Your Fly Fishing Line

Now that we have reviewed your rod, let’s talk about the line and its components. Along with reviewing the line, we will show you the knots used to connect each section.


Your Fly-Fishing Line

Now that we have reviewed your rod, let’s talk about the line and its components. Along with reviewing the line, we will show you the knots used to connect each section.

Backing is the line that connects to your reel. You could fish without backing, but it helps in two ways:

One: It fills in the extra space in your reel to help retrieve the line faster. Think of turning the crank on a small bicycle; the wheel will only cover so much ground. Now think about turning the pedal on a road bike or mountain bike. The same turn will cover a larger portion of ground.
Two: When you hook into that large fish and he runs, you’re going to need that extra line to work him back to the net.

What knot should you use to attach the backing to the reel?
Answer: Arbor Knot.

The Arbor Knot is one of the easier knots to tie.

Your Fly line: This can be one of the most complicated buying decisions out there. There seems to be more fly line selections than flies, and each line has a unique selling feature for the specifics that you are trying to accomplish.

I suggest that beginners start with an all-around line that can be used for dry fly fishing and nymphing. As soon as you get comfortable with catching fish, you’ll want to experiment with additional lines.

What knot should I use to attach the line to the backing?
Answer: Double Surgeon’s Knot or Blood Knot

Now that you have your backing and fly line, your last step is the leader and tippet.

The leader and tippet are the last sections of your line that provide an invisible transition from your brightly colored fly line to the fly that the fish will attack. The tippet tapers from a thick back end to a thinner front end that connects to your fly. This material is almost invisible to the fish when it hits the water. The great thing about modern fly lines and leaders is that both come with pre-tied loop ends that can easily be connected.  

Just like with fly line, you will have a ton of options. My favorite option for trout out of the package is the 4x and 5x. But the poundage of fish you are hunting will determine the leader that you need. Here is a graph of the X system and the poundage.

Tippet is the last section of your fly line. If you’re using a one-fly setup, you can tie your fly directly to your leader. But with the Drifthook Fly Fishing System, tippet is extremely important with our fly combinations for optimal success.  

Tippet on the Market
There are two types of tippet on the market — monofilament and fluorocarbon. Monofilament has more stretch and floats higher on the water; because of its stretch, it’s less likely to have knot breaks. Fluorocarbon sinks faster in water and is more durable due to its hardness, but the knots are not as strong due to this hardness. The one key difference is that monofilament is nearly invisible in the water. Professional guides will tell you that the greatest invention in fly fishing in the last 15 years has been the introduction of fluorocarbon. You don’t have to worry about broken knots if you can’t catch the fish.

What Size Should You Have?
4x, 5x, and 6x
When we dive into the Drifthook Fly Fishing System, we will be using these three weights.

Extending Your Leader
The great thing about tippet is that if your leader is getting short, you can build your own leader with tippet.  
So how do we do this?
Connect the tippet to the leader using a Double Surgeon’s Knot.

Practice this knot as much as you can; we will be using it in future videos to build out multiple fly rigs in the Drifthook Fly Fishing System.

Connecting Your Fly
So my guess is that your mind is now swimming with knots. But don’t worry; after you have your fly line set up the first time, you will most likely only use this one knot. In the next session, we will review all the knots so you have an easy reference point for future use. Now, let’s tie our last knot and get ready to go fishing.

The Improved Clinch Knot
This was the first knot that my father taught me. And I have to admit that I can’t keep my shoes tied to save my life, but I can tie this knot in the dark.