Published Jan 1. 2001

Making loops

These loops are often refered to as Orvis loops. I don't know if Orvis invented them, but they do sell them -- and at high prices too.

These loops are often refered to as Orvis loops. I don't know if Orvis invented them, but they do sell them -- and at high prices too.

There's no reason to pay money for something you can make for free yourself. All you need is a large needle and some scraps of braided dacron backing. Add to that scissors, a lighter (or a candle or matches) and some superglue.

Look at the drawing and follow the instructions below. You can now make your own loops. Want to know how to use them or how to join two loops?
  1. Use fairly thick braided backing off the stiff dacron type - 20 or 30 lb type
  2. Do not cut the backing yet, but work with the whole length
  3. Be carefull that the backing doesn't become 'unbraided' in the process
  4. Stick a thick needle into the backing app. 10 cm. (4") from one end.
  5. The backing is hollow and the needle point should end up in the center
  6. Thread the short end of the backing through the needle eye
  7. Secure the loop formed with a pencil
  8. Press the needle out through the backing again 5 cm. (2") further down the backing
  9. Pull the needle and the loose end through the hollow center and out though the side of the backing
  10. Pull loop fairly tight
  11. Remove needle and cut backing leaving a small piece (1cm/0.5") on the outside
  12. Burn lightly over a flame and pull the still warm and soft end into the backing, by expanding the loop
  13. Put a drop of superglue on the double backing
  14. Stop the backing from becoming 'unbraided' by sticking a needle into the hollow center and applying light heat.
  15. Cut to appropriate length and thread a small piece of silicon tube over the end
  16. The loop is ready


Martin Joergensen's picture

Anonymized commenter,

I have had several types of Dacron backing, and most the stuff you can boy nowadays is too thin and soft to work. I do have an old coil of thicker and stiffer backing around that I can cut from when I need it.

I'm sure braided mono will work just as fine. It's the hollow braid that's the key, and yes it is exactly the "Chinese fingercuff" phenomenon that does it. The harder you pull, the more it tightens.


Have you actually had success with braided Dacron? (Every other reference I've found calls for braided monofilament.) I'd love for Dacron to work since I already have it around.

Using 30 lb. test braided Dacron, I formed a nice, textbook-looking loop. Unfortunately, even a needle will not thread up in there very far, much less a length of fly line.

Is the "Chinese fingercuff" gripping action supposed to come into play here, or is that a mono-only phenomenon?

Martin Joergensen's picture


Provided your backing is hollow and "loose" enough in the braid, no problem.
Most modern backing is too thin, though and an overhand loop is the easiest way to create a loop on the thin, supple backing.
Make it sufficiently big for the reel to pass through, and you will save yourself having to pull all the line through the loop when you attach or change it.


Can you use this method to create a loop on the end of your backing line too?

In case someone else needs the instructions, here they are:

1. If the shrink-wrap tubing is already on the braid, move it up to the loop before starting (if it's not on the braid, thread the shrink-wrap onto the braid first)
2. Insert the end of the fly line into the open end of the braid and use the "inchworm" technique to move the braided sleeve down the flyline. Make sure 1" of the fly line is inside the braided sleeve.
3. Move the shrink-wrap down so that 1/2 is on the fly line and the other 1/2 is on the braided line.
4. Using a heat source (not an open flame), shink the tubing to secure the connector.

Now go fishing.

You are not the only one with this problem. I received the same sort of kit and no instructions. I assume that one has to tease the end of the braided loop and push the fly line into it and then pull the tube/sleeve supplied over the join?? Using glue would seem to be useless as the tube would stick to the join, I have experimented with a bit of tube and this is the case. There seems to be an assumption by the line suppliers that we are all experts?

hi there
I am just about to embark on my first ever fly fishing season. I have got myself a basic kit to get me started, but the fly line that came with the rod does not have the loop connector at the end. I don't feel confident enough to create my own loop, and the rod also came with a couple of braided loops...but it came without any instructions as to how to attach the braided loop to the fly line in order that I may use the loop-to-loop system for attaching my leaders I have. I've searched everywhere for info on this, but can't find it anywhere.

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