ok so, i've been playing pretty avidly for about three years now. I have four pedals (planning on more), and have always ran them straight from the guitar to amp input line. am i missing anything by not using the effects loop on the back of the amp? is it better/worse or similar to running it through the guitar/amp signal?
Sometimes certain effects sound better through the FX loop. Any kind of OD or wah should general be run straight to the amp and modulation, delay, and EQ pedals should go in the loop. I would try your small clone in the loop and see how you like it.

Edit: I should note, they sound better becuase they aren't being distorted by the amps distortion which is applied during the preamp stage. The FX loop is basically between the preamp and the poweramp.
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Its only better or worse if you think it is so. Here are some of the differences.
If you put your effects in front of your amp, they come before you amp's distortion, meaning all your effects will receive the amp's distortion on top. If your effects are not true bypass they may be sucking your tone significantly. If you put your effects in the loop, they are not affected by the amps distortion, and if none of them are on, they will not affect your guitar's tone.

Try running your effects both ways and decide what you prefer.
If you don't use your amps dirty/distortion/od channels then running in front of the amp is generally fine.
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None of the pedals in your sig need to go in the FX loop, they're all best in front of the amp.
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