Dave Micus, Plum Island Sound

November 28th, 2005

The Albright LOOP
By Dave Micus

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 the loop).

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 it's necessary.

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

About 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.

Previous Dave Micus Columns

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