What’s the top hollow to mono topshot technique?

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by ReelMe, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Looking into making my own topshots finally, yes I know!!! Just been buying them or making my own windons with solid to flouro with an FG. Now I’m getting into the canyon game and need a lot of Long topshots so it makes more sense to make them myself.

    100lb and 130lb Diamond gen3 hollow backing. 100lb mono topshot.

    looking for info on good tested techniques and tutorials, and products. Researched but haven’t found very much really.

    makaira 30s and 50s for trolling the canyons for YFT, etc...

    there is a lot of different techniques and a lot of older info out there but not seeing anything fairly recent or consistent. Some use tension, some do not, some use light line/floss, some do not, some say certain mono isn’t good, etc...
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  2. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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  3. Dobhar-Chu

    Dobhar-Chu Active Member

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    For me, the best hollow to mono or fluoro connection depends upon where and when i'm making the connection... Before the fishing trip, while in my tackle room... I will thread the mono or fluoro inside the hollow spectra and use a Sato crimp and a small touch of glue... So thats my starting point. If the topshot gets sharked and needs replacement on the spot I will tie an FG knot. A BB swivel offers rapid mono/fluoro connectivity if you get sharked or barracuda whacked, but i prefer not to use the swivels. I cant see the swivels being cranked in all that well any longer and I have "Popped" and cracked guide tip inserts frequently... The FG knot will slide through the guides just fine... A Sato crimp will slide through guides just fine... The RP know is a bit to big for over 60 lb test for the guides i use

    D-C
     
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  4. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Thanks for the response. I looked into it some and it’s very interesting. I think I am going to stay away from crimping for now but I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks
     
  5. jig boat

    jig boat Active Member

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  6. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Thanks, that looks pretty good.
     
  7. Kim

    Kim Senior Member

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    The method of connecting your top shot in the end will depend on what you prefer. I use loop to loop connections on all of my set ups, bottom rods, jigging rods, stick/popping rods and my trolling gear.

    For the trolling set ups I make bigger loops so I can pass the spool that the top shot is wound on can pass through it. For the rest of my set ups the loops are smaller. Bottom and jigging set up wind on leaders are 20 - 25', Popping, live bait and stick bait set ups are made for each particular rod so that the LL connection a little past my casting finger.

    Search the forum library for posts from 2007 - 2013 and you will find a wealth of posts about knots, braid testing and leaders of all kinds.
     
  8. Gorge

    Gorge Junior member

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    If you are talking about 150 - 200 yards of mono on top of the hollow backing, a lot of the NC trolling guys make a long bimini twist in the braid and then tie the mono on with a favorite knot like no-name, albright, nail...
     
  9. redgarvey

    redgarvey Member

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    CHIRRP CHIRRP CHIRRP CHIRRP CHIRRP CHIRRP CHIRRP CHIRRP
     
  10. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    I’m asking about MAKING topshots, not connecting them. Looking for
    Info on the best ways to MAKE topshots. thanks
     
  11. Dobhar-Chu

    Dobhar-Chu Active Member

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    I used to make my own topshots for 80/100/130/150/200lb line and I used the Sato crimping kit instructions to make topshots... and all hollow spectra connections for that matter. I am getting too blind, shaky, and impatient to make them new any longer and the older I get the better Basil gets... BHP Tackle is very competitive and offers lots of options. Once you get a topshot made you can easily "Rethread it" without all the hassle of opening up virgin hollowcore with your needle or wire.... If you don't want to use a crimp you can serve it with 30 lb solid spectra but that takes a lot longer....

    BHP Tackle - Wind-On Leaders - Topshots - Fluorocarbon Wind-On Leaders - Hollow Spectra

    Teach a ten year old to do it and pay them 10 bucks a piece....

    D-C
     
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  12. jimmyc

    jimmyc Active Member

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    I make my own wind-ons and topshots, usually making a bunch before my long range trips out of San Diego.
    I was lucky enough to chat with Basil at BHP and he graciously shared some of his knowledge with me. The rest I've arrived at through trial and error. If I'm not making my own, I buy Basil's.
    I use Seaguar Blue and JB Hollow for wind-ons, and, Softsteel Ultra Premium mono and JB Hollow for topshots. The procedure is the same. I like the Softsteel because it's low visibility, low memory and very consistent. I can also order it in shorter lengths, usually 25, 55, or 110 yds, and it comes with a handy mini spool.
    The process goes something like this:
    -Match line weights as best as possible
    -I start with about an 8 foot length of hollow and Splice an end loop in the hollow. I use 8 ft so I end up with a 4 foot double walled insertion.
    -I make sure to cut the mono at an angle and sand off the edges.
    -After insertion, I set up the connection under tension for serving. I have bench mounted my Bees Knees tensioner loaded with a very large diameter empty spool wrapped in tape. The large diameter reduces the risk of line kink and allows me to wrap the line a few times without crossing on itself. The loop end of the topshot is hooked to a spring scale mounted to the wall of my garage. The line ends up parallel to the benchtop and at the right height for my serving jig.
    -I'll turn the Bees Knees until I get the amount of tension I want, and lock it down. I've played around with different percentages of the intended final drag, and am happy using around 60-75%. It's important to serve the connection while the diameter of the mono is reduced to prevent future slip from cyclic loading.
    -I'll make the serving using a Beiter steel winder, 50-60lb solid spectra under decent pressure, and finish with a Rizzuto style whip using a needle to pull it through. This video approximates what I do but errs in not applying any preload to the connection or the winder in my opinion.
    -After serving, I apply Tac glue and Pliobond as insurance.
    -Using a Sharpie, I mark the mono at the insertion point so I can identify slip.
    -The last step is to remove all tension and milk the hollow back up the line to remove any wrinkles that may have developed.

    This is how I've done it and had some success. I haven't yet lost a fish due to the construction of one of my wind-ons or topshots. Plenty of other reasons, but not that.

    Hope this helps.
    -Jimmy
     
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  13. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Thanks for the detailed info. Much appreciated.
     
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  14. redgarvey

    redgarvey Member

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    Like JimmyC say the key to the final step of a serving is a good stretch or pre-load to the mono .

    If you don't have a MasterBeiter bowstring winder with 30-40# line you can finish off with half hitches just keep all the serving on the braid end, none on or touching the mono.

    4' Folded over piece of 30or40# solid leader wire makes easier end loops then needle
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
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  15. Kim

    Kim Senior Member

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    I have been making my own wind on leaders for about the last ten years and haven't had one fail due to wind on construction after the trial and error portion of the learning curve. Important to do the serving with the leader under tension so it doesn't slip (I tension 25% of the line rating up to # on lines over #100). Marking the insertion point with a sharpie will give you a visual indicator in case of slippage. I use a simple fly tying serving tool, for heavier lines I use a weighted spool for more tension. I cut the insertion end straight and round it off with an emery board (during the trial and error period I found that the angled cut on the insert end would poke through the braid wall after heavy loads).

    A lot of people would rather just buy them which is a lot easier than making them yourself but... when you make your own and load test them to failure you will find how well your leaders are made as well as what you need to improve on in the process. I have tested every leader # that I use to failure until I was confident that I got it done right and knew what to expect from them performance wise.

    The hardest part is going to be finding the right method to use for tensioning the leader for serving. I started out with using my fence and trees in the back yard and finally evolved to a ratcheting system to tension the leaders. Wrapping about 30 turns around the spool and masking taping the spool end on the ratcheting drum, just have to be careful not to twist the leader line while tensioning. I modified an old boat winch and bolted it down for my tensioner.
     
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  16. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Does anyone have any info on what methods are better or worse than other methods? There are quite a few ways to make topshots. I’m seeing all the same things as before I posted this. I’m looking to decide which method to go with and have good reasoning as to why, so I am confident with that decision.

    thanks
     
  17. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Here is a method a friend sent me. Looks very simple and easy.

     
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  18. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Also trying to understand why some people use tension and say it’s the most important part, and some people don’t use any tension. I understand the reasoning for those that do require tension in their methods, but what about methods like the one I posted and others?
     
  19. Dobhar-Chu

    Dobhar-Chu Active Member

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    Good morning Reel Me

    There are several methods to making a topshot as you can see. I prefer the Sato crimp to the "Serve" method although I will do both methods. The serve method requires the line inside the hollowcore to be stretched to its "Fish fighting diameter"... When a load is placed on mono (Or fluoro to a lesser degree) the line stretches and the diameter decreases. If you served the Topshot without the line stretched the diameter of the line will decrease as the tension on the line increases (Fish on) and "POOF"... just like that the line can slide out of the hollowcore. Although I use crimps mostly, I always use glue. when I put the glue on,67 I too apply about 30% of the line weight rating before and during the gluing process. I want the glue to "Set" in the position it will be in under the loading of a fish...

    Hope that helps... Half the fun is trying the processes then testing your results. I use my line winder bench set up to apply the tension... be creative and you make what fits in your area....

    D-C
     
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  20. jimmyc

    jimmyc Active Member

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    Lots of good info here and fundamentally similar I'd say. They all come down to an insertion length and anti-slip mechanism.

    I've made many samples and test them up to fighting drag for at least 100 load/unload cycles with varying jerks and tugs to simulate runs and head shakes. I'd then check for slip. Through trial and error, I arrived at preload numbers and a serve technique that work for my intended drag.

    I suggest you do the same. It's very therapeutic :)

    Just like knots, you're bound to arrive at something that you do best and works for you.

    If all else fails, buy some from Basil!
     
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