About the"Zweber Knot"
By Steve Zweber
Thank you so much for the
on the FAOL Bulletin Board, it brings to mind many
different terms and fishing styles I have used
in the past. Sadly, most terms are better not
said in mixed company or around young children.
As a matter of fact, a few terms used have been
known to peel the paint off the side of my boat!
I see that you have come upon the often-used yet
seldom properly applied term "zweber" and refer
to it as a casting knot. I do admit, in its humble
beginnings this indeed was the case. Many a cast
went astray, whipping back and forth through the
clean air above the river my line would have a
tendency to twist itself in knots, many indeed
that were to never be undone, all this through
no fault of my own I hope you understand, yet
the results had a polluting effect upon one's
ears. As time progressed I noticed that I was
getting fewer and fewer of these "zweber" knots
in my newly bought leaders. While this greatly
enhanced my fishing, I missed the time spent
sitting upon the gentle slopes of the streams,
hearing the sounds of rushing water, the birds
flying overhead and undoing knots. So, with great
effort and countless hours of practice, I have
devised a way to apply the "zweber" knot upon my
leader with ease!
Let me relate to you, if I may, a story of great
skill and cunning. Just this past winter I was
fishing with a dear friend, a Mr. Morland (pronounced
"Morlan", with a silent "d"). We both had braved
the storms of winter to meet upon the famous trout
waters we so enjoy. As it was a cold day, with flakes
of snow falling about, I tied on my tippet a fly
that since that time has gathered quite a following.
From no skill of my own, I was rigged and ready to
fish before my friend had a chance to pick up the
fly's he had so carelessly dropped upon the ground.
(In my haste, I "may" have had a hand in this while
his back was turned...).
Reaching the creek, I surveyed many fish sipping the
small insects of winter, slow, methodical rises,
barely breaking the surface of the slow moving water.
Not wanting to be unsporting, I searched the glass
smooth surface, I was after not the many fish of
smaller size, no, I was looking for the fish that
we all dream of, one that would put my skills to
their utmost test, one that would take my highly
refined equipment to it's breaking point. And there
he was, slowly dimpling the water with his open
mouth, taking one minute bug after the other, without
a care or concern for anything about him. This fish
had his Ph.D., he had been educated upon the cold
steel of many a fly in his early years, learned in
the ways of fishers, and he could detect the smallest
amount of drag, the one or two feathers slightly out
of place. No, this fish knew the flyfisher and his
bag of tricks.
With the greatest of care, I crept closer to a casting
position, crawling on my knees in the fresh snow,
sacrificing my body to get that one cast. The one
chance I would get to catch this monster of the
creek. I slowly pulled line off the reel, fearful
the noise would spook him. A touch of flotant on
the wings of the small fly and I was ready.
Yet something held me back, what about my friend? Here
I was, already on the water, with a fish of legendary
size in front of me and he was picking up flies. At
that point in time, I knew what I had to do, with
only two false casts and a slight turn of the wrist,
I reached my nirvana. I pulled my fly line back
through the guides. Feeling the resistance of what
was to be my greatest achievement. Taking the leader
within my hands I looked upon it, and as a tear of
joy came to my eyes; I saw what no man has seen before.
The triple overhand bimmie loop to loop "zweber"! Can
you imagine the joy that swelled within me? In all my
years of casting, I had never achieved a knot such as
this, not only was this knot unbreakable, it would
require a full replacement of the leader!
As I was reveling in my glory, and replacing my leader,
Mr. Morland happened upon me. I told him of the great
fish I had found, and how a fly from his vise was sure
to take it. With a flick of his rod, Mr. Morland threw
his offering upon the water. To his great surprise this
king of the creek, this mammoth of trout's slowly rose
and slipped the concoction of biot and feathers as if
it were just another bug. A great battle ensued, and
with steady pressure and prized advice from me, the
fish was landed. My friend was overcome with joy,
never before had he hooked and landed a fish of such
Being the humble gentleman I am, and not wanting to
cause a deflating of his joy, I refrained from telling
Mr. Morland about my skillful casting and its results.
To this day, he is not aware of the happiness I felt
inside of me, while he played "the" fish, all I could
think about was my own personal happiness in finally
achieving the ultimate "zweber."
Now that you have become aware of a little history
behind this greatest of all knots, please don't
think of it in a negative way. This knot is the
ultimate in friendship! Just think of the places
that you can use it. You've been catching fish
all day, while your partner has caught none. You
come upon a pod of fish that you know a three-legged
dog could catch. A few false cast, and you have it
done, rather easy I admit, your "zweber" is tied
and your ready for a break! Now your fishing partner
has a chance to bask in the sun, to catch a few fish
and to make their day! Not only does this knot help
your friends, but also it makes the drive home a lot
easier, not having to listen to the grumblings of
a skunked fisherman!
Some time in the future I hope to have the technique
for performing the "zweber" patented and published.
Then, once and for all, everyone can enjoy the beauty
that is provided to us streamside. ~ "Z"
Editor's Note: See
Castwell's Pre-Tangled Leaders
Lighter Side Archive