Fly fishers know that the Albright is an excellent knot
for attaching fly line to backing. With a slight
modification, it is also a great knot for attaching the
leader to the fly line using a loop-to-loop connection.
The Albright loop was born when I tried to find a new
and better way to add a loop to the end of my fly line.
I'd used the nylon finger loops in the past but found
they did not hold up when exposed to intense salt-water
fishing. My alternative was to attach a piece of heavy
mono to the end of the fly line with an Albright knot,
and then tie a triple surgeon's loop using the mono.
But that seemed like one knot too many, and less is
more when it comes to knots.
I noticed that the Albright basically tied a loop,
only closed that loop when pulled tight. If I could
keep the loop open I'd have a good, strong knot forming
the loop using the fly line without any excess mono or
knots. After a little experimentation, the Albright
loop was born.
To tie the Albright loop, form the end of your fly line
into an oblong loop with the tag end parallel to one side.
Pass a piece of 20 lb. test monofilament or fluorocarbon
through the loop (note: I used 20 lb. backing in the photos
for visibility, but monofilament or fluorocarbon will make
a much better knot).
Wind the tag end of the mono around itself, the loop
and the tag end of the fly line, moving in the direction
where the mono entered the loop. Take 12 turns, winding
carefully so the mono wraps stay in place and don't overlap.
Pass the mono back through the loop, making certain it
that it comes out on the same side it entered.
At this point you can adjust the size of the loop by
gently pulling on the standing end of the fly line
until the loop is the size you want.
Slide the coils together and toward the end where
the mono exits the loop, being careful that the
mono does not slide off before tightening. Tighten
by pulling the two strands of mono while holding the
loop, then pull on the fly line (while still holding
Tie the mono into a slipknot and pull tight. Repeat,
being careful each time not to wrap the mono around
the fly line.
Trim the remaining monofilament.
Trim the tag end of the fly line. You can coat with
pilobond or another soft adhesive, though I don't think
I've been using the Albright loop while fishing for
stripers and bluefish and haven't had a knot failure
to date. With a little practice you'll find that the
Albright loop is easy to tie and provides a strong
connection between your fly line and your leader.
And you'll always have all the materials necessary
while streamside to tie the Albright Loop should
the need arise. ~ Dave
Dave Micus lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He is an
avid striped bass fly fisherman, writer and instructor.
He writes a fly fishing column for the Port City Planet
newspaper of Newburyport, MA (home of Plum Island and Joppa Flats)
and teaches a fly fishing course at Boston University.