Welding your loops
Making loop connections on fly-lines using heat-shrinkable tubing
Practice on an old fly line or a cheap line. The first few times you might fail, but when you get the hang of it, its quit easy.
This is only a start-guide. There are many variants of making loops with shrink tubes. Make your own experiments.
Part 1: Standard loops
Below is a step-by-step guides showing how to make welded loops. The method is universal for all coated fly lines and gives strong, small and neat loops, which will glide noiseless through the guides.
Step 1 to 7 is necessary for all.
- Insert your fly line into a piece of shrink tube af approx. 6-8 cm (2-3 inches).
- Form a loop on your fly line.
- Insert the tip of the fly line into the shrink tube.
- Stop the tip approx. 1-2 cm (1/2 inch) from the edge of the shrink tube. This is important to make sure you don't hit the fly line when heating.
- Carefully Apply heat to the shrink tube. Use a lighter og a candle. Apply the heat i short intervals. The coating of the fly line will melt and merge. Repeat this until all the fly line connection is smoothly merged. Don't apply too much heat.
- Wait for the coating of the fly line to cool a bit down. Then you can remove the used shrink tube carefully. The shrink tube is best removed while it is still a little warm.
- Congratulation - You have completed your first loop
Part 2: Tune your loops.
The following step-by-step focuses on thicker fly lines.
- Apply a little heat to your loop (only a few seconds to not damage the core).
- Remove the warm coating from the core.
- put the loop inside a piece of shrink tube.
- Stop 2-3 cm (1 inch) from the edge og the shrink tubes.
- Heat the coating in the point where it turns into loop. Be careful, not to apply too much heat to the core. It is very sensitive to heat.
- While the coating is still hot, pull carefully in the shrink tube. Pull approx 0,5 cm (1/4 inch) this will smooth the transition to the loop.
- Keep the shrink tube in the pulled position until you are sure the coating is no longer liquid.
- Remove the shrink tube.
Always carry a lighter, a sharp pair of scissors, a small piece of shrink foil and a lighter with you. With this first aid line kit you can repair the lines, if the loops for some reason breaks.
These loops are not as strong as the real welded loops, but it is great that you can repair a line at the bank.
Practice on old worn out fly lines before making loops on the ones you are going to use.
Start making loops on floating lines. Due to the materials, they are much easier to weld than sinking lines.
The weakest point is where the point of the loop is welded into the line. The durability will be heightened if you make a cut, tapering the line before welding.
You can color code your lines by adding a small piece of coating in a different color under the shrink foil before welding. It requires some practice but the result is overwhelming.
Of course you can mark the line with markers before welding. However, this will fade over time.
- You now have a really nice loop on your fly line ;-) It works even better if you reduce the thickness by removing some of the coating on the fly line, at the point where it is merged, before step 1.