Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
July 21, 2003

About the"Zweber Knot"
By Steve Zweber

Dear Deanna,

Thank you so much for the new thread 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 great proportions.

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

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