360 Tuna Fishers Forum banner


3567 Views 18 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  bunile
HOWDY Y'ALL. I Need to get some education on the hollow spectra vs. plain solid type. I have the regular solid type and can usually tie up good connections. With 65lb. the knots are acceptable, and very strong. I have a big penn 50vsw that I recently aquired and was reading about a guy who got a 30vsw free from his daddy! I read that he put a 1/4 mile of spectra on it, hollow spectra and I bet he had a nice smooth connection on the top shot. I know that any knot tied on bigger than 60lb. mono is really clunky and big. Almost too big to pass through the top guides on my trolling rod !!! Is that the BEST DIFFERENCE between the solid vs. the hollow spectra ? The size of the knot? Is the line thinner ? (Not necessarily important , I have 3 times the line amount that I'll ever really need.)I would go like him and put 130lb spectra then an 80 or heck 130 top shot. I will probably try to learn the loop to loop style of pre- tied top shot wind ons? I would like to make switching from 80/ 100/120 possible with just slipping on a loop and not having to attempt tying a knot while the guys are reeling in big and bigger fish. IS THIS POSSIBLE ? Please give me some knowledge , I appreciate your time very much, thanks buddy !
1 - 1 of 19 Posts
Thanks for the props guys...here's a little info with some links; hope it helps.

What sizes does Jerry Brown hollow spectra come in and what is the comporable mono size that they mimic

Line One hollow spectra comes in 60-80-100-130-200-300-500-800-1000lb test. Mono equivalents are 20-25-30-40-60-130-200-300-400lb

thinking of refilling next year with 75% braid with a top shot of mono...will be put on 50s... do you use uni to uni or Chinese finger?

Since this is hollow line, a whole range of knotless connections and splices can be made. No knots to fail. As your mono topshot wears out, just replace it with another, yet keep that hollow backing on your reel for years to come. I have some reels going into their 8th season. The most I ever had to do is re-splice my end loop, or strip off 20-30 yards and splice on a new section of hollow line. Splice that is, no knot. 100% line strength.

A common question is why can't I just insert the mono topshot right into my main line? After all, I only fish 80lb test. The answer is, yes you can do that but when it comes time to change that topshot, it will take you quite a bit of time to do it, and you won't be doing it on the boat. The second approach and the one I prefer is the use of a loop-to-loop connection. That is, splice a 100% end loop on the end of your reel's main line. This is not a bimini or some other knot, it is a way to invert the line into itself and then lock it, so the spliced end loop cannot pull out. Here is a link to an excellent 3 page thread on that topic.

OK, once you have that loop on your reel, you put a second piece of spectra on the back of your mono topshot, with another loop. You can pre-make these in the winter or buy them pre-made, and have them ready to go. Changing a topshot using a loop-to-loop connection is simple and takes just under a minute. You can easily do this on a boat if you have to, getting you right back into the game with a brand new full reel of line, with no knots to fail.

Still, some anglers go back and say, well that sounds like a lot of work too, and I'm still going to insert my mono right into the main line. That works, but like I said, you're not going to be changing that connection to easily if you have to. The rod will most likely be set into a rod holder until you get back to the dock. The other major advantage of L-2-L connections is the ability to connect hollow spectra backing to a mono topshot that you could not possibly insert into your main line. For example, a hot shark tournament setup developed by a very well-known NJ charter captain is using a 25-foot 530lb X-HARD wind-on leader connected to his reel's main spectra line via a L-2-L connection, crimped to his shark rig. No topshot at all. You would never be able to insert 530lb mono into your spectra, but with loop connections you have a wide range of options depending on what you're fishing for. After shark season, cut off the wind-on and loop on a topshot. Getting into a mad-dog bigeye bite and wish you had heavier line? Cut off that 80b topshot and loop on a 130lb'er in seconds. Snag a pot or tangle? Cut off the old, loop on a new. Taking your reels out west to do some long-range fishing with short heavy topshots? Same drill.

Line One has just come out with a 100lb hollow braid line that will test well under 130lb for strict IGFA rule fishing, and still allow you to splice your connections. Spectra should be wound on tight, using 6-8lb of even, consistent drag. Use a Heiliger super-knot, aka double sandiego knot, for arbor connections.

Tools required for working with this line and making your own splices are a good set of needles to insert mono, some #7 wire to make loop puller or line splicing needles, and some adhesives and serving tools. The point where the mono enters the spectra will have to be secured with what is known as a serve. Methods of serving monofilament to hollow spectra involve applying the traditional time-tested and still very good half hitches of waxed floss sealed with adhesive, or using an ultra thin spectra thread, applied under pressure, using a spinning bobbin. The result is a strong, low profile serve, designed to prevent the spectra from moving relative to the mono. The finger-trap will hold the mono inside the hollow line, but the serve is absolutely necessary to keep everything in place.

One final note: Since it's so easy to replace your topshot, do it often!! Don't try to use the same topshot all season long. If you get into fish, tangles, etc, swap it out! It's the best and least-expensive insurance against failures. We all spend a ton of money to get out to the Edge, make sure that your line and connections are in the best shape possible so when that wolf-pack hits, you're ready.

Basil Pappas
BHP Tackle
See less See more
1 - 1 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.