Hi! I’m excited to create my first topic, and share what I do when I’m setting up a level line. I might be the only person who does it this way, and that’s okay too
I started out with one of those “kit” setups, and it came with a tapered line and a connection loop; the girth hitch seemed really intuitive to me and it was quick and easy. Eventually I wanted to have more lines rigged to change presentations without having to chop up a rig every time, so I gravitated towards level lines. Seemed cost-effective and very easy to do custom lengths. I had trouble with the Lilian connection, so I started putting braided loops on my level lines and I haven’t gone back.
I tie a bight of braid with the “crazy” Alberto knot, then close the bight into a loop with a surgeons knot. I have to loop the fluoro around the braid; if I loop the braid around the fluoro like a normal person, it tends to slip.
I also use the Alberto for my tippet connection. I loop the tippet around the fluoro in this case, and milk the tag end of the fluoro back through the wraps before I come tight all the way. This way I only lose 8-10mm of level line each time I need to replace the tippet. I’ve never had this knot fail, but to be honest I usually end up with a wind knot somewhere in my tippet after several hours and I just change it out before I break it.
Here’s a pic showing how much tag I end up with, generally. (I should add that these tag ends are clipped off reeeal close to the knot; this is traditionally a braid to leader knot built to cast through rod guides on conventional bait casting gear)
Sounds great! I do something similar. I attach a loop of 20lb backing with a nail knot on the Lilian end, then a tippet ring on the business end. Simple to make and fast to switch out lines or tippets.
As suggested by @CM_Stewart I use a simple arbor knot (slip knot) with both a figure 8 “stopper knot”, and a “handle knot” as described, diagrammed, in this post awhile back.
When I wind a fluoro line onto a line spool I tighten the slip knot around the spool’s “barrel” to keep everything neat and tidy. The tag end of the line sticks out from the spool’s “flange” so I can I pull on the “handle knot” to open the arbor knot and unwind the line from the spool.
I experimented with braided lines and tried a long PVC tapered line that have a spliced limp braided loop to girth hitch onto the lillian. But I settled on simple fluoro level lines & Tenjo rigs because they’ve worked well for the situations and presentations where Tenkara & Keiryu fixed line rods are better for me than, say a western fly rod & reel or even a spinning rod & reel. As a result, and again at the suggestion of @CM_Stewart I prefer not to have a knot in my lillian to make it very easy to disassemble the entire rod for cleaning and drying; something I have always done with my bamboo, and saltwater graphite flyrods.
A couple of posts later from the one linked above, I mentioned that…
“I read somewhere (here@Gressak ? TBum blog?) that passing the (un-knotted) lillian through the girth hitched braided loop 3 times would securely attach the girth hitch to the lillian. I tried it a couple of times and it seemed to work, but I didn’t hook up with any sizable fish that produced a result I got with the mistake of only passing an (unknotted) lillian through a level line slip knot once”;
i.e. I lost a fish and my entire line.
In the same thread @TenkaraAddict described his method of tying a fixed loop on the end of a level line to girth hitch onto a lillian and said he’d found it is more secure than a braided loop attached to an un-knotted lillian.
So my question is… What is the advantage you’ve found in splicing a Dacron loop to a fluoro level line?
That’s an insightful post and a great question! Thanks for asking it!
I find that the fluorocarbon level line I use has a lot of “spring-back” to put it in terms I’m familiar with, so I couldn’t get the direct slip knot to hold reliably. It always tended to come loose. I tried exactly once to girth hitch the level line and found the same problem. With the braid, I find that the girth hitch stays put until I remove it. I do keep a knot in my Lilian because that’s what I’m familiar with, and the girth hitch is quick and easy for me to remove and replace when I want to change my setup. It wasn’t broken, so I didn’t fix it. Hopefully that makes sense. Also I already had a spool of some JDM Daiwa braid that I really like the feel and performance of, but there’s not enough left on the spool to back another reel. Seemed like a waste not to use it for this.
Ps- I’m just thinking out loud here, but I may try removing my Lilian knot and looping it through the girth hitch twice and see how it holds that way, because it certainly would save time to not have to untie the Lilian so often… thanks for the inspiration!
I’m glad I came back quickly to see this again… I suggest going through a braided loop girth hitch with an un-knotted lillian three times. An un-knotted lillian passed only twice through a braided loop girth hitch may not prevent the line pulling off and you could lose your line under a load.
And to be completely honest I haven’t used braided loop connections enough to be completely confident a braided line girth hitch with an un-knotted lillian is bombproof with three passes through the hitch.
The stiffness of a fluoro arbor (slip) knot loop that has a stopper knot to prevent the fluoro tag from slipping through the arbor knot really bites into and holds an un-knotted lillian passed through the slip knot twice by creating a “twist knot” in the lillian. The “twist knot” releases when the tag end is pulled; which is why I like a second knot at the very end of the tag as a “handle” for pulling the tag.
I will also say I haven’t tried the fluoro girth hitch loop @TenkaraAddict uses and don’t know if he only puts the lillian through the girth hitch two times.