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Wind knots


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If a leader ends up with wind knots (no...not me, a buddy, yeah that's it, a buddy) and you can manage to get them out later with the help of a needle or bodkin, has that knot permanently damaged and weakened the leader? Or is it simply the presence of the knot that makes it weak?

I know, always better to be in prestine condition, but that simply isn't reality with my casting.


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As much as you may not want to stop what you're doing and get hte knot out, best advice is to stop and take care of it. If the knot is way up on some heavy leader material, it could effect your casting accuracy a bit, but I doubt it will weaken immediately to the point of breaking the leader. If you get that wind knot in your tippet, it's just a matter of time before it breaks.

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I like Lefty's line--

"We call them 'wind knots' but they're not caused by the wind. They're caused by bad casting. So we should call them 'bad casting knots.'

Given the possibility of "catching up" in Minnesota--hooking a four pound largemouth on your sunny popper, hooking a six pound walleye on your crappie marabou, hooking a 26 pound muskie on your northern streamer, etc.-- I'd agree that maintaining tippet in clean shape is probably a good idea. And, as you say, even picking them out is not always enough. The kinked or abraded mono (and especially fluorocarbon) will fail at the most inopportune moment. Though you'd be lucky if even abraded tippet failed before the knot; good knots are the key to avoiding that kind of disappointment. Unless it's toothies, the knot is the culprit 9 times out of 10.


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Deeky - don't be discouraged by the knots and be quick to change them out. As others have said, although the knot will likley not cause immediate problems, chances are that it will create a problem and break in the long run - its much more frustrating to lose a fish than it is to take a couple of minutes to re-tie, I think we've all been there!

Also, as you're looking to perfect your cast, an extra knot or two in the leader or tippet can also affect your casting. An extra knot will give your leader, tippet, and fly one more thing to run into in the air as your casting and can increase the likliness of another frustrating and line weakening knot - especially when trying to improve casting. Best bet is to just take a break, relax a bit, and re-tie.

Don't get discouraged, I've been in your shoes and was frustrated with it for quite a while. Fly fishing can be a bit of a mind thing. When I first started fly casting I was getting 2-3 and sometimes more knots every outing. They will slowly disappear as casting becomes more natural and relaxed. Another bit of advice to decrease the knoting - make a conscious effort to spend as little time as possible with your line in the air. Try not to keep your line in the air and releasing only when you feel you have that perfect cast - lay it out and get the fly wet as soon as possible. The more time you spend fishing rather than casting puts you in contact with more fish and after you contact more fish you will enjoy it more. Once it becomes more enjoyable, you will be more relaxed and confident, and it will amaze you how soon the accuracy will follow! That is about how my struggle with fly casting went - it wasn't until I took my line out of the air that it began to click for me. It wasn't long after that when I began fishing knot free (virtually knot free, I'd be lying otherwise grin.gif) Keep working with the fly rod and your efforts will be rewarded!!

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Thanks for the info. And no worries, not overly frustrated, that's the way it goes. It's just something more to work on. Have made a couple of trips without any knots and now last night ended up with 3 (it was a windy night wink.gif)

I got each knot out in a few seconds over lunch today and will keep using that leader for a while. If it ends up breaking...well, that's a good reason to tie more flies!

Thanks again.


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