How to rig a line and a fly fishing leader?

How to rig a line and a fly fishing leader?

We will describe here a basic method for the fisherman to mount a line and a leader for the PALM essentially intended for beginners in fly fishing . We describe it for dry fly trout fishing in medium rivers or lakes; more or less similar variants are to be expected for other fishing techniques ( nymph , wet fly , streamer ...), other sought-after fish (fishing for predators, white fish, ... or other fishing grounds (small river, mountain stream, lake, reservoir, sea fishing...)

What are the elements to use?

To rig your fly fishing line you need:

  • your fly reel
  • a line (of weight adapted to the rod and the type of fishing)
  • possibly ' backing ': this is a braided line that will allow you to have more line length to avoid breaking if a big catch forces you to take out all the line... 15 to 20m are more than enough in most cases a bit more in the lake, if at all for average river fishing,
  • a leader (BDL): in the nylon variety, it is most often of decreasing diameter, either in one piece ('rat tail') or made by assembling several strands of thread tied together. Its length and diameter depends on the type of fishing.
  • possibly one or two ' socks ': this is a flexible connector allowing the silk to be easily and changeably connected to the BDL or the backing. Cyanoacrylate speed glue is useful.
  • nylon thread of small diameters to make the tip: typically between 16/100 and 10/100.

In what order should these elements be mounted?

The order of assembly on the reel is as follows for the flyfisherman:

  1. Attach the backing to the reel spool. A simple sliding knot or a more elaborate arbor or cardan knot is a good solution. Then wind the backing on the reel.
  2. Attach the back of the line to the backing. An Albright knot can be used or a detachable loop-in-loop knot which will nevertheless pass through the rings. In this case the loop (made with a simple knot) must be very wide on the backing side (the reel must pass through it). On the silk side, fitting a sock is the simplest solution to make this loop. Be careful, the WF lines are asymmetrical, well recognize the back which is marked and thinner ("running line"). DT lines are symmetrical so you have the choice of tip! Some fly lines already have a loop at the back which will simplify this assembly. Then wind the fly line on the reel.
  3. Attach the leader to the line. It can be done in a fixed way with a needle knot or by piercing the silk and gluing with a cyanoacrylate glue (more suitable for fine silks). It can also be done in a removable way by using a sock fixed on the line then a simple loop or micro-loop on the leader. We then make a knot loop in loop which is removable. The sock is more suitable for 'heavy' fishing (reservoir and lake). All that has just been rigged is the main line which will be extended by a variable tip and replaced as various flies are rigged.
  4. The end of the leader can be used directly depending on its diameter but is instead usually extended with a tip made from 1 to 2 strands of thin nylon. The thickest is connected first, then the thinnest. For example end of BDL in 16/100: a strand of 50cm of 14/100 and a strand of 1m of 12/100. Many other arrangements are possible! Surgeon's knots or barrel knots are used.
  5. The fly attaches itself to the tip. Different knots are possible with their followers and may depend on the size of the flies. The best known is certainly the spoon knot . There is also the hangman's knot and the Turle's knot I particularly like the ' Clinch de Joan ' recommended by the great throwing champion Joan Wulff, simple, fast and effective.

How to determine the backing length?

Do not put too much backing at risk  overflow the reel and make rewinding tricky. If the reel is a little small for your line and you want to put the maximum length of backing start by doing a test upside down: mount the line on the reel. Secure with a simple knot the backing at the end of the silk. Wind up everything that holds backing, leaving 5 to 8 mm in diameter free on the spool of the reel and cut the backing there. Then you have to put everything back together.

An inexpensive auxiliary reel is always very useful to have for these manipulations as well as the first element (reel seat) of a fly fishing rod to fix it.

We will detail the indicated nodes and some choices in later blog posts.

Product related to this post

Junction sock for silk/BDL fitting #4 to #11
Junction sock for silk/BDL fitting #4 to #11 Junction sock for silk/BDL fitting #4 to #11 Junction sock for silk/BDL fitting #4 to #11

Junction sock for silk/BDL fitting #4 to #11

"Sock" connection between line and leader This "sock" connection will allow you to very simply connect your line that does not have a loop and your leader . This type of fitting correctly transmits the...

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