Index to the Numbers
1. Loop knot to fly
2. Shock tippet
3. Huffnagle knot, Slim Beauty or Albright Knot
4. Bimini Twist
5. Class leader/tippett (18inches to 2 feet long)
6. Bimini Twist
7. Two strands of class leader twisted (two feet long)
8. Double surgeons knot
9. Four strands of class leader twisted (four feet long)
Making the Twisted Section
It is made out of a single piece of monofilament and has the advantages that it has excellent knot strength, a good taper to turn over big flies and the twisted construction provides some stretch that acts as a shock absorber. Also, there is no bulky knot at the top end so the join to the fly line is relatively ‘snagless’ when passing through the tip runner.
Instructions for a 7 to 8 foot leader:
1. Measure and cut about 24 feet of the selected breaking strain mono.
2. Loop the mono around a chair and tie a bimini twist about 3 or 4 feet from the end of the mono.
3. Cut the loop that has been made at the mid point.
4. Hold the bimini twist in your right hand and the two tag ends between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand close to the bottom of the bimini twist. Best results are achieved if the tag ends are held slightly apart, say with about a 30 degree angle between them.
5. With your right hand, twist the bimini away from you and at the same time slowly drawing the tag ends through the fingers of your left hand. This will twist the tag end strands around each other. Because the tag ends will spin, they tend to tangle. To overcome this, hang each strand on either side of a stair rail.
6. Once you have twisted the full length of the double, tie an overhand knot to stop the strands unraveling (the double section should be about 10 foot long).
7. Double the twisted section at about 4 feet from the end.
8. Form a small loop and then twist the two pieces together using the same method as before (twist away from you). The two sections should interlock together. Don’t hold with too much pressure otherwise the twist in the strands will become uneven.
9. When the end is reached, tie a double surgeon’s knot to prevent the strands unraveling. Trim the tag end.
10. The resulting completed leader will be between between 7 and 8 feet long and will have a loop at one end to connect to the fly line, a thick butt of four strands of mono about four feet long, a thinner section consisting of two strands of mono two feet long and a 100% strength bimini twist at the transition to the single strand of mono for the tippett.
Attaching the Shock Tippett
1. Double the single strand of mono and tie a bimini twist so that the class tippett will be about about 18inches to two feet long.
2. Attach the shock tippet using a knot suitable for connecting thin material to thick material. Either a Huffnagle, Slim Beauty or Albright knot would be suitable for connecting mono. Use an Albright knot for attaching wire.
To allow the fly to swim a loop knot is preferable. Either Lefty’s Loop or Homer Rhode Loop would suffice on tippets less than 100pound. On tippett material over 100 pound, an aluminium crimp will give a neater connection.
If using knotable wire such as Tiger Wire, the same knots can be used. Other wires such as nylon coated and stainless will usually be attached using a Haywire Twist.
Note – If you have a break off when the leader is under extreme pressure, particularly just prior to landing the fish, you may find that the leader will ‘concertina’. Don’t try to straighten it, it’s quicker to replace it with a new one.