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DIY Speed loop connectors

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PatB View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 3:12pm
Here's a step by step on how to make your own speed loops to fix to fly lines for easy connection of braid backing to flyline and leader butt to the front of the flyline using loop to loop connections. The two common sizes of GUDEBROD Hollow braid used to make these connections is 35 lb and 50 lb. Well known fly guide and owner of TIE 'N FLY OUTFITTERS at Buddina,Sunshine Coast Gavin Platz recommends 50 lb for 10 WT lines and over. All weights below 9-1 for instance use 35 lb. Some people insist on using nailknots for connections below 9 wt but each to their own (I couldn't tie a decent nailknot to save my life). You can buy the Gudebrod hollow braid usually by the metre from 50 c to $1.50 a metre from any good fly shop.For those that don't know what a speed loop is here's a pic of some finished ones.Here are the basic tools you will need.Most important would be the fine single strand wire needed to thread up through the hollow braid. I use SS game wire .014 inch and fold it over so you have a tight "elbow". Start with about 10-11 inches then fold over 4 in.A bobbin and thread (neutral in colour or match the flyline)- I use flat waxed nylon 6/0 size in white to match the braid colour. A fine tipped preferably serrated scissors to cut the braid that is very slippery plus cut the thread. A needle or bodkin can be useful but not essential. Some super glue and a clear finish to coat the whipped thread. E.G. soft dip,UV Knot sense. I just use a small amount of Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails and give a light coat which penetrates the threads. First measure up the length of braid needed accounting for the size loop you need. Don't cut the final length do that after you have made up the final loop (insurance so it isn't too short). You only need about 50 mm of braid inside and again about 50 mm (or as little as 25 mm) single to thread the flyline up. The loop at the end should be about 5-10 mm across. I prefer to have a larger loop at the flyline/leader end and a smaller one on the backing end. The smaller one creates less of a bump under the flyline when it is wound on the reel.Push the folded end of the wire into the side of the hollow braid at the point you want the "doubled" internal braid to end and feed it up the hollow exiting at the point that has an equivalent length of braid "overhang" as there is with wire in it.Feed the end of the braid between the two strands of wire with say 10-15 mm overhang and prepare to pull it back through the internal hollow of the standing hollow braid. Now is a good time to work out what size loop you want and you can always put a pen or nose of the scissors inside the yet to formed loop so that you don't cinch it down too small. Slide up the braid below the point where the braid is to be pulled back inside so as to "open" up the hollow and facilitate pulling through easier. I fold over a "handle" in the end of the wire so I can grip better to pull it through so be careful not to pull the wire into you skin like a braid cut.Once you have the desired loop size - this one is small for the back end of the flyline to backing join -pull the tag a little bit out of the hollow braid by sliding the outside up a bit the cut the tag with the serrated scissors. This allows the "jagged end to be pulled back inside for a smooth finish. This is important to reduce crap like algae/dirt building up at the joint point which can make it more visible but also cause the point to sink when using a floating line.Now you can cut the final length but add 20-25 mm as the braid unravels the more you work with it so you want to aim for a cut length of approx. 4 1/2 inches.Slide/work the flyline tip up into the hollow so it is tight up against the other braid inside and whip finish with the thread the join covering the top of the flyline and the base of the "doubled" braid. It is important to make this point tight to reduce the "hingeing" effect as it will eventually work it's way apart over time. I put the tinniest bit of CA glue at the point where the tip of the flyline meets the internal braid and this does two things. It makes the spot a little harder for the thread to compress reducing the "hour glass" shape and allows a more even arera to whip across. I normally whip as little as 1 mm both sides. Use the "pull through" method of tying off the thread by prior making up a loop of thread that is fine and laying this over the near complete whipped area. Make 4-5 more wraps over it the cut the bobbin thread leaving a tag long enough to be passed through this thread loop so that the tag can then be pulled under the 4-5 wraps by pulling the thread loop - Comprendeh !!!!!. Now whip finish the bottom end of the hollow braid by starting above the frayed end say 2 mm. Put a few wraps around then holding the thread tight trim the tags of the frayed braid then covering the rest with wraps tying of the same as the top whipping. Aim for no little tags of braid or thread sticking out. Coat with you favourite clear finish as long as it does not dry sticky. Use only enough to penetrate and cover the threads not the whole braid or flyline.There you have it. A pack of pre-made speed loops may set you back $6-8 for 3-4 loops so if you like to DIY it is easy and cheaper. Just don't use the shrink tubes included in some of these packs as they are too stiff , visible and accumulate crap inside. Hope this is useful for someone. Cheers Pat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangalures Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 3:31pm
Awesome and easy pat

Thanks Rick 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bassnbob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2015 at 9:22am
THIS has come in handy & very easy as well cheers ClapClapClapClapregards bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puglee62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2015 at 10:27am
very handy stuff sure makes life easier
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Viper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2015 at 10:48am
Nice tutorial , good to see people sharing ideas and methods .Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PatB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2015 at 3:54pm
No worries. Looking at the pics now this was a little rough...the have got better. Cheers Pat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bassnbob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2015 at 4:36pm
PAT if thats ruff mines a dogs bum RUFF ruffWinkLOLLOLLOLLOLConfusedConfusedregards bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyonline Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2015 at 5:14pm
Nice Pat, not sure that many fly shops still sell braided mono though Cry

If you make the loops large enough, then you can swap lines off/on the reel if you want to quickly on the water.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hazmail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2015 at 5:28pm
Great effort Pat, great pictures and I do appreciate how much time you had to put into this great 'tute'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bassnbob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2022 at 1:57pm
GOOD oil for the fly fisho WinkWink
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