Rigging fly tackle can take many forms, none of which are the perfect solution for all situations. The simplest configurations are not the strongest, but get the job done. The most complex rigs produce the highest strength, but are time-consuming and can be difficult to tie, especially on the water.
In our previous post: “Getting Started – Get Connected!“, we shared some thoughts on rigging in general. In this post, we provide an example of the simplest “bare bones” rigging you need to get started, and also provide some links to examples of setups that some of our local guides and the BTB Staff use:
In the last post in this series: “Get Connected! Some Extras” we cover some additional info we know you’ll find interesting.
And remember, if you are overwhelmed by all of this, consult your local fly shop. They’ll be happy to help you out.
This is probably the simplest setup possible:
- In this setup you need to know just 4 knots: the Uni-knot, the Loop-to-loop square knot, the Surgeon’s knot, and the Kreh Loop.
- The Loop-to-loop square knot connection is used primarily because it makes it easy to swap out the pre-made leader. Simply push/pull the two sections apart, and disengage the loops.
- The Surgeon’s knot can also be used to add extra tippet material to extend the leader, or to replace the tippet material cut off during the day
- If you want to use a fly line that does not have factory loops on both ends, you will need to learn a fifth knot, the Nail Knot, in order to create a small loop (see illustration below).
- This is about the least complicated rigging possible for a fly fishing outfit.
- All of the knots are pretty easy to learn
- You are limited to buying fly lines with pre-made loops on both ends, unless you learn the Nail knot.
- If you are trying for world-record fish, you will be able to eke out 5 – 15 percent more strength by going to a more complicated setup, similar to one of the rigs described below. However, in day-to-day fishing, you probably won’t notice the difference.
- If you want to change fly lines, you have to cut and re-tie the backing-to-fly line knot