How To Tie Leader To Fly Line: Know Your Knots

Now that you are interested in fly fishing, you’ve come to the most important part in it and that is tying a leader to the fly line! It’s essential that the leader is tied to the fly line perfectly well or else your whole experience will go ‘Fishless’. Through easy step-by-step instructions, we will guide you properly and hope that you can learn how to tie leader to fly line in a short time.

Here we will also describe how to tie leader to fly line without a loop, fly line with tool, knots & loops and other things of fishing lines.

Basic Parts of the Fly Line

Basic Parts of the Fly Line: How to Tie Leader to Fly Line

Before you get to work, you need to understand what you are going to work with. Setting up a fly line is a very important task. A fly line is not your usual spinning rig. It consists of four parts entailed together to form one whole line. It has to have a particular weight and size for casting all types of flies.

Let’s get you through the four basic parts of a fly line from the following list:

#Backing: What is backing & how to tie fly line to backing? This is the thing that usually never fronts you. There is a saying, “If you see your backing outside the reel, you’ll have a nice day”!

The backing works as a weapon when you are battling a big fish, which pulled a ton of line off the reel, as such, catching a usual trout need 100 yards of 20-35 pound backing.

The backing is your support, not made for casting. It only helps you by bringing the big fish to you. It is attached to the reel and the fly line.

#Fly Line: The fly line comes second in the list of the parts of a fly line. Attaching a fly line to the leader is the most familiar and popular part of this.

It is usually around 100 feet long and attaches the backing to the leader. It is a bright and vivid colored line makes it easily visible even in the dark while fishing.

It is coated to be smooth for casting and pulling in through the water and doesn’t get entangled. It also acts as the floating line most often. You can make your fly line with various fly line loop.

#Leader: A leader is a fly fishing equipment, a mono-filament nylon or fluorocarbon string which connects the fly and the fly line.

It is a transparent transformation to trick the fishes into taking the bait without letting them see the angler. The element it’s made from is invisible to the fish eyes in the water.

When casted, the leader lies on the surface smoothly without being entangled because of the tapered end of the tippet.

Generally, it is a little heavier than the tippet and is around 7 to 9 feet long. Note that the size is not fixed. It depends on the type of fly you are using. Usually, readymade leaders can be bought, which are already well designed.

#Tippet: This line is also made of either fluorocarbon or mono-filament, the same material as the leader. It is used as an extended line for the leader when needed.

You can also use it to decrease the leader diameter. When you are working with the leader, it can get shorter as it is likely to break off in a tree, or, changing flies can require changes to the leader too.

Thus the tippet comes helping you regain what you lost or add to your leader line. There are many varieties of tippet available for you to choose from.

How To Tie A Leader To The Fly Line


There are several ways you can set up your angling kit, and finding the method that’s suitable for you is essential.

As you have learned, the whole fishing kit is actually some specific separated parts. Each of them needs to be bonded or adjusted together in specific ways.

As such, there are Albright knot, Double Surgeons knot, Uni knot, Blood knot, Clench knot, perfection loop, Nail knot, Turtle knot, and many more. They can be used while tying the leader to the fly line or tippet to fly connection or connecting tippet to the leader.

These methods are simple, yet they need practice and effort to show their best performance. So choosing the best method is essential.

In order to tie a leader to a fly line, there are various sorts of fly lines to leader connections. Here, we are going to use the Double Uni knot method, as through days of researches, we found the simplicity and fewer cons of this knot. Now let’s take you through our step-by-step guide.

Related Blog: Why Is My Fishing Line Curly?

Double Uni Knot Method

Double-Uni-Knot: How to Tie Leader to Fly Line

The method we are going to show you first is how to tie leader to fly line by using Double Uni knot. Through the researches, double Uni knot has proved its easy appliance and worldwide acceptance.

The easy method of Uni knot is given below:

Take both fly line and leader’s tag end and overlap the ends using your fingers.

Now take the fly line tag end, If its mono to mono, make a double back and wrap it around the overlapped ends of both lines for 4 times through the loop that was formed just now. Tighten the tag by pulling.

If it’s mono to braided line, then do the wraps 5x with the mono, 8x with the braided one.

Repeat step 2 on the other side of the overlapped tag ends. Make sure to tighten the tag end. Thus two Uni knots are tied.

Now pull both standing lines towards the opposite direction to join the two knots side by side.

Trim extra tag ends.

You have now tied the leader using the Double Uni knot!

Uni Knot: Advantages And Possible Drawbacks

There is no “super knot” in the world of bonding; every knot and loops will likely to break eventually as the utilizing advances. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the Uni knot:


  • It can be used to connect any kinds of lines, connecting mono to mono or mono to braided ones.
  • Simple and quick
  • Slip less
  • Doesn’t break easily
  • Probably not the strongest, but performance is a 100%


  • It may stretch out the mono one a little in the case of mono to braided line.
  • Uni knot will surely give out a solid performance if tied properly. So be sure to practice it.

How To Tie Leader To Fly Line Without Loop

You’ve probably already realized that tying a leader to the fishing line is quite simple. There are just some little details which should be maintained.

Again, there are lots of ways to make your work easier for you.  So, choosing the best way may not come easy, but no worries! Through trial and errors, we came to a conclusion to our research for the best way of tying the leader to the fly line, and it is Nail Knot.

The nail knot is also one of the most commonly used knots around the world. Anglers of both saltwater and lake waters apply this method.

Nail Knot Method

Here is your guide:

Take a tool, like a hollow tube, straw or nail and put it next to the fly line ending section.

Place the weighty end of the leader, also known as the butt section adjacent to the fly line and the nail. To the tie the knot you need to keep the distance of the end around 10-12 inches.

Now, grab the butt section & fly line, along with the nail or tube or the tool you are using with your fingers.

Next, cover the butt section surrounding the leader, the tool and the fly line as a whole.

You need to do 6-8 wraps in total, and they should keep clasped together with the end of the butt section as the tool’s length going from left to right in the fly line, the tool and the leader.

Need to pull it off now with tool’s help or through the blank space generated by the nail.

Take out the nail from the loop.

When the nail knot is completed, again bring off the tag end a bit in case the coils can keep in tight.

Now place the knot over the fly line along with leader by pulling off the end of the tag.

Lastly cut off any extra tag to make it neat and you are done!

Nail knot: Pros and Cons

There are some pros and cons of Nail knot.


  • Very strong
  • Slip less
  • Hinge resistance
  • Provides a drag-free and smooth cast
  • Friendly with any fiber


  • As it’s a firm knot, opening the knot can be tricky and cause damage to the line if meddled with wrongly.

Tips For Your Fishing Kit:

Keep your lines smooth, as they soak a lot; it is natural for the lines to get rough and break off often. Try applying Petroleum jelly on the lines!

Don’t throw them in the storage after the end of the season, and they will get damped.

Always wet the lines before clenching.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: How do you tie a leader to a line?

Answer: I prefer using the nail knot to get it done. I use this because I find this quite easy, simple & comfortable. The method is already given above.

As explained above, you can see that a nail knot is easy and fun to do! It provides a smooth run through the guide, slip less and hinge free cast. But I also use Uni knot sometimes when I’m too lazy to find a straw (relatable right?).

Q: How do you tie a loop on a fly line?

Answer: I use a perfect loop, also known as the angler’s loop when it comes to tying the loop on fly line.

It’s quite effortless to begin with, first take your line and make a loop at the tag end. Make the second loop around the standing line and hold it with your thumb and finger. Now take another turn around the line crossing over the newly formed loop and hold the tag end in place. Now pass the new loop through the previously formed loop, pull it to set the jam all nice and tight and lastly trim up.

Q: How do you tie tippet to a leader?

Answer: Double surgeon’s knot does the work for me.

Overlap the leader and tippet side by side by 6 inches, facing the tag ends oppositely with your both hands. Now, create a loop using the overlapped part and pass the leader and tippet through it twice. Now pull from both directions, setting the knot tightly. Trim the ends and you are done.

Q: How long should a leader line be for fly fishing?

Answer: Basically, a leader line of 6-12 feet length are used everywhere around the world. But the standard is 9 feet, because it provides an easy and drag-free cast to run the job smoothly.

However, the length also differs from the type of fish you are going for.

Q: How to tie two fishing lines together?

Answer: I apply Uni knot (variables depend on the type of lines I’m tying) in this case. The method is already given above.


Thus we have reached the ending point of our guide on how to tie leader to fly line. We tried our best to help you get through the points and theories on this matter, Hope you learned your lesson well about how to tie fishing line and can apply it for better fishing. Go sport!

However, if you have any question about this matter or choosing the best material, or a better recommendation, feel free to let us know at the comments section, we’ll get to you as early as possible.