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The Jammer
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I just read an incredible article in the latest Sport Fishing magazine written by Doug Olander who is one of the big dogs at Sport Fishing Mag. It had to do with breaking strength of all lines, both mono and spectra, but more importantly the strength of various popular knots when using spectra. By the way all of his tests were done on the IGFA machine in Dania Beach, Fl.

First regarding breaking strength I think everyone knows that the actual breaking strength vs. the posted strength of line is quite a bit higher. It always amazed me when a vendor would say "our 20# line is the strongest out there." Well to me 20# should be 20#. Anyway that's not the main point of this thread. The main point is: breaking strength of various knots using spectra: The conclusion that stood out the most is the 40-60 turn bimini. According to Olander these had a breaking strength of less than 50%. Actually 33% on a 60 turn bimini. Believe it or not a 12 turn bimini is infinitely better when using spectra. Also a 12 turn bimini on 30 pound mono gave a breaking strength of 101% vs only 70% on a 20 turn one. He also did test on other various types of knots: line to leader, line to swivel/tackle, splicing line to line.

Bottom line here are his conclusions as to what he will be using personally from now on:

DOUBLE LINE: 12 turn bimini- on mono and spectra

LINE TO LEADER: some variation of an albright, yucatan, no name, bristol with line doubled over, and wrapped 10 times. These knots are all similar depending upon which way you wrap (going up or going down) and where you put the tag end through.

LINE TO SWIVEL/TACKLE: line doubled and using a "2 times through" palomar knot

SPLICE LINE TO LINE: On spectra just don't. The common knots for this (uni to uni, blood, etc) don't break they just slide through at very low numbers.

WOW!! How many of us have 30 or 50 wides spooled with 3-500 yards of spectra and several hundred yards of mono top shot on top with the two joined together with a loop to loop using a 40 turn bimini on the spectra. Even if you used an albright to join your spectra to the top shot, you still have that 40 turn bimini in the spectra. And I think this is why a lot of people overline their spectra (100# spectra over 80# mono., etc.). But why do this if you can use 80# spectra (get more on your reel) and use knots that will break close to the rated number of the spectra.

REEL FOOD FOR THOUGHT-- READ THIS ARTICLE. IT WAS FASCINATING.

THE "RE-RIGGING" JAMMER
 

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The Jammer,

I've been pouring over that article all morning as well. Knot strength is a topic I'm very interested in. There are a couple of points that I think are discussion worthy before we take the results as fact:

1. When a bimini breaks in spectra 9 times out of ten it is at the first wrap of the knot.

2. One thing I wish would have been tested is the effects of a small drop of crazy glue or JB Adhesive 1 on the first few wraps of a bimini. I had a terrible time getting 50lb PP to test over 65% with an unglued bimini. With the glue, I've had no problems.

3. No 2 biminis are created equal. It would be interesting to see how tighly he wound them, and how long the knots were for each twist count. While everyone's bimini's pretty much look the same in mono, I've seen a fair bit of variation in spectra.

4. I could see a bimini with 12 wraps tightening down on itself over its whole length. I think this could creat a much stronger knot than a high wrap count, where the pressure is concentrated in the first few wraps (especially if they are very tight).

5. The solid to solid spectra splice knot results were flat out depressing.

6. Hopefully in the future someone will do those tests with hollow splices to both mono and solid spectra as well as with the Mid Knot, which I've begun to use lately with great success.

For another take on this topic, read what some Aussies have to say about it:

http://www.westernangler.com.au/default.asp?action=article&ID=87
 

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Say "when"
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Idea popped in my head

When joining spectra to spectra using the uni to uni.....what if you daubed a little Gorilla Glue on the whole knot....I'd like to see that slip.
 

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Jammer, I read that article last night and spent over two hours doing the 12 turn bimini and the yucantan connection. Excellent connection. There is no reason to do any other connection. I couldn't bust it. Not doing 25 turns on the bimini is a little faster and stronger.

Don't do a uni to uni with spectra. you will loose 50% knot strength. Look at the chart in the magazine. The bimini and yucatan joint is by the best and strongest.
 

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Thanks for the info! I'll have to go read it.

I have loaded my spectra bimimis with well over 50% of the breaking strength and they have held. Granted, this is with free weights. I will try the knot with less turns. I have put 60 pounds of leaded work out weights on my bimimis in the past and they have held (80 pound spectra). What was interesting, though, was how much the knot stretches under heavy load. I was shocked as I held up 60 pounds of weight with my thin spectra. This actually scared me. If fewer knots improve the distribution of the stress, then I could see how a 12 turn would work better.

Man, once again, here I am in front of the boards while people are actually fishing in calm seas. Can't wait to get onto big blue again!
 

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No fish in West Bay
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With all the rainly weather, I've been doing some knot tying practice/research trying to figure out which knots work best (for me) and just how to tie them to get the best results. Here's what my woefully un-scientific tests showed me:

Yucatan knot-when tied in braid (50lb Sufix braid) with 7 turns, it help to slip the swivel through the loop of the tag end. The knot slips a bit when wet and loaded close to breaking strength and the loop will cinch up around the base of the knot like Palomar. Very reliable and strong when tied this way.

Bimini twist-I seem to have better luck with a 12 turn than a 20 turn although they seem to break right at the first wrap about half the time when something finally gives. Maybe I just suck at tying them properly...

Reverse albright-super easy to tie and very reliable. 10-12 turns in braid and 5-7 turns in mono. I like to pass the tag end through the eye twice before twisting up the wraps. Hard to tie in anything over 50lb mono but 3-4 turns, well lubricated with saliva, has worked well for mono up to 100lb. Make sure to really seat the knot firmly.

I'd like to hear what other variations of knots you guys like.
 

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I use a spider hitch for my double line knot in 50 and 80 pound braid. Seems to work good.
Same thing reverse albright or uni to uni for joining to mono.
 

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Which knot is best?....

The correctly tied one. This is plain and simple.

Which line is best?...

Both mono and spectra are the best. Different applications make one superior over the other.

NOW, READ AND LEARN... The moving line cuts the stationary line.

It is that simple. Mono will saw through spectra, if the mono has a fish on and the spectra is just fishing. It works the same way in reverse.

Whatever is moving CUTS the standing line.

I KNOW that 50 lb mono with a king mackeral on has sliced 80 lb spectra like a butter knife.

SO, WHAT AM I SAYING?

Are you going to pull more than your drag is set for? You should not.

Use a knot that you are comfortable tying.

Keep out of tangles.

GOOD LUCK FISHING!!!
 

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Iusedtofish
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We did some Testing over at Txseadogs today and with the 12 turn bimini with 65lb powerpro we only got about 40-45lbs before breaking. Same knot with 8 turn yucatan to 50lb flouro it broke at 35lbs.. I dont think I will be putting that much pressure on the fish, but I was hoping to find that our biminis had a better breaking strength. we also tried the aussie plait and it didnt fare as well as the bimini.. Great article though..
 

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Crabby Old Man
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Bret said:
We did some Testing over at Txseadogs today and with the 12 turn bimini with 65lb powerpro we only got about 40-45lbs before breaking. Same knot with 8 turn yucatan to 50lb flouro it broke at 35lbs.. I dont think I will be putting that much pressure on the fish, but I was hoping to find that our biminis had a better breaking strength. we also tried the aussie plait and it didnt fare as well as the bimini.. Great article though..
Bret,
Did you try a drop of thinned super glue on any knots?
 

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Iusedtofish
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Snagged said:
Bret,
Did you try a drop of thinned super glue on any knots?
Jerry, no we didint try any superglue.. we were taking turns tying different knots and seem to have the same result. the spectra would break at the first turn.
 

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There is one knot that is a 100% knot and it's been discussed here before. It's the Tony Pena Lemire Modified knot. I've tested it many times on scales and it holds at 100% breaking strength. I've actually had it overtest due to the fact the the mono I was using wasn't IFGA certified. Most mono lines overtest.

Do a 2Cool search on Tony Pena.

Or, check out this link -

http://www.2coolfishing.com/ttmbforum/showthread.php?t=56840&highlight=Tony+Pena

Later,

LJ93
 

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I used to use the tony pena knot

almost exclusively. and in most applications it works beautifully and slides right through the guides without problems. However twice, knots that held under gradual increases in pressure up 18 lb of drag (on 65 lb spectra) fail misserably when the pressure came on suddenly (i.e. during the drop). There something about the dynamics of jolting shock that brings out the worst in spectra fishing lines.

-CP
 

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I tied a 14 turn bimimi in 50 pound and it slipped--the loop was pulled smaller. Kind of weird. I have never had that happen before. I then did a 7 turn surgeons loop with 50 pound and I broke the line and not the knot. I am going to just tie 6-7 turn surgeon loops with spectra. It has always worked well for me the few times I have used it.
 

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Hey Scott- I agree on the surgeon. All of my testing and otw experience shows that, for me, it holds up and is really simple to tie anywhere, even at 2:30 a.m. on a pitching/rolling boat!
 

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Bret said:
We did some Testing over at Txseadogs today and with the 12 turn bimini with 65lb powerpro we only got about 40-45lbs before breaking. Same knot with 8 turn yucatan to 50lb flouro it broke at 35lbs.. I dont think I will be putting that much pressure on the fish, but I was hoping to find that our biminis had a better breaking strength. we also tried the aussie plait and it didnt fare as well as the bimini.. Great article though..
I did some more testing tonight with some green 50# Power Pro and seems like my results were the extact opposite of the Sport Fishing tests. Here is the summary of hooking the loop in the spectra on my drag scale and applying slow pressure:

12 turn - 5 tests, avg 20, min 15, max 33 -- tends to slip if not tied tightly
20 turn - 10 tests, avg 24, min 18, max 35 -- more consistent than the 12 turn
50 turn - 10 tests, avg 44, min 35, max 48 -- IMO, still the winner by a large margin.

Couple of interesting observations:
  • I noticed the pictures in the article were of white spectra but I used green for my tests -- not sure if this would make a big difference.
  • The actual breaking strength of my line appeared to be about 48# (not sure how accurate the 50# Shimano scale is with that much weight).
I think the one thing we can all take away from this is to use a knot that you have confidence in and can tie well.
 

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Tied both 12 and 40 turn in 50 and 65 lb jerry brown. Have now tied and broken 5 in a row with minimal glove pressure in the middle of the knot with both spectra weights with the 12 turn. I also experienced the slipping of the 12 turn and found that when tying it tight it still broke under the same load just without slipping. I found out with the 40 turn when it wraps concentrically(cylinder type wraps) around the inner wrap it failed under about the same pressure with 50 or 65 lb but when the wrap went around an internal worrel(think DNA helix twist inside) I could not break the 65 with a straight pull. Still collecting more data points but I will continue tying my 40 turns that I have not had problems with making sure they show the helix and then adding pliobond after the are tightened down.
 
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