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Double Braided Spectra Loop

2848 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Uncle Russ
I would like to bounce this idea off all you veterans and get as many opinions as I can:

It is ideal to have a combo for deep drop, with a snap swivel attached via an offshore swivel knot, to which you attach your pre-made bottom rigs.

It is also ideal to have a separate outfit for chunking, attaching your leader either via an Albright or using a wind-on with loop-to-loop connections.

But what about the guy who has only one heavy conventional outfit (in addition to his popping and jigging gear)? It would be great, in this scenario to be able to transition quickly between the two, without having to re-rig.

So here is the idea I had (may have been thought of before by someone equally misguided:).

(1) Create a hollow spectra loop in the end of your line.
(2) For chunking, attach a wind-on as appropriate.

(3) When it comes time to bottom fish, take off your wind-on and attach the following: a short length (say, 2-6 feet) of hollow Spectra of the same pound test as your main line, with braided loops on both ends. One loop will be used to connect to the main line, and the other will have the heavy duty ball-bearing snap swivel attached by means of an offshore swivel knot.

I know it is optimal to eliminate as many connections as you can, but in this case, my thinking is that since both loops are theoretically 100 percent, this should be an ideal compromise.

I would invite open criticism of this method. Thanks.

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What you suggest will work...

If you pass the loop to loop connection back through itself several times, it will be more difficult to undo. I have had zero problems with just a single pass of the tail end through the loop end as far a reliability goes. I have had a hard time getting the loop to loop join to begin to pull apart when it has seen use.
I recommend that you become proficient at making end loop splices with the reel mounted on the rod. The time will come when you find that it is quicker to cut your end loop off.
Practice this at home... you'll see what I mean and can decide your best course of action.
If you'll put a big enough loop in the spectra coming from your reel, when you get ready for bottom fishing you can simply run the loop thru the swivel, then over your rod & you'll be connected directly to the swivel without the extra two looped length of spectra that you described.You will need to play around with the minimum length of the spectra loop that you make, but I think two feet will be more than enough.
Okay, on second thought you don't have to go over the rod.Just put the end of the loop thro one side of your swivel,then go over the rest of the swivel with your loop.You're connected.Almost any size loop should work this way.
Good luck
Backlash Scott
Uncle Russ,

This is exactly what I do on my bottom/chunk rods. I use an icepick to help open up the loops when I switch out. It takes a few times to get a technique figured out that will work quickly. Sometimes you can't get the loops undone so you'll need to cut the short loop off. Because of this, I premade a bunch of the small loops and carry them in my leader pouch along with my windons.

Also for making loops, if you're using a bent piece of solid SS wire to pull with, learn how to do the flip method (there are some posts on either 2Cool or the TFF about this) and you can make the end loop almost as small as you want, even with the reel still on the rod.

Good luck
DSG: Is this what you mean by going through the loop repeatedly?


I am really surprised by what you say about it being quicker to cut and resplice the hollow line. I would have never thought that. But then, that's why I ask.

Scott: I agree that a couple of feet would be big enough, but I am having trouble picturing in my mind's eye whether the two loops would then intersect in the figure 8 the way they are supposed to, or whether they would end up in the form where they cut each other under pressure.

DavidG: When you mention the "small loops" am I correct in assuming that you mean the double loops I am talking about?

Edit: While I'm at it, having received a lot of good advice, I have sent off for all the tools and materials for making my own bottom rigs. Now I am finishing up the research on how to make wind-ons. I pretty thoroughly understand both the serving "finger cuff" method and the Sato crimp method. The folks who make the Sato crimps say they won't damage SIC or roller guides, and I have found nothing to the contrary on the internet. Going top-of-the line with both methods is going to cost about $300.00. So my question is this: Which method--i.e. which leaders do you all prefer?


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Uncle Russ, send me a private message with your address & I'll mail you a sample.It will be self explanatory & much clearer than my description.
Backlash Scott

PM sent. Thanks so much.

That is a loop to loop connection done correctly.

I do not put the tail end through the loop more than once. This is MY way. I have tested this connection and I am confident with its preformance.

I suggest that you to practice removing a tightened (with properly set drag) loop to loop join at home. I am sure that you are capable. It is an eye opening experiment. Then you have the insight needed to make your decision.

The Sato crimp system is proven. I choose to not use it because it has a metal crimp that salt will damage. I fish several times a year and try to fish several days each time. I clean my gear after each trip. Now lets say that I used a wind-on or top-shot that I made using a spectra serve but, did not catch any fish on it. I feel that it is OK for the next trip. I lack that confidence in a metal crimp.

No matter what method you choose as yours for fishing, destructively test it. Breaking knots, line, crimps, serves, swivels.... ect.. will improve your knowledge and confidence in your fishing methods. Try it on and see if it fits. :)
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DSG: I think I see what you are saying--you just pull one loop through the other and that still is difficult to pull apart. I knew the one in the link would be about as hard to separate as an offshore swivel knot. I didn't suspect, however, that a simple single pullthrough of two loops would be that hard. I definitely need to play with that, I agree.

Also, I had not thought of the corrosion angle--just two thoughts were causing me to lean toward the served connection--first, the possibility of guide damage, and second, the possibility that it might not be fool proof as to how to do the crimp. But I see what you are saying.

I have always been a nut for testing knots and now with offshore tackle and more complex, heavy-duty connections, it's going to be more fun. I hope the garage can remain standing.

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Have fun Uncle Russ. If the garage falls in, it may be your weakest link!

Please post up your experiences.
Yes, my 'small loop' are a 4' length 200# hollow JB with loops pulled in both ends.

I like to loop-to-loop the catspaw 3 or 4 times (like in the BHPtackle link above) for the specific reason its easy to get my pick between middle of the loop and open it up when changing it out. With only one loop-to-loop its very hard to get anything in between the loops to spread them.

As for costs I think its cheaper to use the serve method, especially if you don't buy all the spectra needles. I would suggest buying a few of Basil's windons if you want to see what the finished product should look like. I haven't made any that look quite as good as his but each one I do looks better that the one before. From what I read, the Sato system is generally used for direct inserting your topshot into the spectra. The topshot is then tied or crimped directly on a hook.

I pull loops with single strand wire (small package of ~30# test is < $2), I use a 20# spectra line (don't remember the brand but it was an uncoated version that was ~$10 for 100yards) for serving mono/spectra connections, JB Spectra adhesive system (~$25). I also use a small thread spool and a fly tieing bobbin to hold my 20# sprectra when serving a transition. I built a small jig that clamps to my workbench (or a table) with two spring loaded clamps about 1' apart that holds the transition firmly while I serve it.

Here's a great thread that should answer just about any question on pulling loops in hollow spectra (especially the posts from Basil). Lots of good pics and diagrams using both doubled wire and latch hooks (As DrShark would say doodads)


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DavidG: That is a great link. Thanks. Here is one I found that was helpful as well:

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