When targeting strong fish such as king salmon, tarpon, permit, or even bonefish, any added security in your tackle is a good thing. These fish have the ability to make runs deep into your backing and test the strength of your entire setup from your drag down to your tippet knots. Most of us are well aware of this when targeting such species and take the extra time needed to tie strong knots to ensure our setup is as fail proof as possible.
However, the most overlooked connection used when targeting big fish is the loop to loop connection between your fly line and leader. While the welded loop at the end of the fly line is extremely strong out of the box (often stronger than the breaking strength of the fly line itself), over time this loop can begin to wear. Unfortunately, we have seen trophy fish lost due to a blown loop in the fly line and there’s not much consolation to be had after such an event. However, there is something you can do to prevent this from happening.
Our friend Wayne Waltz offered this simple fix he learned when fishing for permit in Belize. While we wouldn’t begin to claim that we have a prolific permit fishery here on South Andros, from time to time they are spotted roaming the flats and many of our guests make sure to keep a rod rigged and ready in the event they get a shot at some feeding permit. His fix? Make a simple 6-8 turn nail knot with plain ol’ monofilament (we use 12 lb. Maxima) around the doubled over portion of your welded loop. Coat the knot with your favorite adhesive (we like Loon UV Knot Sense) and voila! Your loop is now stronger than ever.
Is such a precaution absolutely necessary? Maybe not. However, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind when trying to put the brakes on that fish of a lifetime at 200 yards out.