A Better Double Davey Knot - The Fly Spoke Knot

This video was originally titled as a Double Davey Knot tying and testing sequence, which it clearly is not. And through out the video FlySpoke refers to this knot as a Double Davey Knot, which really muddies the waters of under-standing. And to be perfectly clear, the FlySpoke Knot is a far better knot than the Double Davey Knot is. If you just want to see the tying of the FlySpoke Knot and skip the not testing sequence, scroll a head 2 minuets and 30 seconds and view on from that point.

Please Note the All Capitol Letters Statement that appears on the heading page below the video view window, that shows through out the video as you are playing it, where FlySpoke corrects the miss-statements he made during the filming of this video.

Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBnuYu9P6yU


He is tying a double overhand which is like a surgeons but on the leading edge.

I use the davy.

Question is… did he tie any of his knots correctly in his test? Not a valid test if none of them are correct. Were you able to confirm his findings by tying and comparing properly tied knots with his champion?

Is his davey just a single verson of his double?

I’ve been using a double Davey knot for years and years. Earlier in the winter when I was trying to do some research on tippet, I found a video of this guy doing a really in depth knot testing. I can’t find the video at the moment, but I’ll try looking again later.

I don’t remember exactly how they initially narrowed down the knots they would test, but I believe it was on popularity or commonality of use. Anyhow, to make as long story short, I was surprised to learn that the Davey was one of the weakest knots they tested. Their winner was the trilene knot. I’m going to give it a try this year and see how it works. Granted, I think it looks like a variation on the improved clinch knot, but it did have the highest break strength - in their test.

Peder, did you watch karl video? the guy is tying a different knot.

I use a double davy on my tippet ring and a reg davy on my fly. The thought being the weakest will break and i will get my tippet back on a snag. It works…and fish almost never break the knot. I suspect the failures are poorly tied.

For 5 or 6x the davy has been the best for me. Improved clinch would burn the line on tighten.

I used the trilene knot in my youth and it is ok but would suspect that like the clinch the twists will weaken the line when tighten. I always wet knots before tighteninb but feel the more twists on lighter tippet will just degrade the strength. On heavier lines…not as much of an issue for some reason.

To All, Rather than question someone else’s knot tying techniques and abilities, why not just do the tests for yourself? That’s what I did. And even though I am sure you will get a range of un-explainable results, as I also did, if you tie and test enough knots, one against the other with the same tippet material tied to the same hook, a pattern of preponderance will eventually emerge that will support FlySpoke’s findings. For sure this is not an exact science, with all too many variables, both obvious and unseen, to reliably count.

G and Peder are making very good and important observations - that you really do not want your strongest knot to be your tippet-to-fly-Knot point. The Davey Knot came out of Competitive Fly Fishing Competitions, where each angler has a limited time to catch the most fish possible. So the speed in the tying of knots is very important. But even more important is to only have to replace the fly and avoid at all costs having to replace your tippet and fly, which takes more than twice as long, limiting the potential number of fish you can catch even more. Competitive anglers are so skilled that they know exactly how much pressure they can apply to keep their fly to tippet knot from breaking, so having a weaker knot there is actually an advantage for them. Most of the “Improved Knots” actually test weaker breaking strength than the parent knot they were designed to Improve Upon.

Here is a knot testing video from one of our own - Teton Tenkara: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAv-txoO_J4

Right on Karl.

The reason for the questions is that we all have seen these sorts of videos…claiming better at this or that. Then we waste time going down the rabbit hole only to find it to be some wild goose chase. Most of the internet is filled with a lot of wolf crying so it is challenging to know what we should give attention to.

The fact you have tested it gives it more credibility. Next time i am at the vice i will give it a try.

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Karl - Just as a tip. If you put the link to a video from YouTube or Vimeo on it’s own separate line from everything else that you write, it will automatically embed the video in your post. Then readers don’t have to leave the 10 Colors Tenkara site just to watch a video.

Interesting video finds, by the way.

Thank you for the tip Peder; I will try to follow it. Does that mean the address has to skip a space?

Yes, it needs to. If you put the video link as the next sentence in what you’re writing, it just looks like a hyperlink. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAv-txoO_J4. But, if you put it on its own line (like starting another paragraph), it shows up like this:

You can put multiple spaces between the video and your paragraph, but you don’t need to do so. One is fine.

Maybe it’s just my simple brain, but I had a hard time following the video. This made much more sense to my feeble mind.

I’ll have to try out the perfection loop.

Peder, what really does not show up that well in the video is his tying technique. You have to really be looking for what is different with his line and hand’s placement. It all begins the same as in your animated knot video but, after forming the second loop the tag line is stuck in between the first and second fingers of the left hand, where simple finger pressure holds every thing in place (even in strong winds), while the right hand reaches around behind the left hand and grabs the line, to slightly tighten the second loop by pulling on that line, and then pull the tag end in between the two loops before pinching the tag end line down with the left hand. Then pulling or pushing the second loop through the first to tighten the loop knot down with the right hand, which isn’t nearly as easy to explain and do as it looks like it is in the video.

It is the line being stuck in between those two fingers and being pinched to hold everything in place that makes the Perfection Loop Knot so much easier to tie, but, at least for me, it took a fair amount of practice to get it down to anything close to as easy as he makes it look in the video…Karl.


I have been fly fishing since 1976 and was using spinning gear with casting floats and flies for years before that. I am totally embarrassed to say that it never even occurred to me to use a stronger knot at the top of my tippet than at the hook. :flushed: Duh!

According to Yellowstone Anglers’ July 2019 Tippet (and knot) Shootout…

tippet rings offer a stronger connection than than tippet to tippet knots (especially fluorocarbon) but other than the occasional use of an Improved Clinch on tippet rings with furled leaders I used Triple Surgeons and Blood Knots when joining tippet to tippet for western fly fishing and have pretty much always used an Improved Clinch at the fly. My last trip had me leaving snagged fly and tippet in trees and on underwater branches multiple times. I’m admittedly a cheapskate and that starts to get expensive!

I do want to have a strong knot at the fly and I’m going to try the slightly weaker Uni and Orvis knots for tying on my flies and see how they work.

Again, watch the video and do your own testing to see which knots break first with your tippet material and tied to the same hook with both knots you are most interested in testing. On the Loop-to-Loop Connection, the loop-to-Loop Connection is a 100% connection. But the weak point or points is the knots that you tie the loops with. The Loop-to-Loop Connection almost never parts at the hand shake intersection but at one of the loop forming knots which you can also test for yourself.

I am not sure if the idea came my way from another angler or the 3-way bait fishing technique, where on a 3-way swivel the lead always has the lightest leader and is the most likely to get snagged. A method of not loosing your whole rig…just the lead.

The philosophy has economy in both time and material. The only failure in the system is if you do not take care in tying the knot to the tippet…which can make it the weakest. Also…if you have the dreaded grappling hook snag where the tippet is wrapped around a limb several times…the snag is actually stronger because it is not even a knot, but some tippet embedded in bark or leaves. Just a firm grip on tippet where your tippet ring knot may fail.

OK. At the behest of a much more Tenkara experienced angler than I, I have tried a dropshot rig a couple of times. Instead of different knots, I used 6X for the weight tag.

I tie a ~12" 5X dropshot “leader” with tippet rings on both ends. I tie 6"-8" of 6X with the weight tag to the lower tippet ring. Then tie the dropshot leader to the 3 to 3 1/2 ft 5X tippet from the Tenkara line.

I have tried ~8" fly droppers with perfection loops girth hitched above one or two of the 3 tippet rings. Neither attempt survived long. The first time the weight hung up on the bottom, then suddenly broke loose creating the mother of all birds nests. :frowning:

The 2nd attempt the 5X tippet tied to the Tenkara line snagged on an underwater branch and I lost everything below the Tenkara line tippet ring. :confounded:

I have a couple more dropshot leaders pre-rigged with weight tags, but if I don’t have better success with them I’m done with that tactic.

hahahaha. It might be why dropshot is not a actual tenkara technique.

I am poking fun at it a little but I only really enjoy fishing lightly weighed flies. Heavy flies will grappling hook themselves post snag and will most certainly find bottom too quick. Better to just fish one fly and find ways to get it to the bottom without weight…or have enough of weighed fly options for it to get to bottom but not hang up. As in this conversation: Bead or not to bead - #52 by Gressak

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Here’s another way to tie the Davy. I appreciate that this is only a “regular” Davy Knot and not the double. Nonetheless. interesting.

Peder, that is exactly how i tie it.

The biggest note is to pull the tag perpendicular while tightening…if you dont the knot will slip and fail. Really the difference between a good knot and junk. I pull the tag with my teeth as i tighten.

To me its stronger than trilene, clinch, or improved clinch. Knots that produce friction on tightening, i feel tend to weaken the tippet.

I have to sit down and experiment with the knots in this thread, but in the meantime i am still using the davey.

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That’s how I tie it too. The one thing I never knew about the Davy was the part about pulling the tag perpendicular. This was something I learned new in this video. That completely explains why sometimes the knot feels like it’s great and holds well and other times it feels like the fly pulls off with the slightest pressure.