make six to seven loops in total.
Step 4
Pass the tag end of the leader through the center of the small-diameter tube until it exits the opposite side. Make small adjustments as this is done to help ensure a snug knot.
Step 5
Slowly remove the tube from the line while at the same time pulling the knot down tightly. Continue to make adjustments to properly form the knot. When securely tied, clip the excess from both the fly line and leader for a neatly tied knot.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure to properly match the correct leader to the fly line. Refer to the Orvis guide for leader selection for help with this (see Resources below).
Use caution when tying knots with monofilament material as it is possible to receive a cut from tight lines.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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