How to Tie a Loop-to-Loop Knot: A Step-by-Step Guide

A loop-to-loop knot is one of the best fly fishing knots to connect your backing or leader to the fly line. It’s not really a knot per se, and the loop-to-loop knot is better thought of as a loop-to-loop connection of two different lines that looks like a square knot when complete.

Two tie a loop to loop knot, you first need to have a loop at each end of the line and the leader or backing you want to join.

If you have a new fly line, it will probably come with a welded loop at either end of the fly line and if you buy pre-made leaders, you’ll also have a loop ready to go. If not, you can tie a perfection loop knot or a surgeon’s loop knot to create a loop at the butt end of your leader or a bimini in your backing.

See our post here on how to tie a surgeons loop here for a step by step guide on tying the surgeons loop.

How to tie a loop to loop knot

Tying a loop to loop knot is quick, easy, and is by far the best method of attaching your leader to backing to the fly line so it’s secure. But, as mentioned above, make sure you have a loop at the butt end of the leader and fly line before you start.

how to tie a loop to loop knot

Step 1

Take the loop of your leader and pass the loop of your fly line through the loop of your leader.

Step 2

Grab the other end of your leader or tippet, the part where you’ll tie the fly on later, and pass it through the loop of your fly line.

Step 3

Pull both the fly line and leader in opposite directions so that both loops slide to join each other. Make sure the loop connection has the two loops sitting side by side. If one of the loops has folded over into a girth hitch, the loop connection will be weak and a fish could break the knot.

Here is a video to show you how it’s tied and finished right.

How strong is a loop-to-loop knot?

A loop-to-loop knot is very strong, it has so much strength that it’s been one of the popular fly fishing knots for years for anglers in saltwater fly fishing as you can use it with heavy material and gear to make a solid connection that will hold against pretty huge fish like sailfish and GT’s.

But, when using a loop connection, the strength of the connection comes down to the knots used to make the loops in the first place – usually a perfection loop knot in fly fishing.

What is the best loop knot?

If you need to create a loop at the end of your leaders, then you can choose between a perfection or a surgeon’s loop. I recommend the perfection, particularly if you’re using heavier tippet and leaders, and chasing large species in salt water, or going for fish that pull hard like bass.

What do I do if my fly line doesn’t have a loop?

What do I do if my fly line doesn't have a loop?

The best thing to do if your fly line doesn’t have a loop is to buy some braided loops like these and attached them to the end of your fly line for a permanent loop for all your connections.

If you’re on the water and need a loop to make a loop connection try to use a perfection loop in your fly line, or you can use a nail knot to attach your leader directly without using any loops.

What is the best knot to tie a leader to fly lines?

For attaching a leader to fly lines, there is no better knot than a loop-to-loop if the loops are already made. It’s a great knot, strong, easy and simple to learn, and once you know it, you’ll never forget it.

Check out our post here about needle knot. It’s also a step by step guide on how to tie the needle knot.

How do you attach a loop to fly lines?

How do you attach a loop to fly lines?

Adding a braided loop to fly lines is incredibly easy. Take a braided loop and start threading the front piece of the fly line into it. Now push the fly line up the loop while pinching your two hands together, grabbing the line with your opposite hand as you go.

Once the line can not go any further, slide down the colored sleeve to just before the point where the braided loop ends and the fly line begins. Put a touch of super glue on the end of the braided loop and side the sleeve over it so it covers a part of the fly line and a part of the braided loop.

Photo of author

Jamie Melvin

Growing up fly fishing on trout streams in Kenya and the UK, Jamie has traveled the world in search of fly fishing nirvana. From his time managing bonefish lodges in the Bahamas and running fishing safaris in East Africa, all the way to guiding on the flats of Seychelles, there aren't many species or environments he hasn't experienced firsthand.

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