make your own welded loops?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Jergens, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. anybody been building their own welded loops with shrink tube and glue or some combination? what shrink tube works the best and where do you get it? im thinking about making some and open to any suggestions.
  2. I was searching around tonight about to ask the same thing. I got a indicator taper and want a loop just in case I want to swing a tip with my new rod.
  3. So there are a few ways to do it.... You'll want *clear* 3x shrink polyoefin heat shrink tubing in various diameters. This is easily found online from various sources. If you are near a good eletronics store that works too. Currently I'm using 3/16" but in some cases I wished I had bigger, others smaller.

    Next you need a good heat source that is eay to control. For a heat source, I've been using an alcohol lamp, but a variable temp heat gun is the best. I've also experimented with using high wattage light bulbs, which work really well too.

    The basic jist of it is to put the loop of material in the heat shrink tubing. Use around 2 - 3 inches of overlap on the material to be fused. When putting in the heat shrink tubing make sure that it covers the entire length of the loop and connection. This will provide a bit of protection for the fly line as you heat it up. Then heat the tubing until is shrinks, then watch the internal material as it melts to itself. The ideal melting temp is somewhere around 220 farenheit. That's way light bulbs will work just fine. With an open flame source like an alcohol lamp, you can singe the material, so caution must be practiced.

    It's not too hard to do, but the first few *will* suck, so use some old fly line first. Also keep in mind that thicker lines are tougher to do, but simple loops in running line are a snap.

    Finally *do not* do this in a line that has been recently used. The core will wick up water and will end up just creating a bunch of steaming pock mark welds that don't work worth a damn...

    All of this is well covered in Al Buhrs designing fly lines book which I *think* Aaron has in his Carnation store and Poppy definately has.
  4. james,

    thanks for the killer info. couple more questions. have you done this with skagit lines? would it work with the bigger lines to peel the coating off and do a core to line connection under the tubing? also, have you fished these much, how did they hold up, break at all, etc.

  5. Jergens,
    I have been playing around with this for some time. Use this link for general notes
    Working on getting a good set of pictures with the text and a good detailed instruction.
    Keeping my lines for the Line Pool in good repair with loops and making student bright tips and Half out and go sinktips for my classes you get some practice.
    At my site ( I have every thing but the heat source and thermometer in stock.
    Took quite a bit of time to get the system together and soon will be offering Kit soon.
    Note of caution I would try it on some old lines first so you do not ruin you favorite Speyline.
    Different lines will flow at different temperatures it takes more temp than on would think.
    I have inserted a picture note that the junction of the loop is totally flowed together. This is where the loop will fail if there is any seem here.
    The tag end of the line is forming the loop must be flowed and married with the other line.
    If you are having trouble with this just look at factory line you see that special caution was taken make sure that the biter end or tage end is buried flush with the main line,
    I hope this helps.
    If you have any need just let me know.
  6. Aaron- thanks for the tips man! one more question, have you done this with t-14 or other sink tips?
  7. Jergens
    T-14 is a tough one but not impossible.
    You have a mono core that melts at a few degrees more than the coating.
    So you must be quite precise with the heat.
    To little the loop will pull apart and too much you will damage the core.
    Damage to the core will remove its integrity and break the first time you hook up.
    Take a piece of T-14 or T-8 and hold it between both hands with a little tension.
    Put it over you heat source and feel for it to give.
    This giving is the coating starting to become soft and pliable the indicator for proper temperature.
    Now that we know the temperature with must figure out the time.
    I count one Mississippi is one second and so on.
    This will give the timing for the heat and the rest is the same way as working with any of the line trial and error.
    But do not be afraid of it.
    It can be done.
  8. heat sources

    I have found the following heat sources.
    Chicago Electric heat gun 1500 watts $9.99 Harbor Freight
    Weller ML200 adjustable butane torch $10?? Bi-mart
    Coverite Black Baron Iron $20 model airplane hobby shop

    Use the iron for shrink tubing & T-14 A regular iron will work, it's just big and clumbsy. The butane torch is very similar to the one my ex used for crem brul'e. Harbor Freight also has a heat gun accessary kit for $6.99.
  9. Excellent directions for making strong loops that do not hinge and shoot through the guides nicely can be found at:
    Go to Dan's site, then click on "Getting Looped". These loops have taken dorado, sailfish, marlin and our local bad boys like chinook salmon and winter steelhead.
  10. Jergens,

    Have you tried the "Nail Knot" Loop yet?

  11. With bigger lines, I take a razor and shave it down both in the section that will recieve the weld, and the bitter end that will be welded to it. Don't cut the core, and it will work better.

    The ultimate solution for *me* though was to blind splice some of the backend running line to the front, and then do a welded loop with that....

    But the methods that Aaron is suggesting are great, and I'd suggest those before doing what I do....
  12. Cal- thats how all of my t-tips are set up right now, im just looking to put a loop onto a cut skagit head, and figured i might be able to smooth out my tips. and im bored and it seems like a good way to kill some time.
  13. Simple way: fold line or T-11/14 1". Tie two nail knots using soft 1X or 0X material on the both ends of folded line or T-X material.
    Tie the mono line not to to strong and then coat with Rio UV-activated flexible glue, which is much more durable !!! then Aquaseal.
    After the glue is fully cured, attached 20 lb weight to the loop and hand it for 6-12 hours. The loop will be as a new without cracks.
    The coating in Airflo lines or others made by Airflo ( Guideline) is tougher so the nail knot can by tied firmer.
  14. yeah, so after getting some 3/8 shrink tube and hackng up an old 8wt line i have come to several conclusions:

    1. Aaron, your the master dude, its going to be a while before i get a weld like the one you attached.
    2. I need some smaller shrink tube
    3. I need a better heat source.

    Still a really cool project for anyone thinking about doing it, and i can see the end result s being sweet!
  15. Everyone has posted good info.
    I also do a bit of shaving on the larger lines. Try to get close to but not down to the core, as it will make a stronger bond.
    My loops are as James explains. I create the welded loop first and then blind splice it in. If you screw up the loop you do not have to do another blind splice. I use the same method for any of the T-X sink tips. I think the dacron core lines hold up better than the T-X coating. I use the smallest diamater running line I can for the T-X splices, but go larger with the fat stuff to get a smoother transition.
    Clear 3x might be a bit harder to locate. I use a lot of 3/64' and 3/16 2X. A two step weld will also work. Slide one size smaller tubing onto the line BEFORE starting the loop. Do your initial weld with appropriate size. If the shrink/weld is too large/not fully welded, remove first shrink tubing, slide the smaller tubing up and over the weld and do a second shrink. If you can't cover the loop itself, slide a new piece of the orriginal size down and over the loop. I like loops about 3/4" to 1". They compress better under tension when comming back through the tip top and guides.

    IF you want to use Dr. Way's way most tubing will shrink using boiling water, which will not overheat the T-X.
    I use the method he suggests to create a tippet loop on T-X.

    I have some 3/64" thin wall low temp tubing. It shrinks at 90c. Perfect for hot water and it stays very flexible. I got mine from
    M-B Electronics AV Inc. They also have other types and sizes of shrink.

    Just one more thing to play with after being fully infected with the Spey Bug"

  16. This is great info. I have been meaning to dive into making different loops for a while and this info will get me going.

    I have been making the braided loops Les mentioned for a while. The more direct link is: I found myself staring at the website for a while trying to find.

  17. Why don't you just buy a new line bro? I'm glad your learning new techniques, so I can pick your brain when I start making welded loops and all...7 days man...
  18. Joe,

    Here is a quick way that has worked for me for years, slip about a 1/2 inch section of shrink wrap down the line, double over the end of your fly line, take 8-10lb maxima and tie a nail knot, after pulling tight trim with a small tag on both ends and coat with super glue. You can get shrink wrap at any radio shark or electrical supply shop, don't know what size line you are trying to loop but get it slightly larger than line. Let glue dry slip shrink wrap over the knot then just use a hair dryer on medium heat and hold about 3 to 4 inches away, it will shrink right up in about 90 seconds. Been doing it for years, never had problem.

    I'll drop you a line for that beer we were talking about. P.S. nice hog you emailed last week sweet fish.

    Tight lines,


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