What are Greys Braided Loops for?
Greys Braided Loops are attachments that go on the end of a bare fly line tip and allow you to attach a leader. They're only needed on those fly lines which don't come with a welded loop, or if your existing welded loop has snapped or perished. Without either a welded or a braided loop you'd need to attach your leader directly to your fly line using a special knot called a nail knot, which has a reputation for being a bit of a challenge to get right.
How do braided loops work?
Braided loops consist of a hollow sleeve made from strands of braided plastic. This has a hollow section at one end, into which the fly line is inserted, and a loop on the other, to which you tie your leader.
When the braided loop is pulled from one end by your leader, the strands within the sleeve squeeze down tightly on the end of the line and hold the braided loop in place. They generally also come with a separate soft plastic sleeve which is used to protect the braided loop from fraying or catching in the rod guides.
How do you attach a braided loop to a fly line?
Braided loops can sometimes be a bit fiddly to attach, especially if you've never attached one before. They come in different sizes to suit fly lines of various thicknesses, so make sure you choose one appropriate to your line weight.
The first step, especially with long braided loops like these ones, is to reduce the length by cutting off some of the rear section with some very sharp scissors. Slide the plastic sleeve part as far as you can towards the looped end then carefully insert the tip of your fly line into the hole in the bottom end of the braided loop.
You'll only be able to get a few millimetres of line inside the loop at a time, but if you grip the braided loop in the area where the fly line is sitting and then push the sleeve downwards you'll create a little bulge into which you can shove a bit more line. You then move the line along the sleeve using a caterpillar motion which looks a bit like peristalsis, until the tip of the fly line goes as far as it can.
Once it's in place, trim off any frayed bits of the braided sleeve at the bottom end and then give the area a coating of Fulling Mill Fishing Superglue to hold it all in place. One additional drop of glue should be added just before you slide the plastic sleeve down over the join. The loop should then stay in place, even when pulled really hard.
What are they like to use?
As braided loops go, the Greys ones are pretty good. They're too long to use on most fly lines without cutting down to size, so I would definitely recommend reducing the length quite a bit, otherwise, the fitted loop is likely to negatively affect presentation.
While you can fit them without using superglue to secure the loop in place, as with any braided loop attached in this way, they can be pulled off under heavy pressure, so I'd always recommend a brushing of superglue to ensure a really safe and secure fitment.
I must admit, I personally prefer to use a nail-less nail knot myself, as I think it gives a less bulky connection and better presentation, but if you like braided loops these are pretty good. The Roman Moser Minicon is still a smaller, neater loop than these ones, but they're not too bad if you trim them down to size.
How much are Greys Braided Loops?
Greys Braided Loops cost around £4 for a packet of four and come in two different sizes to suit trout or salmon fly lines. They're easy to attach and very strong when fitted correctly and superglued in place.
Available from: Amazon