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ORVIS – How to Use a Perfection Loop to Attach a Fly

The perfection loop is a knot that comes in handy when fly fishing. You can employ this knot at either end of your leader. Firstly, to connect the butt section of the leader to the fly line, and secondly, to fasten the fly on the opposite end.

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The Orvis Fly Fishing blog

The Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center The Orvis Company presents a comprehensive guide on how to effectively utilize a perfection loop to attach a fly in the realm of fly fishing. With expertise provided by Phil Monahan, this instructional video sheds light on the versatility of the perfection loop knot. As an angler, you may already be acquainted with its application in attaching your leader to the fly line, but did you know that it can also be utilized to secure the fly itself? The utilization of loop knots is favored by many anglers due to the enhanced movement it imparts to the fly in the water. In this tutorial, you will discover a simple yet effective technique to utilize the perfection loop, ensuring a sturdy and reliable loop knot. By following these steps, you can elevate your fishing experience and enhance your chances of success on the water.

To begin, let’s start by threading the fly onto the fly line, showcasing the process using fly line for enhanced clarity. Once the fly is in place, grasp it firmly and create a loop in a manner that positions the tag end behind the standing end. Form a second loop around the initial one, ensuring that the tag end is directed down the middle, securely holding it in place. Proceed by dropping the fly through the first loop and then pull on the standing end to cinch it up slightly. Finally, apply gentle pressure to everything, tightening the knot and leaving you with an impeccably strong loop. Trim the tag end, and you are now ready to embark on your next fly fishing adventure armed with a highly reliable and secure loop knot.

ORVIS – How to Use a Perfection Loop to Attach a Fly

The art of fly fishing is steeped in tradition and requires precise techniques to ensure success on the water. One of the most important skills every fly angler should master is how to attach a fly to the leader effectively. While there are various knots that can be used for this purpose, the Perfection Loop stands out for its reliability and versatility. In this guide, we will explore the Perfection Loop knot for attaching a fly and discuss its benefits, as well as provide step-by-step instructions on how to tie it.

ORVIS - How to Use a Perfection Loop to Attach a Fly

Introduction to the Perfection Loop

The Perfection Loop is a strong and secure knot that creates a loop at the end of the leader, allowing for easy and efficient fly attachment. Its design provides a seamless connection between the leader and the fly, ensuring proper presentation and improved fly movement in the water. This loop knot is particularly useful for attaching dry flies, nymphs, and streamers, making it an essential skill for all fly anglers.

Attaching the Butt Section of the Leader to the Fly Line

Before we delve into the intricacies of tying a Perfection Loop, it is essential to understand how to attach the butt section of the leader to the fly line. This connection serves as the foundation for the entire leader setup. To achieve a secure connection, the use of a nail knot or a loop-to-loop connection is recommended. Once the butt section is securely attached to the fly line, we can focus on tying the Perfection Loop for attaching the fly.

Attaching the Fly using the Perfection Loop

Now that the leader is securely connected to the fly line, we can move on to the main subject of our discussion – attaching the fly using the Perfection Loop. This versatile knot offers anglers the flexibility to quickly change flies or adjust the depth at which their fly is presented. The loop created by the Perfection Loop allows for freedom of movement, ultimately resulting in a more natural drift and increased chances of enticing a strike.

To tie the Perfection Loop, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by forming a small loop at the end of the leader, ensuring there is enough tag end to work with.
  2. Hold the loop in your non-dominant hand and pass the tag end through the loop, creating a simple overhand knot.
  3. Using your non-dominant hand, grab the lower part of the loop and unravel it, forming a larger loop.
  4. Pass the tag end through the newly formed larger loop.
  5. Moisten the knot with saliva or water to lubricate it.
  6. Using steady tension, carefully pull both the standing line and the tag end to tighten the knot.
  7. Once tightened, trim the tag end close to the knot, leaving a small stub.

Benefits of Using Loop Knots

Loop knots, including the Perfection Loop, offer several advantages to fly anglers. Firstly, they provide a smooth and reliable connection between the leader and the fly, minimizing any unwanted tangles or hitches during casting. The loop allows the fly to move more freely, imitating the natural movement of insects or baitfish in the water, thus increasing the chances of enticing a strike.

Additionally, loop knots facilitate quick fly changes on the water. By utilizing loop connections, anglers can easily swap out flies without needing to re-tie knots, saving valuable time and ensuring they are presenting the most effective pattern to match the prevailing conditions. This flexibility greatly enhances angler efficiency and adaptability on the water.

Steps to Create a Perfect Loop Knot

Creating a perfect loop knot requires attention to detail and precision. Follow these step-by-step instructions to achieve a strong and reliable Perfection Loop knot:

  1. Begin by forming a small loop at the end of the leader, ensuring the tag end is of sufficient length.
  2. Hold the loop tightly in your non-dominant hand, making sure it does not slip.
  3. Pass the tag end through the loop, rotating it around the standing line in a full circle.
  4. Then, pass the tag end through the newly formed loop from the back to the front.
  5. Wet the knot with saliva or water to lubricate it, then begin to tighten the knot by pulling both the standing line and the tag end.
  6. Apply steady tension while ensuring the loop maintains its shape throughout the tightening process.
  7. Once tightened, inspect the knot for any signs of slippage or imperfections.
  8. Trim the tag end, leaving a small stub close to the knot for a streamlined finish.

Testing the Strength of the Loop Knot

To ensure the reliability of the knot and avoid potential disappointment on the water, it is crucial to test the strength of the loop knot before casting. Applying gradual pressure to the knot by pulling in opposing directions allows you to gauge its integrity. If any signs of weakness or slippage are detected, it is advisable to re-tie the knot to prevent losing a fish or a prized fly.

Trimming the Tag End

Once the Perfection Loop is securely tied and tested, it is important to trim the tag end for optimal performance. Leaving a short stub close to the knot reduces the risk of interference with the fly line during casting or retrieval. However, ensure that the tag end is trimmed adequately, leaving no excess material that could potentially impede the knot’s strength or cause unnecessary snagging.

Tips for Using the Perfection Loop

While the Perfection Loop is a highly reliable knot, it is essential to keep a few tips in mind to maximize its effectiveness:

  1. Ensure that the loop maintains its overall shape throughout the knot-tying process, as distortions or misshapen loops may compromise the knot’s strength.
  2. Keep the tag end of the leader and the loop long enough to allow for easy fly attachment and future adjustments.
  3. Moisten the knot before tightening to reduce friction and prevent potential damage to the leader material.
  4. Regularly inspect the loop knot for any signs of wear, fraying, or slippage, and re-tie if necessary.
  5. Practice tying the Perfection Loop before heading out to the water to improve speed and accuracy during on-stream scenarios.

Alternative Knots for Fly Attachment

While the Perfection Loop is widely regarded as a reliable and versatile knot, there are other alternative knots that anglers may choose to use for attaching a fly. Some popular alternatives include the Clinch Knot, Improved Clinch Knot, and Davy Knot. Each knot has its unique advantages and disadvantages, and it is advisable to experiment with different knots to determine which best suits your specific needs and preferences.


Mastering the art of attaching a fly is a fundamental skill for any fly angler. The Perfection Loop offers an ideal solution for achieving a strong, secure, and versatile connection between the leader and the fly. Its benefits, including improved fly movement, quick fly changes, and reliable knot strength, make it a valuable addition to every angler’s repertoire. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide and practicing the Perfection Loop, you can enhance your fly fishing experience and increase your chances of success on the water.

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