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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is about some fishing line that was being "talked" about, in another forum, that didn't seem to be performing as expected, 50# PowerPro with knots that were breaking at 20-25 lbs. There were many theories advance about why this line wasn't as strong as expected: bad line, worn line, too old line, and some cures suggested: replace line, reverse line on spool, try a different knot. The favorite theory was that the line came from a Junk Spool.

Feeling that it might have something to do with their test methods, I offered to check the ABS (actual breaking strength) and KBS (knotted breaking strength) of the line. I communicated with "The Poster" enough to know that he was tying his knots properly and being systematic about his testing approach.

About a week ago, "The Poster" sent me 10 yards of the 50# PowerPro that had been giving them the problems. As part of the experience that got me into building leaders for casting to large gamefish on light tackle, I've spent a lot time researching the science of knots and destructively testing them--too much time if you ask my family.

The first thing I did was to visually inspect the PowerPro. It had the same feel and appearance of several other spools of 50# PP that I have on hand.

Next I tied an 8-turn Uni Knot to a large swivel. The knot was pulled up carefully and seated fully. I hooked the swivel to a weight load that I use for testing, and wrapped the loose end of the PP around a two inch diameter puller so that I didn't put any stress on the pulling end of the line. I started by lifting 15 lbs. and added weight 2.5 lbs. at a time. The line sample successfully lifted 37.5 lbs., and broke at 40 lbs. So I would say the KBS of the line is about 38 lbs., best case. If I were using the line I would plan on 35 lbs. or less for some safety margin.

The next knot I tried was a 50-turn Bimini (usually I get almost 100% of line strength). In fact I tied two. Both failed at 40 lbs., very surprising. I decided to set that test aside and went straight to an ABS test.

I measure ABS by splicing a 90 lb. hollow-weave line onto the end of the test sample by this method: Hollow Spectra Techniques: Splicing Hollow-Weave line to Solid Line. Then I attached it to the weight bar and started lifting weights at 30 lbs. I was able to hold 57.5 lbs., and the line broke at 60 lbs. So lets call this a 58 lb. ABS line.

The ratio of KBS/ABS is about 65%, which is what I've experience for Uni Knots tied in PowerPro 50# before. And in almost every line I've tested, the Uni knot performs like dozens of other usual knots (meaning not a Bimini Twist, PR Knot or SIG Knot). I called this group the 60%-class knots.

I then went back and tied a very carefully make Bimini at 60 turns. The twists were still slipping a bit, and the knot broke in the low 40 lb. range. Finally, wanting success, I tied a 100-turn Uni and lifted 50 lbs. Not that good but I didn't feel like going further.

Summary of PowerPro 50# Sample:
ABS: 58 lbs
KBS: 38 lbs.
Uni Knot strength: 60%-class
Bimini Twist 100 turns: 85% strong (unusually low)
Number of threads in weave: 4 (better lines use 8, hollow-weave lines use 12 or 16)

Although I have used PowerPro for years and have nothing against the line, I have switched to 60# Jerry Brown hollow weave (90 lbs. ABS in White color) for light tackle. It's smoother and can be spliced, so no line strength is lost while making connections. (I don't sell any lines, nor do I get any fees for making this recommendation.) With a lot of experience tying good knots in Spectra braids, I would have to say that PowerPro is among the more difficult lines to tie strong knots--most likely because of 4-thread design and perhaps due to the coating they use, which seems slippery to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Another great job Roger !

Any plans on doing the crimping tests?


John

Yes, but it will take a while to start due to some competing pressures. I'm really curious about the ability of a double barrel crimp to hold 50% of the line tension. If it does, that could mean a 100% strong connection to terminal tackle. (Since the crimp only has to hold half the load for the tag side of the loop, and then not damage the mainline.) If you wanted to mail me some crimps made in 50 to 100# material, I'd start testing them now.
 

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I have followed your posts and did lots of line testing with leader to braid knots, mainly with 10-50lbs braid. When you test hundreds of them, using FG, Sebile(same knot), mid knot, PR knot, bimini, GT knot, slim beauty, you start to understand why some consistently test better than other.

Amazingly, the FG, Sebile, bimini, also works very well with very thin 6-10lb braid. Most 10lbs braid will break around 18-22 lbs with a bimini-yucatan combo or FG knot. At first, I thought the FG would be weaker than a mid-knot since the line criss cross each other when forming the chinese finger cuff as oppose to the bimini where you wrap up and force a down wrap to form the finger cuff. I thought the line crossing itself and especially the finishing half hitches would surely weaken the knot.

While the best bimini I could tie would trump the FG by about 5-10 percent in KBS, I find the consistency of the FG knot to be almost 100 %. It has very little variation from test to test.

Your bimini result with the 50lb Power Pro is very surprising, but it also explains those surprising breakoffs since most anglers are not as careful or have an arsenal of knots to choose from. I generally tie 3-4 bimini and take the best result and add 5-10% to guess at the the ABS of the line. Now I need to get some hollow core braid and test the ABS instead of just guessing at it.
 

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I had issues with the P Pro 50# as well, but in the middle of the line, like 2' away from where the knot was tied. When I wet the line, the strength seems to return. This was in doing static testing to space guides out on rods, so it was a pretty gentle pull. Any ideas on those breaks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have followed your posts and did lots of line testing with leader to braid knots, mainly with 10-50lbs braid. When you test hundreds of them, using FG, Sebile(same knot), mid knot, Page Ranking knot, bimini, GT knot, slim beauty, you start to understand why some consistently test better than other.

Amazingly, the FG, Sebile, bimini, also works very well with very thin 6-10lb braid. Most 10lbs braid will break around 18-22 lbs with a bimini-yucatan combo or FG knot. At first, I thought the FG would be weaker than a mid-knot since the line criss cross each other when forming the chinese finger cuff as oppose to the bimini where you wrap up and force a down wrap to form the finger cuff. I thought the line crossing itself and especially the finishing half hitches would surely weaken the knot.

While the best bimini I could tie would trump the FG by about 5-10 percent in KBS, I find the consistency of the FG knot to be almost 100 %. It has very little variation from test to test.

Your bimini result with the 50lb Power Pro is very surprising, but it also explains those surprising breakoffs since most anglers are not as careful or have an arsenal of knots to choose from. I generally tie 3-4 bimini and take the best result and add 5-10% to guess at the the ABS of the line. Now I need to get some hollow core braid and test the ABS instead of just guessing at it.

Thank you for this very thoughtful response. You might also want to try the SIG knot with a Bimini. It has the crossing wraps you mention plus tension on both sides of the braid. I get pretty close to 100% with the combo, with little variation.

The PP 50# seemed very slippery, when the 60-turn started to fail it sort of skip-slipped twice and then broke.

I have tied Uni's, measured KBS and then estimated the ABS. You can get within 10% ABS with that approach too, if you know your Uni Knot efficiency well. Still for ABS, I like the splice to a stronger hollow-weave line. Nothing beats it. And with weights, rather than a tensile tester, you can really control loading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had issues with the P Pro 50# as well, but in the middle of the line, like 2' away from where the knot was tied. When I wet the line, the strength seems to return. This was in doing static testing to space guides out on rods, so it was a pretty gentle pull. Any ideas on those breaks?

I have quickly tied knots in 50# PP and had them break at 18 lbs.! Since the PP is a 4-thread line, if the knot puts a stress on just one thread (as it can). You get 25% strength. That thread then breaks at its weakest point, possibly feet away from the knot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have you done the same test on JB solid braid?

I haven't. Mainly, the reason is that I don't see any good reason to use solid braid unless you want thinner than JB 60# hollow-weave, or want color pre-marked line. I took on this 50# PP test due to the nature of the problem and discussion on the other board. I wanted to see for myself whether my opinion about the problem was correct--to do that I had to make measurements.

Splicing offers so many features and so much value that once you've mastered it (and it's not hard) there's little reason to look back. You have to worry about tying knots correctly, with splices, you just make them and they're always right and 100% strong.
 

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Pametfisher,
I'm curious if you tested a PR knot in the PP? I have never had much luck with the bimini holding near %100 and it might be because i was testing braids that had a coating. I have had good results with the PR and mid-knots though and would think that the coating would not affect the strength.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pametfisher,
I'm curious if you tested a Page Ranking knot in the PP? I have never had much luck with the bimini holding near %100 and it might be because i was testing braids that had a coating. I have had good results with the PR and mid-knots though and would think that the coating would not affect the strength.

I agree that Bimini Twists in PP are tricky. Whether it is the coating issue or the limited number of threads, I'm not sure.

A P.R. knot seems to work fine in PP, nearly 100%.

Better still, top PP with hollow-weave using the splice here: Hollow Spectra Techniques: Splicing Hollow-Weave line to Solid Line, and you get the full ABS of PP and a better line to splice (or knot if you like).

The coating on braid does not seem to harm P.R. strength. The load is transferred with so little bend, that a P.R. is quite good. Of course an issue with P.R.s is that the lock knot can loosen and if it does, retie as the first sign.
 

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I haven't. Mainly, the reason is that I don't see any good reason to use solid braid unless you want thinner than JB 60# hollow-weave, or want color pre-marked line. I took on this 50# PP test due to the nature of the problem and discussion on the other board. I wanted to see for myself whether my opinion about the problem was correct--to do that I had to make measurements.

Splicing offers so many features and so much value that once you've mastered it (and it's not hard) there's little reason to look back. You have to worry about tying knots correctly, with splices, you just make them and they're always right and 100% strong.

I use solid simply because of budget. It is however the best braid solid I have used.
 

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Roger: PM me your address again. I'll send you some crimps, line etc. etc..

Do you have a crimper? I'm waiting on the Braid Pre-Calibrated crimpers from TAJ Outdoors.(TAZ575)

Otherwise, I was going to suggest a regular pair of Hi-Seas type.


John
 

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Pametfisher,
You know I tried to apply what I learn from tying and studying how the best knots are formed. I said to myself, you know, I bet I can tie a "different bimini". Instead of wrap up and forcing a wrap down, let me take what I learn from tying the Sebile knot and try to tie a bimini that way. The only difference it that I am wrapping(weaving the braid around itself).

It was a pain at first to keep track of which end goes where but I succeeded. Of course it would have been easier if I pick a thicker line than 10lb braid. The funny thing was, I was weaving the braid around itself, I said to myself, this must be the Australian Plait which I couldn't figure out. Indeed, it was very similar, except for the finish. I finish my criss-cross bimini like a regular bimini.

So I finished my braiding of the 10lb braid around itself to form a loop in the braid. I then attached the braid loop to a 30lb section of suffix mono via a yucatan knot and then tie a simple loop knot on the 30lb mono and attached that to a spring scale(tested with weights to ensure accuracy). The other end of the 10lb braid is still attached to it's bulk spool. I put on gloves, eye protection, and pull away. I got 22lbs for Stren Super Braid 10lbs and it did break above the knot of my modified bimini, about the same using a 30+turns bimini-yucatan combo. While I was happy with the result, there was no way I was going to tie that knot again since I can tie a regular bimini much quicker.

I understand what you are trying to get at with the SIG knot. I've look at it and realized that it is an FG knot but with a double line in the braid. Before tying hundreds of FG, Sebile, Page Ranking, Mid knot, GT knot, I was convinced that there is no way a single line braid to mono knot can even come close to measuring up to the bimini-yucatan combo. I was convinced the criss-crossing and the half hitch finish would surely cut into itself and the braid would break before it could even come close to it's ABS. Well now I know that I can achieve 90-95% of the BEST bimini breaking strength with the Sebile knot(again, same knot as FG, just easier to tie) with a single line braid-mono knot.

More importantly, the variation in KBS is very low(5%). I can get the same result virtually every time. Also the knot is very small and I can tie that in a rocking boat without a Page Ranking Bobbin. And it also holds every time even with the hardest fluro leader. I can't say that for the mid-knot.

What I got from testing those knots hundreds of time is confidence on the water. Every time I buy a line in bulk spool, I test them. And you wouldn't believe the variation. I've had newer 15lb Spiderwire Stealth breaking before older 10lbs Spiderwire Stealth in bulk spools. What I found out about 10 and 15 lbs is generally true with testing I've found elsewhere. The 15lb test is at best 2-3lb stronger than their 10lbs counterpart.

But like you, I've found no breakthrough in braid ABS. You can generalize that the braid breaking strength, 80% of the time, is dependent on it's diameter. This is after fishing with braid since day 1 and testing 90% of the braid out there. This is after getting caught up in the Samurai braid hype. It is far from being the strongest braid/diameter ratio despite it's 8 weave construction. I find 8lb fireline(fused dynamee) to be thinner and stronger than the so called 18lbs Samurai braid. Talk about over labeling a line.

Surprisingly, you can still weave a super slick and super thin 6-8lb fireline around 15lb mono leader and it will still hold. I can't do that with a mid knot. I've found new use for some old fireline that I put away thinking it was weak. It is actually pretty strong. Strength/diameter ratio is about the best out there. But this was only true for the 8lb fireline. I got KBS of 15-16lbs. The new fireline crystal doesn't test anywhere as good. The new kid on the block, fireline braid is actually very good. Very slick, very round, and very strong. I tested those in the 15,20, and 30lb test. And I've got enough bulk spools of braid to last generations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pametfisher,
...


What I got from testing those knots hundreds of time is confidence on the water. Every time I buy a line in bulk spool, I test them. And you wouldn't believe the variation. I've had newer 15lb Spiderwire Stealth breaking before older 10lbs Spiderwire Stealth in bulk spools. What I found out about 10 and 15 lbs is generally true with testing I've found elsewhere. The 15lb test is at best 2-3lb stronger than their 10lbs counterpart.

...




I hope that everyone takes the time to read this excellent post word for word. This echos what I see and is written in an interesting and compelling way. Thanks for sharing this with us. I hope we hear more from you.
 

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I hope that everyone takes the time to read this excellent post word for word. This echos what I see and is written in an interesting and compelling way. Thanks for sharing this with us. I hope we hear more from you.

The variation is from spool to spool and not from different part of the spool. If a 10lb spool breaks at 22lbs at the beginning of the spool, I can spool 300yds on to a reel and the remaining 800-1200 yds still break at around 22lbs. I have 4 bulk spools of 10lb Stealth and 3 of them break at 18-22 while the other one breaks at 15-18lbs. It doesn't matter if I remove 300yds from the 15-18lbs KBS spool. The remaining line still breaks around the same range. The same is true for the other three 18-22lbs KBS spools.

NEWER spool are not always better, actually worst in my case. I see this with Stren SB also. I also have 2 bulk spool of 15lb fireline braid. One is regular braid and one is tracer braid. The tracer braid is thinner(same thickness as 10lb suffix braid) but breaks about 20-22 lbs. The thicker regular fireline braid breaks about 23-25lbs.

And for the record, I find Suffix Performance Braid to be weaker than the other major brand when comparing strength/diameter.
 

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Randy Bassinga
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That powerpro 50 is one what we tested in the shop. 12kg with a bimini, 22kg when spliced into hollow, 22kg with the aussie plait

Roger
Have you done any tests on the plait yet? Also how are you finishing the bimini?
 

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I'm new to this site and find that there's some very good information here.

I've got a couple of thoughts I would like to interject. First as a background I'm in the calibration industry and have a very good understanding of the testing processes you guys are referencing and the pluses and minuses of each choice. As a fisherman I also understand the importance of knowing the limits of your equipment.

With that said; IMHO one thing that should always be stressed in any of these threads is that even with the best lines and leaders and choice of knots in the end a lot comes down to the quality of the knot you tie. A poorly tied knot is going to fail and you will lose a fish.

I have access to all kinds of tensile testers and have tested my choices in line, leaders and knot and my own skill. I understand what works for me and the way I fish. I strongly recommend that anyone who is serious about fishing learn to test their final set-up and understand what the limiting factors are. The information on this site is a great place to start and all of us should be thankful for the time and effort put into this information but it will not do you any good if your knots are tied poorly.

You testing set-up does not have to be very elaborate to get a general idea of how your rig will perform, in most cases after I rig up I test to 75% of what I expect and stop right there. This is a good way to stretch your leaders and set your knots and make sure there's nothing major wrong. it's also a good time to exercise your drags.

One more observation; PowerPro is in general a good line for the money, I use it for a lot of my fishing. But just like mentioned above I have had problems with their line. I buy in bulk spools and test a couple of samples from every spool and have noticed two problems. First some spools can have an extremely slippery coating on the line and will not hold a knot well. The second is you can get a bad spool that will break way short of the labeled test. Any time I've had a bad spool I have returned the spool directly to PowerPro and haven't had a problem getting it replaced. There are better lines for more money; you need to decide what works for your use and budget.

One last thing; several years ago I ran across a test of Bimini knots (if I can find a link I'll post it as a follow up); one of the conclusions of the test was that in most cases a 60 turn Bimini not only wasn't better than a 20 or 30 but in general tested worse. I do realize that this could just as well have been a reflection of the skills of the tester as the knot itself but it does illustrate the point of my post. It doesn't matter how good the product or method is if you use it wrong.

Thanks again for all of the great information on the site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That powerpro 50 is one what we tested in the shop. 12kg with a bimini, 22kg when spliced into hollow, 22kg with the aussie plait

Roger
Have you done any tests on the plait yet? Also how are you finishing the bimini?

I've made a few long APs but when I used a full load, the tension in the main line would release the tag braiding (the tag forms two of the three legs in a plait). If the tag would hold (I'm sure I could learn and do better), it would be a 100% knot.

I believe that if a knot or splice takes a lot of fussy concentration, it will be done poorly under pressure. For that reason, I favor simpler knots that can be made with accuracy:

Jansik (60% class)
Improved Clinch (60% class)
Palomar (in light lines) (60% class)
Single Loop-to-Loop (for leaders) (100% class)

Other knots:
P.R. (100% class)
SIG (100% class)
Bimini (100% class)
Mono/Fluoro to Braid Splice (100% class)

should be "manufactured" at home under ideal conditions.
 
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