once again, a great thread.
Specs on, spools, nippers, tongue out......
Hi again all.
Well, in light of our discussions regarding mono to braid connections I did my usual & consulted my local knot 'guru' Mr Geoff Wilson.
Most I would assume know of Geoff pretty well, but for those that have been living in Siberia for the past few years;
Geoff Wilson hails from Geelong, here in Victoria, & is considered Australia's formost authority on fishing knots, having written many books & made several DVDs demonstrating an enormous variety of them.He has been the 'go to' consultant for a greta many firms manufacturing lines intended for the fishing industry, both recreational & professional.
After quite a bit of backward/foreward discussion Geoff sent me over some of the findings he has had regarding strength of various knots/connections.
He has also asked that I post with it the following priviso;
The results he has listed are not compelte without also referring to the methodology of tying said knots as illustrated in his various publishings. Variations from his demonstrated methodology may produce differing results that may/may not vary considerably from those listed below.
So here's Geoff findings;
I purchased two spools of gelspun line from a local fishing tackle store for the tests I performed for this chapter. One was a fused line and labelled “Berkley Fireline” the other was a braided line labelled “New Spiderwire Stealth Camo Braid”. Both were marked 10 lbs and the diameter given for both was 0.20 millimetres.
The first knots I tested were the Double Uni Knot and the Albright, both commonly used by gelspun aficionados for joining lines and attaching leaders.
Tied to a nylon monofilament leader labelled “Stren High Impact Monofilament” 20 lb test and diameter 0.45 mm, the Albright, when tied in the Spiderwire sample broke at 3.9 kg (8.6 lbs) or 86% of the stated breaking strain.
Tested in 10 lb Berkley Fireline the Albright also failed at 3.9 kg or 86% of the line’s stated breaking strain. Completely satisfactory results for a 10 lb (4.5 kg) breaking strain line.
Double Uni Knot
Two lengths of each line were each tied together with a Double Uni Knot using seven turns on each side. The Spiderwire failed at 5.3 kg (11.7 lbs) or 117% of its stated breaking strain.
Tied in Berkley Fireline, the Double Uni Knot failed at 3.9 kg or 86% of the state breaking strain.
So once again, for a 10 lbs breaking strain line that is a great result, but as further test showed, neither of these lines are 10 lbs breaking strain.
Bimini Twist Double
First tying, then testing, a 50 turn Bimini Twist Double in both samples the Bimini remained intact as the line failed on the metal tube around which the line was wrapped in both cases. The Spiderwire failed at 8.8 kg (19.4 lbs) or 194% of the stated breaking strain and the Berkley Fireline failed at 9.7 kg (21.3 lbs) or 213% of the stated breaking strain. Remember, both of these lines were marked as 10 lbs.
Bimini Cat’s Paw Splice
I wound up the Biminis on each side of the Cat’s Paw Splice so that only the splice was tested, first on the Spiderwire which collapsed the metal tube at just over 12 kg (26.4 lbs) without breaking. Using a plastic tube I tested the Berkley Fireline to the same extent without it breaking, once again re-affirming the strength of this join.
Attaching Leader with a Bimini Plaited Splice
First tying a Bimini Double. Then plaiting that double with the 20lb leader material in both lines, the following results were achieved.
The Spiderwire broke above the Bimini at 8.8 kg (19.4 lbs) or 194% of thestated breaking strain. While the Fireline similarly broke on the plastic tube at 9.4 kg (20.7 lbs) or 207% of the line’s stated breaking strain, again re-affirming the strength of this join.
Attaching a monofilament leader with a Plaited Splice
It’s possible to plait either a nylon or fluorocarbon monofilament leader using a single strand of gelspun line as I have illustrated, and it produces a sound connection. My concerns are with folk who promote this connection on You Tube and the like, under different names, as a 100% join. It is not. I tied it in both the test lines and got the following results.
Attaching a leader of the 20 lb Stren monofilament that I mentioned earlier to the 10 lb Spiderwire, the Plaited Splice broke at 7.1 kg (15.6 lbs) or 156% of the Spiderwire’s stated breaking strain. Doing the same with the Fireline I got 5.0 kg (11 lbs) or 110%. Repeating the testgot almost the same result at 4.9 kg or 108%.
Joining two similar Gelspun Lines using a Plaited Splice
I’ve already mentioned a little rule that works very well when making a Plaited Double or Plaited Splice, either in monofilament or in gelspun, and that is to plait one inch for every 10 pounds breaking strain the line tests at.
My first plaits in both of the tested gelspun lines were about an inch or 25 mm, simply because they were both marked 10 lbs. And this would have remained perfectly fine had I not been testing these lines to destruction.
With disappointing results I extended the splices to just on two inches (which is correct for 20 lb line) and got the following results:
Two lengths of the Spiderwire joined with a two inch Plaited Splice (no double) then tested, failed at 8.0 kg (17.6 lbs), 176% while the same join in the Fireline failed at 7.9 kg (17.4 lbs), 174%.
It would seem from the above tests, and others I have done over the past sixteen years or so that I have had gelspun lines to test, that some suppliers of gelspun drastically understate the breaking strains of their lines; I guess to avoid conflict with good old boys who see no reason to learn new knots for new-fangled skinny lines.
On the other hand, learning to make sound connections that retain the additional strength possessed by at least some of these lines, puts a powerful tool for subduing large and powerful fish, in the hands of anglers seriously targeting large and powerful fish
Well there ya have it.
It appears that many braid manufacturers intentionally understate the breaking strain of their lines so that some of the 'good ol boys' wont suffer breakages & slag their products after tying tripple 'granny' knots & such.
What this means for us is that when they are tied correctly these lines are incredibly strong, far more so than you'd think.
As discussed with Geoff it appears to me that there are two basic ways of tying briad to mono;
The first involves what I refer to as 'capture' knots. These are knots such as the FG knot, & the 'Kaneit' knot (a modeified FG knot).
The basic idea of these is to use the braid to 'capture' & hold the mono line with a type of 'chinese finger trap' situation.
This is usually the preferred method as it will retain the greatest strength of join.
The second method is via the use of more conventional 'bight' knots (uni, blood, centauri, etc).
These rely of creating a series of bends or 'bights' in the line which basically, when stacked on top of each other prevent slippage of the knot. Just about all forms of 'bight' knots will weaken the line to some degree.
How much weakening of the knot is acceptable is a personal choice.
These knots are genreally more bulky than the 'capture' knots as 'capture' knots utilise surface area along the line to achive the desired friction to prevent them slipping as opposed to the 'bight' knots which rely on many changes of line direction with tight angles. As such the bulkier 'bight' knots are genrally not as easy to cast with. They are also less suitable in regard to game fishing as the weakening of the line strength is less desireable. However, 'bight' knots are usually simpler & easier to tie, hence their popularity.
So, after all that it appears the most secure join for any two lines is made via creating a double in each line, through use of either a bimini twist or plaiting, & then joining the two doubles via a 'catspaw' conection. However, that configuration may be undesirable in many applications due to it's complexity. Here the 'Fg' knot or 'Kaneit' knot will reign supreme as a way of joining braid to mono. However, again both knots take a great deal of practice & are still reletively complex to tie.
The double 'bight' knots such as the uni, centauri, blood, etc are far easier to tie but will result in weakening of the line & a bulkier join, but are reletively simple to tie.
This leaves us with the braid plait knot (as demonstrated in Geoff's book), the albright (or preferably an 'improved' allbright) & the slim beauty. The braid plait knot is strongest but the slim beauty will give the most streamlined knot for casting.
The albright is also a good knot but is marginally lower in breaking strain & is prone to the tag end fraying & slowing down the cast..
My pick for general tying of leader to braid line under most situations would be the slim beauty. Easy to tie, streamlined for good casting, & retains a reltively high knot strength. When tying mono to braid main lines (Ie when tying a braid 'top shot' onto a mono backing) I prefer to use either an improved albright knot or (prfereably) the braid splice knot as shown in Geoff's books. If joining two lines for 'game' fishing I would definitely use the bimini doubles/catspaw connection. I prefer the 'bimini' over the plaited double as it creates a neater double. However, based on personal experience I find the bimini is difficult to tie under situations where the boat wont play the game (ie. trolling in rough weather/waters). Under these circumstances I find the plaited double easier to tie.
Finally, I also like to use a little 'insurance' with my knots & often add a dob of 'UV knot sense' glue to the knot.
This is a glue that is specifically made for securing fishing knots & is cured (hardened) with about 5 seconds exposure to UV light (sunlight in most cases). When using it at night I have a UV torch I shine on the glue for about 5 sec's to set the glue.
'UV knot sense' will also not weaken lines the way superglue will.
Last edited by Bartnmax; 20th January 2011 at 09:14 AM.
Great work Bill,
Tell Geoff we all appreciate his efforts mate, there is some GREAT information there. I personally still don't think tying a bimini is worth it, but then again I change lures a lot and it takes to much effort to constantly retie leaders with it.
Anyway, thanks again mate!
"The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?" - Lee Wulff, famous American outdoorsman and sport fishing pioneer.
There has been similar discussions about this on a very high profile fly fishing forum lately where a lot of tests have been performed aswell and it seems that doubles such as Bimini twists and plaits are a thing of the past with most perfering a surgeons loop as a easier and just as strong method of creating doubles. Rod Harrison who helped design 'Bionoc Braid' (one of the dearest on the market) seems to have changed his attitude on doubles aswell in his latest writings after praising and tying plaits and twists since jesus was a boy. I personally find twists and plaits as overkill for light fishing and only use them on heavy reef/jigging/trolling type rigs. Going by Geoffs tests in Bill's post has just reconfirmed my feelings about the good old Double Uni Knot. Its easy to tie and has served me well for years and years and i doubt i'll change in the near future. Each to thier own and confidence in what works for you is important in any rig. I personally have snapped a 24kg jig stick on a large ray after been to lasy to re-tie a bimini and the Double Uni held up for about 2mins after the rod snapped which was a good example on how strong this knot is if tied correctly. Thanks for the info Bill most interesting.
Those fish better give thier souls to god, because thier ass is mine !....- Mel Krieger (RIP).
Its OK to eat fish, cause they dont have any feelings .... - Kurt Cobain (RIP)
Yeah I still believe both the bimini & palited doubles are very useful & relevent knots for today's game fishing.
The vast majority of serious game anglers still use either one or t'other when joining wind on leaders (via catspaw).
Definiately dont htink I'd be trusting a surgeon's knot when tussling with a fiesty kingfish, agro mako, or big tuna.
Both the bimini & plaited doubles will retain 100% of the lines breaking strain.
Whilst the surgeon's knot is a good un it's still only rated at 85%.
When tackling with these big fish I want every ounce of line strength I can get.
Fly fishing is a vastly different ball game altogether to salt water game fishing though.
I have a mate that has fly fished extensively in NZ & Tassie & he now uses the NZ method of attaching his leaders to main line.
This consists of threading a needle up the hollow main line to come out a few inches above the end. He then threads the leader up the centre of the main line with the needle & out the position where the needle exited.
The end of the mono tippet is then heated to create a 'ball' at the end & the braided main line is then worked back down the tippet until the ball is just sitting outside thre main line.Done.
Now many might (& do) doubt the integrity & strength of this join but it is used by a number of very prominant NZ fly fishing guides & they get some massive trout on it. My mate has used it for quite a number oif years now & has landed some very impressive fish with it. The other, more traditional knot used by fly fishers is the 'nail knot'.
For light line, fishing doubles such as the bimini & plaited double aren't necessary & are needlessly complicated for that use.
I personally prefer the slim beauty to the double uni knot when tying light (non fly) lines only for the fact that the double uni is bulkier & that can impact on casting when using really light lines/rods with small diameter guides
I also find the albright is a good knot for light lines & very easy to tie.
It just needs to be checked to ensure the tag end is not fraying too much when casting.
Then of course there's alsways the good ol' blood knot. Obviously to tie this one you need to double the braid but it is a very good knot. Not quite as strong as the uni but well & truly strong enough for the vast majority of light tackle fishing.
That Slim beauty will do me, I reckon. 1st attempt - success in about 15 mins (specs and magnifying glass.....hmmmm...message there..)
what a cracker of a little knot!
Looks sort of similar to a Bimini....
thanks to all!!!
I continue to learn new things!!
Im new to freshwater fishing.and i have been tying braid straight to the clips shown above. I also tried this with a tassie devil tied to mono, and it twisted the line bad. So i changed the clip to a swivel clip. am i doin everything wrong. Ive been in port hedland fishing there for the last two years and this is like a whole new board game.
Also i found an app for the i phone with a heap of fishing nots with easy to follow instructions, and they now have fully water sealed cases that can dive 6 metres under water.
Last edited by punja28; 31st January 2011 at 10:40 PM.
Last edited by Oddrod; 1st February 2011 at 09:34 AM.