One of the most infuriating things I find about fly fishing (just one of many) is knots. Its not just knowing which knot to use for which job but which of the many variations is best and then being able to remember them when I’m out on the water.
I’m fine with a simple ‘clinch knot’ to attach the fly as, lets be honest, I’ve had lots of practice at that one. But attaching a dropper, creating a loop, attaching leader to fly line and, simplest of all you would have though, a loop-to-loop connection, all leave me sweating. To be honest, I make sure everything it knotted before I go fishing as if I need to do it on the bank, I’m in trouble. The first time I tried setting up droppers with a blood knot it took me over an hour on the bank at Farmoor – wasted fishing time, I’m sure you’ll agree.
I’ve found animatedknots.com a really useful resource but by far the best knot I’ve found is the ‘figure of eight’ knot. This is the simplest, quickest way I’ve found to attach a dropper and a knot that even I can remember.
Step 1 – Place the dropper length of tippet alongside the tippet attached to the flyline
Step 2 – Make a loop with both lines held together pointing down
Step 3 – Put your finger up through the loop from underneath and make two anti-clockwise turnsStep 4 – Pull the two lengths leading away from the rod all the way through the loopStep 5 – Slowly draw the knot a little tighter until you have a figure-of-eight shape in the knot
Step 6 – Moisten the knot, draw it tight and trim away the waste ends
Step 7 – Make sure you use the end pointing away from the rod as the dropper.
If that doesn’t make sense then this video, that someone else has helpfully done, makes it easy
BP – Good video, not seen it done like that before. I normally make my droppers using 2 cinch knots. They’re quick to tie and the dropper sticks out nicely and a 90˚ angle so they don’t table so much and sit nicely in the water. There are lots of different ways to do most things so I guess a lot of it is personal preference and what you find easy.
Here’s a nice visual reference to the most widely used knots…