|You can use a needle knot or a nail knot
to make the connection between the butt section of the leader and
the fly line. With small-diameter lines, and also with sinking lines,
needle knots can be a challenge so I simply use nail knots.
My butt sections are essentially permanently installed with a perfection
loop at the end, which facilitates ease and flexibility in changing
|Take the line through the loop three times,
and you've got a double surgeon's knot which you should use with fluorocarbon
material. Not only are surgeon's knots strong (almost 100%) they're
easier and quicker to tie, and they are more reliable when connecting
dissimilar types of monofilament.
For a typical leader-to-tippet connection I use a surgeon's knot.
For connecting very fine-diameter stuff, or if I'm in a hurry, and
want to jump more than two-thousandths (.002), I add one more turn,
and the surgeon's knot becomes a double.
If you want to really get into tying your own leaders I'd suggest
a visit to one of the many internet sites that offer pretty explicit
information on the subject. One of the best is the Global Fly Fisher
which even offers fee software, LeaderCalc. It's a spreadsheet tool
to calculate the length and diameter for each segment in a hand-tied
leader. LeaderCalc contains 70+ of the most common and popular leader
formulas ranging from delicate dry fly fishing to stout bass popper