I learned this knot in 1945, I was ten then and with
'grass-mowing-money,' bought a used bamboo fly rod.
It came with a reel, line, leader container and some
flies. Over the years the flies have disappeared, the
leader can is gone and a friend borrowed and broke the
Granger fly rod into several pieces.
All I have left are fond memories and this knot. It was
to tie the very fine end of a SILK fly line to a loop
in a gut leader. Since a silk fly line is very small in
diameter the resulting connection was hardly noticeable.
It would not readily collect stream-born grass and would
pass easily through the very small tip-tops and guides
used on bamboo rods of that era.
So far, I have not been able to find an original name
for it; so after half a century of looking and not
finding one, I will put a name on it. The Castwell.
I am positive it has another name, but it needs to
be named now. In the many years of fly fishing I have
shown it to a whole lot of people and none have ever
seen it, or anything like it.
It is so devilishly simple it is actually hard to learn
and remember. Be very careful to get it exactly right.
In my lifetime of fly fishing it has NEVER FAILED.
I have, over the years, used other knots for the
'line-to-leader,' connection. This remains my personal
choice for all size leaders and fly lines. The tippet
and leader have always failed and this knot has held.
Will this work for the 'blue-water' big game stuff?
I have no idea. That is a different ball-game.
The 'Castwell' uses a very small amount of fly line
and can actually be backed off if needed. I cut it
off to change a leader. If you change leaders often,
you may use it to tie the short leader-loop butt
section to your fly line.
~ J. Castwell
Any of these animations may be 'stopped' by using your mouse and selecting
'STOP' at the top of your screen. To Re-Start them bring the mouse back down
into the page and (for Microsoft, right-click, select 'refresh'...for Netscape,
right-click and select 'reload frame.')
Addendum: 11/20/00 A reader sent us pictorial evidence this knot
has gone by the name of 'LAP Knot,' originally having been used in Lapland.
Specifically, this is a left hand version. The simplicity of this knot
leads me to believe it must have been known by other names as well
over the eons of human development. If you find yet more information
on this, please contact me. JC
Addendum 2: Comes now this. A strong belief from a reader in Reykjavik,
Iceland that this knot was known as a 'Flag Knot,' (fanahnutur) used
by him as a youngster in the Boy Scouts when attaching a flag. More
names? Keep them coming. JC
Addendum 3: From Frank A. Finley in St. Ignatius MT, "The 'Castwell'
knot is also known as a weavers bend, and is used in looming rugs and cloth.
It was designed to marry 2 different materials together (like silk and
monofilament or gut). I never thought of using it for fishing, but have
used it to thread rope and other cordage to lift deer from the ground when
skinning. It really is a strong knot and small and simple as well."
Thanks Frank! Any more? JC