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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I finally got around to examining three commercial Windon Leaders, Momoi, Shimano and BHP Tackle, purchased from known quality suppliers. My primary goal was to see how the Serve's stood up under load testing. As I noted in Hollow Spectra II, in order for a Windon Serve to not creep under repetitive load, the glued Serve has to be able to carry the full load and the inserted splice is the backup.

Brand M: 20' 80# Mono Leader $9.95
Serve Type: Glued Overhand Knots, 32" Splice (very rough serve)
End Loop: Tanaka Splice
Test Results: Serve separated after 10 cycles 60# load, broke after 20 cycles. Leader crept in splice

Brand S: 20' 80# Fluoro Leader $19.95
Serve Type: Glued Bowstring Serve, 20" Splice (un-Served glue on Spectra)
End Loop: Tanaka Splice
Test Results: Serve separated after 5 cycles 60# load, continued separating each cycle till 15. Leader crept in splice

Brand B: 25' 100# Mono Leader $16.00
Serve Type: Glued Bowstring Serve, double layer-both glued, 40" splice
End Loop: Reverse Blind Splice
Test Results: Serve did not move. 30 cycles 80# load, 1 cycle 90#, 1 cycle 100#

Comments
The Brand M and Brand S leaders had Tanaka End Loops, IMO, not as reliable as the reverse blind splice which is costlier to make. Brand S, a Fluoro carbon leader, looked like it had been left out in the sun. The fluoro was yellow and foggy. It also had an unexpected lump under the Spectra. For both products the Serves looked questionable and they each failed under 75%, slowly applied, load cycles.

Brand B looked very well made and performed accordingly. I stopped loading it at 100% of rating but feel it would have gone further.

I know that this was not an exhaustive look at the market, just the three that I happened to purchase. My recommendation is that it is well worth buying from the best quality supplier and testing any leader that you plan to use for large fish, there are very significant differences in performance based on my random sample of these three.

© Pametfisher
 

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Pamet: Fantastic job, once again. You should be paid for all this experimentation. You do the type of experiments I think about, but never get around to actually doing.

I'm not at all surprised that Basil's (BHP Tackle) Wind-ons held up the best. His serves are clearly the most thorough and time consuming, but the proof is in the results. I always wondered if it was worth the extra time to do the double wrapped serves, but I'm now a believer.





John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pamet: Fantastic job, once again. You should be paid for all this experimentation. You do the type of experiments I think about, but never get around to actually doing.

I'm not at all surprised that Basil's (BHP Tackle) Wind-ons held up the best. His serves are clearly the most thorough and time consuming, but the proof is in the results. I always wondered if it was worth the extra time to do the double wrapped serves, but I'm now a believer.

John

John, Thanks ... there's some technology in the BHP leaders that's not obvious. Those serves of his can carry 100% of the load.

I've been thinking for a while that differential stretch between mono/fluoro and Spectra would be a challenge and the lesser serves have shown it. It would be great if Basil told us how he did it but ... then everyone would know. PF

And I have been paid, by the hundreds of informative posts that all of you have made. I have learned so much since the end of last season, I can't wait for the fish.
 

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I also have purchased and used brands M, S, and B,

And have felt the same as you have posted from a visual

and inspection stand point.

Brands M, and S, I have purchased mostly by reaction when I have found

them in discount bins. For 40 to 80% off of list. Brand M, as low as $3.99

and Brand S, as low as $4.99. This takes care of the Bottom feeder urge in

me. :eek:

Another thing I like about brand B, is the complete line of leader products.

I can get Wind on's both Floro andMono.

Along with Top shots all from the same display shelf at prices I feel

are quite resonable and close to home at FTU.

Thanks for your report.

K2
 

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Thanks for the test results. I do have a question. Are you certain that a Tanaka Splice was used for Brand M & S? I am unfamiliar with the term Tanaka Splice so I looked it up. The splice that I am seeing in your photos appear to be just the common dacron/spectra splice. I have done this spliced loop hundreds of times but have never heard it referred to as the Tanaka Splice.

Basils topshots are the best quality topshots on the market today.... no question. His end loops are a product of doubling up of the spectra and your description of it being a reverse blind splice loop is again the first time that I have heard of this terminology.

Not trying to be the wise guy.... not at all but I am very curious about using spectra and making topshots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the test results. I do have a question. Are you certain that a Tanaka Splice was used for Brand M & S? I am unfamiliar with the term Tanaka Splice so I looked it up. The splice that I am seeing in your photos appear to be just the common dacron/spectra splice. I have done this spliced loop hundreds of times but have never heard it referred to as the Tanaka Splice.

Basils topshots are the best quality topshots on the market today.... no question. His end loops are a product of doubling up of the spectra and your description of it being a reverse blind splice loop is again the first time that I have heard of this terminology.

Not trying to be the wise guy.... not at all but I am very curious about using spectra and making topshots.

Good questions, I appreciate the interest:

I just went out and took it apart to be sure. Here is what I see on the Brands M & S: Tanaka Loop. The tag at the end of the Tanaka Loop is buried inside the main mono splice line the mono is the inserted into both layers. The inner layer is not glued and easily shifts under load--not good. If they carried the inner end of the Tanaka Loop a couple feet up the mono and glued it, I guess I'd be okay with it but they don't. And the weaving would still seem to me a net negative.

Brand B uses the conventional one layer inserted in the other. I referred to it as a Reverse Blind Splice because the outer layer gets its strength in the same way as an End Loop but rather than Serving it by inserting the tag, It is glued in place and wrapped where the Mono/Fluoro enters.

The differential of rate of stretch between mono/fluoro and spectra makes it very easy to overload the Serve if the Serve is not done very well. Once the glue lets go, assuming that there is still enough pressure at the Serve to pretension the splice, the mono will creep out the splice a few percent per load cycle. That can be okay if the splice is long, and the length of splice is checked after fighting a good size fish.

In some respects if you don't get the Serve glued well, the photos show that a poor glue job is worse than no glue at all. I say this because once you rip the Serve apart as in the photos, the the Serve can come off altogether. An unglued Nail knot with a long splice would do better but would also need periodic checking after several high load cycles.
 

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Some personal observations. The serve should never be expected to hold any load. The glue used should not either. The strenght of the topshot system is inherent in the ability of the spectra core to hold the mono while under tension. If there is any slippage, that means that the mono is slipping within the spectra core and the topshot is doomed to failure over time. Double sleeve as used in Basils' system further contricts the size of the inner sleeve and gives it more holding power. The serve, no matter how nicely done, does little to enhance that holding power. It is the "chinese finger trap" that does 100% of the holding power once the system is under tension. The serve allows the system to come under tension without slippage and that should be the only function of the serve.

There are alternatives to the serve. Some use the Sato crimps. Others use the overhand knot. I like the simple 15 turn nail knot. I have tested the Sato crimps and the nail knot. The Sato crimps provide about 13-14 lbs of tension before slippage. The nail knot is an improvement at about 20-22 lbs of tension before slippage. Both test were done without the use of glue. If brands M & S failed, I suspect that it was not due to the construction of the serve. I believe that slippage occurred because the spectra sleeve was too large in I.D. to properly hold the mono. I also believe that Basil's topshot held and passed your test because of the use of the double wall and proper matching of id size of the spectra and the od size of the mono. This is why Basil's topshots are so good and so many raves about how well made they are.

The use of glue in my opinion is extra protection insurance. A bare serve is subject to wear and tear and can come apart. The glue keeps the serve together into a tight package. I do not think that it does a whole lot to keep the mono and spectra glued together. So my choice of glue has to do more with flexibility and durability. Call it a top coat, if I may. An abrasion shield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some personal observations. The serve should never be expected to hold any load. The glue used should not either. The strenght of the topshot system is inherent in the ability of the spectra core to hold the mono while under tension. If there is any slippage, that means that the mono is slipping within the spectra core and the topshot is doomed to failure over time. Double sleeve as used in Basils' system further contricts the size of the inner sleeve and gives it more holding power. The serve, no matter how nicely done, does little to enhance that holding power. It is the "chinese finger trap" that does 100% of the holding power once the system is under tension. The serve allows the system to come under tension without slippage and that should be the only function of the serve.

...

The use of glue in my opinion is extra protection insurance. A bare serve is subject to wear and tear and can come apart. The glue keeps the serve together into a tight package. I do not think that it does a whole lot to keep the mono and spectra glued together. So my choice of glue has to do more with flexibility and durability. Call it a top coat, if I may. An abrasion shield.

I appreciate your interest in this as I feel that it is an important technology for fishing. And yes, this is the conventionally held view, and it holds true to a point. However, if you fully load the mono, it becomes clear that one of two things has to happen. Before moving to the two cases, here are properties that matter.

Mono/Fluoro Stretch: 10-15%+ at full load, before fracture. If the Mono/Fluoro doesn't stretch, it is not loaded.

Spectra Stretch: 3-4% or less at full load

Splice Section (Mono/fluoro inside Spectra):
Load is transfered from Spectra to Mono/fluoro and vice versa in the Splice. This is the section of interest since outside the Splice, the load is either purely in the Spectra or purely in the Mono.

The difference of rates of stretch in the two materials creates a design problem for the Splice Section. Either the load is fully carried by the Spectra in the Splice and the mono carries only that load imputed by the 3-4% stretch possible in the Spectra; or the Mono stretches and elongates more than the Spectra, in which case the Serve has to move. It is fairly easy to demonstrate this.

Case 1: The Serve is rigidly attached (glued) to the mono/fluoro--as with BHP Tackle Serves. In this case even after 50, 80% load cycles, the Serve is in the same position on the mono/fluoro as at the beginning of testing. In this case 80-90% of the load is carried by the Spectra for the full length of the Splice. In this case, the Mono holds about 10% of the load and is a backup to the Serve--the Mono didn't stretch much, hence, it is not loaded much.

Case 2: The Serve is not rigidly attached to the Mono (Nail Knot, Unglued Serve, Badly glued Serve, ala Brand M and Brand S). In this case, the Spectra "grabs" the Mono near its end, this usually occurs in the first 12-24" of the splice, if the Spectra and Mono are sized properly. You can load to the point something breaks and it does not slip. (For testing purposes, you can even serve with a hand tied rubber band for pretensioning.) In this case, where the "Finger Trap" effect is doing the holding, an amount of Mono "stretches" out past the Serve.

Further, in a non-rigid Serve, there is very little loading in the Spectra near the Serve, hence it has little holding power on the Mono/Fluoro, allowing the Mono in that area to really stretch to its full potential. This is why it is better to have the outer layer of Spectra in a double-wall design end before the inner layer. If you don't, there can be stretch between the inner and outer layers.

In the case of Brand M and Brand S, there was ZERO slippage. These leaders STRETCHED apart, as I expected they might from their poor Serve designs and manufacture.

I understand that my description is NOT the common wisdom on how these splices work but it it fairly easy to demonstrate with Commericial leaders or those that you make yourself that it is, in fact, how they work.

With a knowledge of the forces that I've shown in the photos in Hollow Spectra II there are some interesting splices that can be designed that I hope to show in some future posts.
 

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Case 1- Not sure how you define "rigidly attached" to the mono. Conventional wisdom states that there is not a high degree of holding power necessary for the serve when it only acts as a temporary stopper to allow the spectra sleeve to constrict and hold the mono. I surmise that the stretch in the mono within the sleeve would be restricted by the stretch in the spectra if the finger trap works as it should. Any stretching of the mono would occur outside of the sleeve.

Case 2- The serve is not rigidly attached to the mono.... The question that comes to my mind is how much less tension is being applied to the serve in products M & S? My conclusion in reading your post is that the inner core of the spectra was too big for the size mono inserted and that the finger trap did not work. Therefore, pressure was applied to the serve under tension and the serve failed. I have seen this happen in person.... no not to one of my topshots, where a person used mono that was too small in diameter for the spectra sleeve.

In my testing of the nail knot serve, I intentionally used spectra/mono combinations that I knew will not hold under tension. I did this with only an inch of mono inserted into the sleeve and then did the nail knot to see what is the holding power.

The Sato crimps have been used for many years here on the west coast long range fishing boats with very good success. Failures have been mostly due to improper crimping methods or spectra/mono choices. My testing of the Sato crimps shows me that the holding power is only about 14 lbs. and yet this is a proven method for making the mono/spectra connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Case 1- Not sure how you define "rigidly attached" to the mono. Conventional wisdom states that there is not a high degree of holding power necessary for the serve when it only acts as a temporary stopper to allow the spectra sleeve to constrict and hold the mono. I surmise that the stretch in the mono within the sleeve would be restricted by the stretch in the spectra if the finger trap works as it should. Any stretching of the mono would occur outside of the sleeve.

Case 2- The serve is not rigidly attached to the mono.... The question that comes to my mind is how much less tension is being applied to the serve in products M & S? My conclusion in reading your post is that the inner core of the spectra was too big for the size mono inserted and that the finger trap did not work. Therefore, pressure was applied to the serve under tension and the serve failed. I have seen this happen in person.... no not to one of my topshots, where a person used mono that was too small in diameter for the spectra sleeve.

In my testing of the nail knot serve, I intentionally used spectra/mono combinations that I knew will not hold under tension. I did this with only an inch of mono inserted into the sleeve and then did the nail knot to see what is the holding power.

The Sato crimps have been used for many years here on the west coast long range fishing boats with very good success. Failures have been mostly due to improper crimping methods or spectra/mono choices. My testing of the Sato crimps shows me that the holding power is only about 14 lbs. and yet this is a proven method for making the mono/spectra connection.

I stand by my comments on the physics/mechanics above but will comment to your points.

Case 1: Glued and does not move.
Case 2: As I said, they were glued. Brand M & S never slipped, finger trap worked fine, the products will still hold a full load. But several more cycles would creep the leaders apart.

I suspect the reason that most don't see problems (including Sato crimp) is that they set the drag to 25-33% of line rating. I test to 80-100%. After all what does a 100# leader mean, okay for 25 lbs. drag only?

Your method for testing Nail Knot pressure is a good one. And I happen to think an unglued Nail knot is a great Serve (or glue it if one prefers). Keep the drag in a normal range and it might never move. For me, if I buy a 100 lb. leader I want it to go through 20-30 100% load cycles, no creep no Serve separation. So far only BHP does it.

The Sato method seems fine for 25-33% drag although I'm not a fan of running metal through my guides. After all, I can hold a 100% load indefinitely with a rubber band tied in an Overhand Knot and this is how I design Splice length. When the Splice will hold with only a rubber band serve, I've got the minimum length, I usually double that for a Case 2 Serve.

Mostly though I make my own as Case 1 types.
 

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Your comments on the rubber band serves makes me chuckle. At the Fred Hall show in March 2008, Swifty's was trying to promote a serve made with a rubber band looking contraptions. Some guys actually bought them. I had to laugh when I saw them. Haven't seen any of these in the shops at all.... wonder why???

Well, I have done destructive testing on leaders before although not under repetitive testing ( cycles ). In every event, if the system breaks inside the sleeves, that system is rejected.

There are other factors to consider under real situations. The influence of your topshots in the water. The additional friction caused by having lots of line in the water under tension. You may have only 25-33 % of drag vrs line strenght but what is the actual tension at the topshot?

Thanks for your posts.... you have given me food for though. I will do more destructive testing later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Your comments on the rubber band serves makes me chuckle. At the Fred Hall show in March 2008, Swifty's was trying to promote a serve made with a rubber band looking contraptions. Some guys actually bought them. I had to laugh when I saw them. Haven't seen any of these in the shops at all.... wonder why???

Well, I have done destructive testing on leaders before although not under repetitive testing ( cycles ). In every event, if the system breaks inside the sleeves, that system is rejected.

There are other factors to consider under real situations. The influence of your topshots in the water. The additional friction caused by having lots of line in the water under tension. You may have only 25-33 % of drag vrs line strenght but what is the actual tension at the topshot?

Thanks for your posts.... you have given me food for though. I will do more destructive testing later.

Likewise, thanks for the banter. I'm going to take one of Basil's leaders when I have a moment and reduce the mono to 12" and see what happens.
 
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