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Knots

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1226
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So I have a question for all of you who tie your own leaders. My knots degrade over time even if they never see the water. I tied a few knots and tested their strength with a machine. I left the knots alone for a week and the breaking point was incredibly low. Any thoughts?

Posted on: 11/3 21:41


Re: Knots

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2010/8/4 11:18
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What knots are you using? I usually 're tie the last section and sometimes the last two sections of my leader before i fish.

Posted on: 11/3 22:34


Re: Knots

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2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
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I tested a double surgeons, triple surgeons and blood knots. They all had similar results regardless of tippet strength and knot. I normally rebuild my leader the night before I go out but it got me wondering about people who tie their own leaders. I just never realized how much strength was lost over time just sitting there.

Posted on: 11/3 22:46


Re: Knots

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What material are using? Also do you lubricate the knots when tying? That's all the variables I could think of in said equation.

On my 5wt, I've used the same basic leader, except replacing the lower sections and switching tippet, for the last three (I think) years (using it ~50 days/year).

Posted on: 11/3 22:50
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Re: Knots

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2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
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I'm using Orvis tippet material and lubricating the knots. The knots are holding around 75% of the rated line strength without breaking when first tied. A week later they barely hold 25%.

Posted on: 11/3 23:07


Re: Knots

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2010/8/4 11:18
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I don't have any equipment to test knot strength but I've never had a problem with my leaders breaking. I use blood knots on my leaders.

Posted on: 11/4 5:24


Re: Knots

Joined:
2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 318
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i had a similar experience with Berkeley vanish. I was having way to many break offs at the knot. Switched to trilene and the difference was eye popping. I threw away the vanish. I would toss the orvis stuff.

Posted on: 11/4 5:39


Re: Knots

Joined:
2006/9/9 8:53
From York
Posts: 79
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I don’t have anything to test knots other than just pulling on them. I haven’t had any problems with fish breaking them. Landed some pretty hefty smallmouth last month with leaders I built about six months ago with no issues.

Posted on: 11/4 7:10


Re: Knots

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1226
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What's interesting is the tippet material is still holding close to it's breaking point. Something is causing the knot strength to deteriorate over time, I have no idea what. I am going to pick up some other lines and see what happens.

Posted on: 11/4 11:15


Re: Knots

Joined:
2006/9/13 18:28
From chester ct
Posts: 250
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Yow rya

What an observation! I'll be really interested in seeing where this takes us.

I've known about 2 phenomena on poorly retained knot strengths: 1) when mixing brands/models of tippet, with use, a stiffer, thinner tippet can cut into the knot of the heavier, softer mono. This can influence your thinking of which is the better, stronger brand when you examine the clean cut of the thicker stuff. 2) especially after a winter layoff, knots are often really weak, and I've attributed this to the cycles of polymer swelling and shrinking from water absorption and drying out.

Posted on: 11/4 11:38
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Re: Knots

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2014/8/2 20:20
From Mechanicsburg
Posts: 428
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I've tied my own leaders for years, and usually get a few months out of a leader before I rebuild the whole thing from scratch, and have never run into this. Are you storing your reels/leaders/spools of material somewhere where they are subject to a lot of heat or UV (like in the car on hot days etc)?

Fwiw, I use Maxima Ultragreen for the butt sections, Orvis SS nylon for 0x & 2x, then Trouthunter nylon or fluoro for tippet.

Posted on: 11/4 13:55


Re: Knots

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1226
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I think you might be on to something there with the swelling not just from water but also from heating and cooling. I never really thought about the knot swelling causing damage but I'm sure it must right?

The thing I've already come away with is I need to change out my knots more often at the thicker ends of my leader. Just because my 1x-2x connection isn't breaking when tied down to 5x doesn't mean that 1x-2x hasnt been seriously weakened. That could cost me a big fish at some point especially if I cut back my leader some to throw a streamer.

Posted on: 11/4 13:58


Re: Knots

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1226
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Quote:

SteveG wrote:
I've tied my own leaders for years, and usually get a few months out of a leader before I rebuild the whole thing from scratch, and have never run into this. Are you storing your reels/leaders/spools of material somewhere where they are subject to a lot of heat or UV (like in the car on hot days etc)?

Fwiw, I use Maxima Ultragreen for the butt sections, Orvis SS nylon for 0x & 2x, then Trouthunter nylon or fluoro for tippet.


No, its stored in my home. The tippet material has no problem holding up to the strength tests. It's only the knots that begin to lose strength even though they are not in use. I'm going to purchase some different lines and see what happens. I don't see how it could be a line issue when that holds up just fine without a knot in it.

Posted on: 11/4 14:03


Re: Knots
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2140
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While I've never measured the breaking strength, I have always noticed that my tippet knot and knots on each section are sometimes very weak when I check them after putting my rod away between trips.

Some interesting theories above as to why this happens. I have no idea.

I always test my knots and retie, if necessary when I rig up first thing on a fishing trip.

Also, while fishing I test all my knots, including my knot to the fly, for weakness and retie them them often when they weaken.

Posted on: 11/4 15:54


Re: Knots

Joined:
2009/11/5 1:46
Posts: 228
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Out of curiosity, have you tested the knots after soaking them? It may be that simply drying out may cause enough shrinkage to loosen them.

Posted on: 11/5 21:51
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