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Blood knot jig

I like hand tied trout leaders. They are extremely versatile and give you the ability to combine different materials to achieve different results. One that I like is what George Anderson call the hot butt leader. It has two sections of red colored mono for the butt, nylon for the mid-section and nylon or fluorocarbon for the tippet. It is a nifty nymphing leader and I find it preferable to using strike indicators (bobbers). It also doesn't seem to bother the fish when fishing dries since there is enough clear section between the red line and the fly.

Here are some pics:

Blood knot jig
Blood knot jig

I found that wood clothes pins are best because they have the right amount of grip. The tapered tips are ground down so they are blunt nose. This allows you to bring the pins closer together. The pins are screwed onto the jig.

A 1/4" dowel is used to twist the two lines. This assures that both sides have the same number of turns. After you make the number of required turns release the tag ends and put them through the hole where the dowel is. Pull the dowel out and tighten.

Trim the knot and move on to the next segment. You will find that it is very easy to calibrate the exact length needed for every segment.

Even if you only use extruded leaders you will need to tie tippet material onto them. It is always nice to have these ready before you hit the stream. This jig is also especially useful for tying an improved blood knot which is used for the final tippet. Blood knots are notoriously weak but that doesn't matter since you are progressing with smaller lines as you go down the leader. But the tippet material is left holding the bag. It cannot pass its weakness on and that is why the improved blood knot is used. It has nearly 100% knot strength, but it is very difficult to tie by hand. We can cover that some other time as well as some formulas for different length leaders.

Tie up a bunch of leaders for your next trip. If nothing else you will find it very therapeutic.

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