Spinning Reel Wind-On Issues

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by pametfisher, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    (This question/comment from a very successful tuna Charter Captain) ... We are using wind ons which we make and they are definitely nicer than knots, and better for the rods because the guide rings aren't getting knocked out like they do with knots. BUT, we've lost several fish to serving slip. After casting all day, the serving will get beat just like a knot does, seeming to work themselves loose after several hours of casting non stop. It slides slightly on the leader. Yes they are glued. When it slides, the motion of the leader through the guides opens up the braid and causes the leader to slip. Hookup, 30 seconds later the braid to the serving comes back with no leader. Bye bye fish. These serving issues are getting annoying. I guess what I am saying is I wouldn't trust the serve to last under load during a long day. [For what they cost] my advice would be, change them out fairly often.

    In my quest for a knot-less line system, I've learned that the demands on Wind-on Leaders for casting on Spinning Reels are much different than wind-on leaders for trolling or jigging. One of the biggest differences is the speed with which the Serves pass through the guides. (The speed also puts even more wear and tear on knots when casting, especially when you're going for distance.)

    The original Wind-On leaders and Topshots were developed so that there wasn't a loose pile of leader on deck during the end-game of landing a large fish--the idea was basic, allow the connection to be wound onto a conventional reel.

    In a spin-casting application, the Served connection can be brought in an out of the guides hundreds of times a day. And during the casting phase, for a 90 yard cast, the theoretical minimum speed through the guides is 65 mph. Realistically, in order to throw a lure 90 yards, I guess the initial speed needs to be 85 mph or greater to account for a non-perfect launch angle, air and reel friction and the weight of line being pulled off the reel.

    So I don't disagree, leaders should be inspected periodically and replaced as needed. And the Serve and Splice of a wind-on casting leader must be done very well. If done well, there will be less damage than with knots--and you get better casting distance, guide wear and tear, and strength. With well made Serves (see: http://www.360tuna.com/forum/f3/hollow-spectra-iii-commercial-windon-leaders-5187/) they will last for a day of casting and more than one large fish.
     
  2. Basil

    Basil Site Sponsor

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    The answer may ultimately be to make a casting wind-on where the mono or fluoro length is so short that the serve always end up just beyond the rod tip. If your rod is 8', maybe even consider running straight spectra right to the popper and make the rod and your drag do the work. Gasp :)

    I made some special-order wind-ons with just a 12" insert and the angler (accomplished angler) reported the leader was still too stiff and he was losing casting distance.
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    The answer may ultimately be to make a casting wind-on where the mono or fluoro length is so short that the serve always end up just beyond the rod tip. If your rod is 8', maybe even consider running straight spectra right to the popper and make the rod and your drag do the work. Gasp :)

    Funny! Yesterday before heading out for my 10th or so trip this year, I decided to check the leader that I landed my last fish on. I had used it once for one big fish and had cast it for about 2 hours before hooking up. It was an 80# leader. I was surprised to see wear, not only near the swivel, but also where the tail contacts the leader, after a 35 minute fight.

    Over on RT, there is a post about a guy who used a short leader and after landing a fish found that the braid had thinned where the tail contacted it.

    So for those reasons, I think leaders should be a few feet longer than the targeted fish. And now I am replacing my leaders after every trip or every BFT.

    I made some special-order wind-ons with just a 12" insert and the angler (accomplished angler) reported the leader was still too stiff and he was losing casting distance.

    I'm working with a Serve that is only an inch long and a 12" splice. It seems supple and casts well.
     
  4. Albiemanmike

    Albiemanmike Senior Member

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    PFisher,
    I have had some issues with the serves as well. The rest of the splice seems to be holding up very well but the serves which I created using Pliobond as the bonding agent are unraveling due to constant guide wear. So I decided to try some Aquaseal instead of the Pliobond and I think I have a winner. I don't have any on water testing of the new serves just yet but I made up a bunch of new windons with JB 80 to 100 lb. mono. I used the Aquaseal to coat the serves and it cured to an almost bullet proof and slick seal. I have a flyrod that I setup last year using Aquaseal to coat the whole length of the hollow core braided mono I used and I have fished this setup for smaller fish ever since and it has held up awesome. I think the Aquaseal is the answer to the serve problem and I think you should give it some testing. It is a bit difficult to work with as it is thick and sticky but if you use some rubbing alcohol to smooth it after application you can get the coating very thin and streamlined. This stuff is indestructable and very flexible and I feel like it may be the solution.
     
  5. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    30
    PFisher,
    I have had some issues with the serves as well. The rest of the splice seems to be holding up very well but the serves which I created using Pliobond as the bonding agent are unraveling due to constant guide wear. So I decided to try some Aquaseal instead of the Pliobond and I think I have a winner. I don't have any on water testing of the new serves just yet but I made up a bunch of new windons with JB 80 to 100 lb. mono. I used the Aquaseal to coat the serves and it cured to an almost bullet proof and slick seal. I have a flyrod that I setup last year using Aquaseal to coat the whole length of the hollow core braided mono I used and I have fished this setup for smaller fish ever since and it has held up awesome. I think the Aquaseal is the answer to the serve problem and I think you should give it some testing. It is a bit difficult to work with as it is thick and sticky but if you use some rubbing alcohol to smooth it after application you can get the coating very thin and streamlined. This stuff is indestructable and very flexible and I feel like it may be the solution.

    You really sound like you're doing well with your design.

    The key to a truly great leader like BHP Tackle produces is to make a Serve that will carry 100% of the load for 20 or so load cycles. The way that I test these things is to hook the leader end-loop onto a test weight, say 80 lbs. for an 80 lb. leader (wear safety glasses and leather gloves). Take the leader a few inches above the serve and wind the clear mono 6 times around a short piece of smooth broomstick or pvc pipe. Use the broomstick handle to lift the weight (slowly) from the floor and back down (slowly). See how many times it takes to stretch the Serve apart. (The best ones never stretch apart. I am also able to do this with a custom glueless design that is in testing.)

    Then, once you can satisfy yourself on the weight lifting test, find someone to cast it for several hours in a setup where your casting distance is at least 80 yards as measured on the ground. The reason I suggest the 80 yards is that the line velocity through the guides will probably be over 80 mph if you achieve that distance.

    Then test the load carrying ability of the Serve once more. Then, connect the leader to your rod and reel and reel the Serve back in across the guides under 30 lbs. or so of drag, 3-4 times to see what happens. If the Serve fails then, you lose your fish. So far, my experience is that it is easy to make a very strong windon leader, but hard to make a strong one that will take the abuse of casting, fish load cycling, and passing through the guides at full load a few times. (Don't fish this leader. ;) )

    What I just described is somewhat extreme but I want a leader design that will take abuse and then let you lock down on a fish during the end-game.

    As an alternative to the above, keep an eye on the Serve during use. Once it starts to come apart, replace it. Also, measure the length of the Splice insertion accurately and recheck it every hour of casting. As long as the Splice insertion length is unchanged and the Serve wrapping is tight, your leader will most likely perform as designed.

    PF

    P.S. I have tested the length of splice needed. A 1/2" splice (inside out section) followed by 1/2" (inside splice) will slip at full load. A 1" followed by 1" will hold. I now use 3" (inside out) followed by 3" (inside). On the 3x3, over 90% of the load is carried by the first splice, as measured in the photo below. (I will probably make a full post of this at some point.)
     

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