Hollow Spectra Knotless Line System

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by pametfisher, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    For much of the winter, I've been experimenting with splices, knots and wind-on leaders. After a lot of trial and error, I settled on a knotless system (except from leader to tackle) that I have tested on land and on four fishing trips. During the most recent trip I was able to put the system to a serious test, landing a 130ish lb. (+/-) fish with high pressure, in under 10 minutes.

    The attached photo tells the story. I have implemented this system in JB Hollow line. I pre-make two types of leaders and a pre-leader. The leaders are either 80# or 125#. The on-water change out time for the leaders is about a minute. For the terminal tackle knot (which I also pre-tie on land) I have switched from Uni to a long time favorite of mine, the twice through Jansik/Ryo-shi for its simplicity and stability. Sometimes I use rings and sometimes I use swivels, but each of them connects to my poppers/jigs with a split ring. I leave the dock with 10 of each type of leader (and a few pre-leaders) in my bag and change them as needed.

    Because my leaders have only a 12 inch splice section, they cast as well as P.R. or Mid knots. Line twisting (a feared issue with hollow Spectra) has not been a problem at all.

    Lastly, I want to give credit where credit is due. Many of you at 360tuna have provided insights that have been key for me, especially Basil Pappas of BHP Tackle who has provided line, tools, technical support and encouragement. Thank you all.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Jrzrider83

    Jrzrider83 Senior Member

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    I really have enjoyed your pursuit of the perfect tackle system. I have adapted many of your insights to the way I rig my tackle. Could you be more specific on the way you are attaching your "pre-leader" to the spool? The one thing that has bothered me personally about using a "strong knot" to connect to the spool is that if I were ever to be spooled by a demon fish is see disastrous consequences: 1. having rod and reel yanked out of my hands with 80+lbs (in your case)_, 2. If I were able to hold on the reel might get ripped off the rod and through the guides, or at a minimum the bail arm would break off and spool would pop off. The thoughts of these scenarios has made me consider attaching my main line to my spool with a piece of 40-60lb mono so I know it will break. This situation is a little more realistic for me with my 8000fa Stella than your 20000 but I think it is worth being prepared for. What are your thoughts on this scenario?
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I really have enjoyed your pursuit of the perfect tackle system. I have adapted many of your insights to the way I rig my tackle. Could you be more specific on the way you are attaching your "pre-leader" to the spool? The one thing that has bothered me personally about using a "strong knot" to connect to the spool is that if I were ever to be spooled by a demon fish is see disastrous consequences: 1. having rod and reel yanked out of my hands with 80+lbs (in your case)_, 2. If I were able to hold on the reel might get ripped off the rod and through the guides, or at a minimum the bail arm would break off and spool would pop off. The thoughts of these scenarios has made me consider attaching my main line to my spool with a piece of 40-60lb mono so I know it will break. This situation is a little more realistic for me with my 8000fa Stella than your 20000 but I think it is worth being prepared for. What are your thoughts on this scenario?

    What to do at the bottom of the spool is a good question. On a Stella 20K, sorry for the mathmatics, if you set your drag with a full spool to 20 lbs., and you were to get spooled without reducing your drag, the bottom of spool drag would be about 50lbs. The force on the bail arm woud be 75lbs. because the line comes around it at a right angle.

    Even if you pointed the rod straight out, you'd have to hold back the 50lbs. Not a small force.

    However, I'm not a big fan of a weak connection to the spool. First assuming 20 lbs. drag, the full top of spool torque gets transmitted to the bottom of the spool. Friction along the sides of the spool, from the line, can mitigate the force at the bottom, but assuming friction is low between the line and spool, your connection knot should be able to hold at least 50 lbs., maybe even 75 lbs.

    So, I would say carry a knife (there are a lot of good reasons to have a knife on your person while fishing/boating) and/or be prepared to snap the line by grabbing the reel seat with two hands and yanking--the breaking force of the line will drop by half if you snap it aggressively.

    One last thought, if you get all your knots and connections correct, and you get near the bottom with 50 lbs. or more of drag, there are not many fish that can swim far at that level. Hang on!
     
  4. SteelingHeads

    SteelingHeads Senior Member

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    Pamet,

    What are your thoughts on a similar system using Solid Spectra as mainline, and a bimini twist, then loop to loop with a wind on leader tied in the fashion yours have been tied? Are you gaining anything doing it that way or are you still better off using a PR or Slim Beauty knot? How exactly are you doing your wind-on leaders with only a 12 inch splice? The Wind-ons I tie up for my jigging setups I tie with about a 3 foot splice.
     
  5. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

    1,387
    30
    Pamet,

    What are your thoughts on a similar system using Solid Spectra as mainline, and a bimini twist, then loop to loop with a wind on leader tied in the fashion yours have been tied? Are you gaining anything doing it that way or are you still better off using a Page Ranking or Slim Beauty knot? How exactly are you doing your wind-on leaders with only a 12 inch splice? The Wind-ons I tie up for my jigging setups I tie with about a 3 foot splice.

    SH, You've asked some good questions.

    The solid line and Bimini system and wind on would work fine. The advantage to all hollow is that you can replace the top 100 yards of line periodically using a line to line splice. Also an end-loop in hollow is better in many ways than a Bimini in solid. The end-loop is easier to size and easier to make perfect. You can splice some hollow line on top of the solid line as follows: http://www.360tuna.com/forum/f3/glueless-solid-hollow-spectra-splice-full-strength-4389/, then splice an end loop. I have half a dozen reels that still have solid line, I have spliced on the hollow.

    The main thing you gain with pre-made, pre-tied leaders is the ability to make all connections other than loop to loop ahead of time. Then you can pre-test the knots. It is fast and simple to change a damaged leader or to go up/down in leader strength. And you never have to wonder about the strength of your knots/connections because they are pre-tested.

    The P.R. and Slim Beauty are excellent knots but they take time to tie, and patience, something I lack when out fishing. So I would say what you gain is confidence and flexibility. The other thing is the wind-on moves very smoothly through the guides, I think even better than the Mid or P.R. The Slim Beauty has a Stop Knot which I don't like going in and out through the guides.

    The serve I use is able to carry the full load and does not move. Therefore, I can make the splice any length from about 2" on up--a 12" splice gives me some redundancy to the serve. A short splice makes for excellent casting.

    BHP Tackle makes a wind-on with a very strong Serve. One thing you could consider, is buying that product and cutting a portion of the mono/fluoro out of the splice for better casting. I have done that and it works but you should check with Basil.
     
  6. SteelingHeads

    SteelingHeads Senior Member

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    13
    Pamet,

    Thanks for the response! I may try using the solid to hollow splice and then splicing a loop into hollow for a loop to loop connection. I have to admit, I am still hesitant to use all hollow spectra on a spinning reel because of its tendency to flatten out. Any chance we could get you to show us a pic of your serve, or have you posted it before? I do think I remember a discussion on wind-on leaders where you were testing the strength of them and had shown the difference in how they were constructed.
     
  7. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

    1,579
    3
    is that a flat pressed ring? ive heard bad experiences with those, round are better and less prone to line breaking because the edges on the flat ring cut the line during high pressure
     
  8. Jrzrider83

    Jrzrider83 Senior Member

    492
    0
    What to do at the bottom of the spool is a good question. On a Stella 20K, sorry for the mathmatics, if you set your drag with a full spool to 20 lbs., and you were to get spooled without reducing your drag, the bottom of spool drag would be about 50lbs. The force on the bail arm woud be 75lbs. because the line comes around it at a right angle.

    Even if you pointed the rod straight out, you'd have to hold back the 50lbs. Not a small force.

    However, I'm not a big fan of a weak connection to the spool. First assuming 20 lbs. drag, the full top of spool torque gets transmitted to the bottom of the spool. Friction along the sides of the spool, from the line, can mitigate the force at the bottom, but assuming friction is low between the line and spool, your connection knot should be able to hold at least 50 lbs., maybe even 75 lbs.

    So, I would say carry a knife (there are a lot of good reasons to have a knife on your person while fishing/boating) and/or be prepared to snap the line by grabbing the reel seat with two hands and yanking--the breaking force of the line will drop by half if you snap it aggressively.

    One last thought, if you get all your knots and connections correct, and you get near the bottom with 50 lbs. or more of drag, there are not many fish that can swim far at that level. Hang on!

    This might be at the point of beating the proverbial dead horse, but isn't friction on the spool the only interface through which the tension of the line is transmitted to the spool? I believe the knot is supporting little, if any, tension and its strength is only pertinent to straight line pull of the line if no line is left (spooled situation from demon fish). If I remember correctly you are a practitioner of not taping your braid to the spool and rely only on line tension to secure the line to the spool. if that is correct you are not merely relying on the knot in the line to attach it to the spool but the many wraps of line that contact the inside diameter of the spool. Certainly this is a case of personal preference; so I will leave it at that. but I think for me I’d at least like to know that I have a 30-40lb fuse/break away (short length of 30-40lb mono) at the end of my line to prevent the disasters I previously mentioned. Especially for the scenario where I am not the one using the reel at the time.

    It seems I find it much easier to get thoroughly involved with my work when I apply it to things that make me happy i.e. fishing and tackle.
     
  9. John_Madison CT

    John_Madison CT Senior Member

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    Pamet: I spend the last couple of hours sitting in front of the TV practicing your solid braid to hollow braid connection. It takes a bit of practice, but I think I did a pretty darn good job.

    I'll have to switch some of my reels over to this as they have solid braid.

    The one remaining question is the amount of line inserted in the HC. I make my own topshots/windons and seem to follow a splice very similar to Basil, but have some apprehension over only inserting a few inches. I always thought it was the chinese handcuff that really held the mono into the HC and the serve only "served" to keep the braid tight.


    BTW, how is this better than just tying a 20 turn bimini in the solid braid and then connecting it to a Basil type windon??
     
  10. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

    1,387
    30
    Pamet,

    Thanks for the response! I may try using the solid to hollow splice and then splicing a loop into hollow for a loop to loop connection. I have to admit, I am still hesitant to use all hollow spectra on a spinning reel because of its tendency to flatten out. Any chance we could get you to show us a pic of your serve, or have you posted it before? I do think I remember a discussion on wind-on leaders where you were testing the strength of them and had shown the difference in how they were constructed.

    I've got four spinning reels loaded with all hollow, but that is just my preference. Solid works fine and you can use a Bimini, Surgeon's Loop, or splice on Hollow. I think the key to loading any Spectra braid is loading it under tension. I use 10-12 lbs. I would not hesitate to use hollow Spectra on a spinning reel.

    I haven't posted the Serve that I use yet, and it is key to making the short splice. The BHP Tackle splice is very strong. Strong enough in my experience that you can poke the mono through the splice and cut off all but a foot and it will carry a full load without moving or breaking. Then it casts great. Or you can leave it as is, but shorten the mono/fluoro outside the splice so that only a turn or two winds onto the reel.

    is that a flat pressed ring? ive heard bad experiences with those, round are better and less prone to line breaking because the edges on the flat ring cut the line during high pressure

    Good eyes. Yes that is a flat ring. And all other things being equal, an all round ring results in a stronger connection by 10%-ish. The reason is that the radius of the edge is sharper, increasing the stress concentration at the turn around it. Check out the photo I posted on this page Size Matters and the strength numbers in the text.

    However, it doesn't cut through. So if you test it and get a, say, 67.5 lbs. result. It will stay 67.5 lbs. A big all round ring might be 75 lbs. and stay at that number.

    This might be at the point of beating the proverbial dead horse, but isn't friction on the spool the only interface through which the tension of the line is transmitted to the spool? I believe the knot is supporting little, if any, tension and its strength is only pertinent to straight line pull of the line if no line is left (spooled situation from demon fish). If I remember correctly you are a practitioner of not taping your braid to the spool and rely only on line tension to secure the line to the spool. if that is correct you are not merely relying on the knot in the line to attach it to the spool but the many wraps of line that contact the inside diameter of the spool. Certainly this is a case of personal preference; so I will leave it at that. but I think for me I’d at least like to know that I have a 30-40lb fuse/break away (short length of 30-40lb mono) at the end of my line to prevent the disasters I previously mentioned. Especially for the scenario where I am not the one using the reel at the time.

    It seems I find it much easier to get thoroughly involved with my work when I apply it to things that make me happy i.e. fishing and tackle.

    You're not beating a dead horse. I've talked with Jerry Brown and others about this issue. There is a good argument to be made that you must generate enough friction. And if you get down to those last few turns, it doesn't matter if your knot fails.

    Still, the torque at the bottom of the spool is very high. And I admit that I'm being conservative. I just don't want to get to 1/3 spool and have anything slip. What I do is wind the line around the spool 3 or 4 times backwards, tie a very strong knot and then pull that down very tightly. Tape isn't needed on a smooth spool but the sharp grooves at the bottom of the Shimano spools can cut spectra http://www.360tuna.com/forum/f3/warning-shimano-spinning-spools-cut-spectra-4814/ so I've started taping them over.

    When I get time, I should test this further. If I can wind 30 pound mono on the reel, connect the Spectra, wind-on a few layers of Spectra, and hold a 70-80 lb. load, that would satisfy me. When I get the time, I'll run the test.


    Pamet: I spend the last couple of hours sitting in front of the TV practicing your solid braid to hollow braid connection. It takes a bit of practice, but I think I did a pretty darn good job.

    I'll have to switch some of my reels over to this as they have solid braid.

    The one remaining question is the amount of line inserted in the HC. I make my own topshots/windons and seem to follow a splice very similar to Basil, but have some apprehension over only inserting a few inches. I always thought it was the chinese handcuff that really held the mono into the HC and the serve only "served" to keep the braid tight.


    BTW, how is this better than just tying a 20 turn bimini in the solid braid and then connecting it to a Basil type windon??

    For the solid-hollow splice, I would use a 3 to 4 foot splice and I would match the lines closely 80# solid into 80# hollow for instance.

    If you can guarantee that your Serve can carry the full load, then you can have a short splice, which is insurance. Interestingly, once you glue your serve, it carries the full load until it fails, then the finger trap takes over. If you reread my Hollow Spectra II and III, there is a lot of discussion there about the role of the Serve. In short though, because the mono is stretchier than the Spectra, you have two options: make a Serve so strong it carries all the load; or, let the splice carry the load, but the Serve will move slightly with each load cycle.

    A Bimini twist is a fine solution. But for some, a Bimini is not easy to tie, and it is hard to control the size of the loop. So if you want small loops so they can't wrap around the guides when you cast, the end-loop splice is better (a Surgeon's loop can be sized but it isn't as strong.) In Spectra braid, I have satisfied myself that you need about 50 initial twists to have a non-slipping knot--I use 70. 50 initial twists leaves about 20 twists under the wraps after you make the knot. You can start with 20 twists but by the time you finish the knot, you only have 4-5 under the top wraps. I can make that slip every time unless you can get a thin superglue to penetrate the knot--and that's a different discussion.
     
  11. John_Madison CT

    John_Madison CT Senior Member

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    I've been pretty luck getting a 25 turn bimini to hold well. I tied one in some 100lb braid today and pulled it with my 50 lb drag scale with no slippage. Granted, I'm only proving a 50% knot.
     
  12. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    30
    I've been pretty luck getting a 25 turn bimini to hold well. I tied one in some 100lb braid today and pulled it with my 50 lb drag scale with no slippage. Granted, I'm only proving a 50% knot.

    That's the way to do it and not a bad outcome. I posted it somewhere here but last time I ran the test on a Bimini I tied 70 turns in 80# braid and pulled 105 lbs. without it slipping... of course getting that performance from an end-loop in hollow is simple.
     
  13. John_Madison CT

    John_Madison CT Senior Member

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    Pamet: I'll really like to see the type of mono to HC serve you use.