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clinch knot fly fishing
It's no secret that the clinch knot fly fishing tie is one of the most commonly used today. Despite this, most anglers have it at the back of their minds that because their gear involves a lot of knotting, every single part of their lines has to be tied with the right knot, in the right way. Because as painful as it would be to lose a trout because it fought hard and threw off your hook (if a fish succeeds in throwing off your hook, it deserves to escape in peace), it's even worse to lose a good catch because your line broke.
And the main reason a line breaks either because the angler wasn't experienced enough is tying the knot, or because they used the wrong knot (make no mistake, using a Surgeon's knot may be cool when tying the tippet to the leader, but it's not as ideal when connecting the fly line to the leader. Here are two general rules you should keep in mind when making a knot.
There are two primary reasons knots fail, so before getting into the nitty-gritty of learning your clinch knot fly fishing tie, you should learn what these rules are.
The rules are that knots fail primarily for 2 reasons. The first is slippage, which is when you use the wrong knot to tie two lines or you use the correct knot incorrectly. The second reason is breakage - when the strain on the knot surpasses the knot's strength or when you don't use an improved version of a knot to increase its strength. For example, the clinch knot fly fishing anglers know of also has the improved clinch fly fishing method - more advanced, and designed to hold more strain. Some other rules you want to bear in mind are as follows:
Understand the texture of the line. While some knots may be preferred for certain parts of your fly fishing gear, you have to understand the material you'll be trying to gauge the effectiveness of said knot. A knot that works just fine with fluorocarbon lines might be ineffective on braided lines. You can read the suggested knots on a line manufacturer's page to see what your options are.
We've already admitted that the clinch knot fly fishing tie is extremely popular, but that shouldn't be the only reason you use it. First practice getting comfortable with the knot before opting for it. Don't just follow the crowd's popular opinion.
Practice tying said knot under different conditions. The one thing you're guaranteed is that the area will be wet - cause duh? You need to be able to make your knot in wet conditions. Note however that it could be windy as well as stormy or night time. Find a way to simulate less than ideal knot tying weather conditions, then practice - even if it means tying a knot in front of a fan blowing on its highest setting.
If you're used to tying knots, you already know to lubricate it when you want to tighten it. This is to ensure there's less friction that could weaken the line's strength.
Ok, we've seen the rules, it's time for the good stuff. Here's how to make a clinch knot fly fishing tie.
How to Make a Clinch Knot Fly Fishing Tie
Get your fly, then feed the line you're trying to knot through the hook of the said fly. Pull the inserted part of the line until it lays parallel to the other part of the line, but make sure there's a big enough loop that 2 of your fingers can fit through.
Next, wrap or twist the line with the tag end around the standing line about 5 to 8 times. The more times you wrap the stronger your knot will be, but the bulkier it will look underwater. We want to avoid bulky lines beneath water because fishes get spooky when they see that.
With one line wrapped around the other, feed the tag end of the line back into the open-loop you had created earlier on.
Finally, lubricate the line to avoid friction later on, then slowly tighten the knot. Carefully trim the tag end of any excesses and your clinch knot fly fishing tie is done.
The improved clinch knot simply involves doing an extra tuck during the final turn of the knot. It's ideal when the line you're attaching is a lot lighter than the hook.
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