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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 30-second thrill: Friday I hooked into my first ever steelhead.
The frustration: A faulty blood knot.
aaarggghhhhhh!!!
Nonetheless, I'll be back -with a revamped bloodknot, or maybe just no tippet to worry about. It was my first time ever dedicating the whole trip to steelhead and I learned some valuable lessons.
Thanks for the learning from y'all on this site. I was able to locate a great slot that held steelhead the whole day. Funny thing, the only 2 other fishermen on the river walked right past this spot. It was a nice location that had all the right ingredients for holding steelhead, but it was subtle...you had to really be looking for those ingredients. Anyway, the fishfinding info I learned here really paid off. Now I just need to work on my presentation skills, sneakiness, and that blasted knot.
easygoer

easygoer
 

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Easygoer - I FEEL YOUR PAIN MAN!!!

This Morning.....Hooked up....blood knot failed.....2nd hooked steelhead of my life.....2nd LOST Steelhead of my life.

Loops my friend, Loops. NOT the slip on loops either. The Fly Fisher in Lacey will make a bomb proof loop connector on your fly line. Tie your leader with a loop in it and connect that way. I will be there Tuesday getting loops tied into all my lines. The loops that are tied are smooth and won't get stuck in your guides. Thrill and Frustatration would more appropriately be Thrill and *&^%&^%$*(&_)(*)(*&^^&^%$#$# Pissed OFF! LOL. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It was an 8lb tippet on a 10lb leader. I'd planned on a 12lb leader, but discovered on the river that I was plum out of 12lb test.
I had 5 loops on each side of the knot. I've heard that some people do only 4 on heavier lines like you mentioned, but didn't really think 10&8lb lines were heavy enough to warrant going down to 4 loops. Whad'ya think?
After the lost fish, I just went with an 8' 10lb leader w/no tippet...but no more hook-ups after that.
I was on the Green River (not the one by Auburn either). The water was a little low and very clear, so the fish were pretty tight-lipped, not to mention I didn't get out until after lunch. I could see steelies in my slot all day but couldn't coax a strike until evening. I started the day with a Purple Peril -nothing. Switched to my variation of a Purple Peril -nothing. Switched to a Stimulator on the surface -6" smolt loved that, but nothing else. Then dredged the bottom with a weighted black bunny leech on a #6 hook -caught a 2lb sucker & a decent whitefish or shad (don't know the difference)-ok maybe I had a little too much weight on that leech, but wasn't getting strikes with lesser weight either. Finally, I tied on a cone-head Muddler Minnow...WHAMMO! Don't know why I picked a Muddler Minnow, I've never heard of anyone fishing steelies with them...but nothing else was working & it led to my 1st hook-up. It was a bright chrome fish that looked in the 8-10lb range.
Even with the lost fish, it really was a boost to my confidence -kinda' like getting to third base w/your high school sweetheart if you know what I mean. Now I can't wait to get back out & try it again. I stayed up late last night tying up some more flies for the next adventure.
Oh yeah, one other cool thing. I was standing out in the middle of the river tying a knot & this deer crosses the river about 30 feet up from me. Don't know if she's just used to people or if she didn't recognize me as a person since I was standing still. That was an added plus to the day.
Until next time...C'ya.
easygoer
 

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Blood knots were always a curse to me to. I went to a double surgeons not for leader to tippet ties and a nail not for leader to line. I don't know the compared strength factors of a blood knot versus a double surgeon knot but I haven't had a not failure since I switched. It is probably due to the fact I can tie up a good double surgeon and didn't always tie good blood knots.
I wouldn't be surprised if WILDRAM cann't inform us all of the merits and short comings of both knots. He is into the tech stuff and almost always has the good answer.
Dave
 

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Don't know as if I have ever broken a blood knot. Several fine points (obvious to the experts but worth repeating nevertheless) are:
1. Don't make too big a jump from one piece of leader to another with a blood knot--not more than two pounds of test if you can.
2. With all knots, draw it up slowly and carefully, making sure everything looks right before yoou cinch it home.
3. Always wet with saliva all knots before they are drawn in order to lubricate the knot and keep one line from cutting the other.
4. Test each knot up to near the breaking strength of the smaller line. Better to break now than later.
5. I know guys who don't do this but I do: I leave just a tad of the end of each piece, rather than trim them flush.
6. Unless your blood knot ends up with each tag end of the leader at right angles to the leader and opposite each other, you don't have a blood knot; you have a piece of dung. Retie until it looks like it is supposed to look.
7. Definitely take the advice about using two perfection loops looped together rather than a blood knot. There is much savy here. I carry a wallet full of leader tippets and may change them all day long. With loops this is a snap; with blood knots, you keep cutting the main leader until you have deformed the casting sequence. Not good.
8. Chris, our leader, uses perfection loops for just about everything. Need I say more?
Babbo :professor
 

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Personally, I use a triple surgeon's knot, and so do many guides and fly fishermen I know. It's very quick to tie, and although it's not 100% foolproof, in my experience it's stronger than a blood knot, and certainly a lot faster. As alpinetrout said, make sure to lubricate your knots!

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 

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Have you ever used that UV-activated glue spooge that Loon makes? All you have to do is put a drop on your tippet knot and smooth it down before it sets. It does seem to reinforce the knot and even helps keep wind knots from collecting around it and cinching before you notice. Not a bad product that I just recently started using.
 

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You know, I must be about the only guy who doesn't taper my leaders when steelhead fishing. I run straight mono from the flyline to fly. Seems to turn over fine, and doesn't make a big splash. When I trout fished, of course I built up leaders. But never had a problem with shy steelhead running my dries and damps for them. But would shoot up stream and do a few mends.

I actually was given a tool from a friend of mine who's the powerpro rep here. Found some new knots, supposedly makes better knot strength knots over bloodknots. So far, the knots I've used have worked wonders so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll have to check into the perfection loops & the surgeon knots. I've heard of both but never used either.
As far as blood knots go, I still like them. I found my error after reviewing my knots again. Don't know when I started tying them different, but this is the first it's failed me. I will check into the other suggestions too. Thx.
easygoer
 

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thrill & frustration

I don't use 8lb, so I don't know. It works well on 10lb and above for me. Combine that with what Boblawless says two messages down and i bet you wont lose your next fish that way! BTW, thanks too for the flyalog. I think a lot of guys use muddlers and other flys with muddler genes.
 

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Some good points brought up here. I was with Luv2 when that knot failed. My theory is keep it simple. I recommended he go to that loop to loop. Its easy and strong. I also agree with Steelheader69. What is the point of putting a tippet to your leader. Thats just one more possibility for failure. Straight 10 or 8lb flouracarbon to the fly. Your not going to be throwing size 20 midges to rising trout. Im no expert but 5 steelies so far this year brought to hand and no gear failures. Loop to loop for flyline to leader, and an Orvis knot to the fly.Wet your knot and keep your hooks sharp.
 

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I forgot what I was supposed to remember.

Here's another opinion from another old guy. I have found out the those loops don't work very good on lighter sized rods. Say 4wt and lighter. I tried them on my 4wt floating line on it seemed to sink eaisier that the blood knot did. So off with the loops and on with the leader off the end with a blood knot to my leader. But on larger lines I like the loops. I don't mind a little sinkage.

Jim
 
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