A dropper loop is simply a mixed loop on your main line, leader, or tippet - but it turns out to be amazingly useful. Whether you want to run more than one hook or fly or skip a three-way swivel on your rig, a Dropper Loop is just perfect.
And there’s even more good news: it’s easy to tie, very fast, and 100% secure.
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Many anglers can’t live without this knot, and the reasons are clear:
And when the fish are biting and you’re busy tying, that matters!
As awesome as this knot is, it has one disadvantage.
In light lines and all braid, it won’t be very stiff. As a result, it won’t always hold your leaders away from your main line, and that can lead to tangles.
In this sense, a three-way swivel is a superior option for all limp lines.
Normally, knot integrity relies on friction, and what matters (other than proper technique) is the line’s coefficient of friction.
But in the case of a Dropper Loop, there’s nothing to pull free. The five wraps on each side of the loop can do nothing but tighten under pressure, and the loop simply can’t collapse under load.
That makes the Dropper Loop essentially a 100% knot, keeping in mind that loops and bends can compromise your line’s full test strength by creating points of stress. That notwithstanding, this knot creates a very, very strong point for a connection.
Fluorocarbon is much denser than nylon monofilament, and it’s notorious for stiffness. In most knots, that can lead to trouble, but in the Dropper Loop, it’s a decided advantage!
The extra stiffness helps to hold the loop away from the main line, limiting tangles. And in this case, a Dropper Loop is superior in fluorocarbon and heavy, stiff mono.
Unfortunately, braid isn’t always a good choice for a Dropper Loop.
The problem isn’t the ultra-slick Dyneema and Spectra fibers from which braided line is woven, but rather its extreme limpness. In most situations, that makes braid easy to tie and a joy to cast, and it’s a breeze to form a Dropper Loop in braid.
But that usually awesome limpness means that the loop won’t hold the leader clear of the mainline, and that can cause trouble with tangling.
In fine nylon tippet, where the goal is to add a connection point for a second fly, a Dropper Loop works really well. Performance is even better in fluoro tippet, so give it a try.
Dropper Loops are well-known for their strength and simplicity - but can they fail?
Only in a few cases. It turns out that a Dropper Loop doesn’t require you to wet it before cinching it down, nor can it pull free under pressure.
But there are two issues that can cause trouble: