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Silas

Ever Knew A Knot Would Fail, And Yet You Fished It?

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Yesterday I went for lunch at Bass Pro and also bought a few RC crankbaits. One was the .05 model and I was eager to try it out today.

I had been catching bass the last 2 weeks on an RC 1.5 DD, and this morning caught 10 bass pretty quickly. I had re-tied that knot yesterday with one of those fancy flouro knots. It held well and I had to pull it off of logs snags twice.

I had a Rage Tail Baby crawfish on the other set up, and wanted to try the small .05 crank, so I cut off the craw and quickly did a quick, slipshod Palomar knot. I was just going to cast it for a few minutes to see how it ran.

About the 3rd cast, while I was feeling really good about how well it cast with my Dobyns finesse Champion Extreme rod and a Curado 50E, I felt what was a hang up on the log that I knew was submerged, so I hesitated for a moment so I wouldn't dig the hooks in, but the line began to move to the side. I set the hook, and the battle began.

I knew it was the largest fish this morning....I could just barely turn him before he went into the lilies. He surfaced for a moment, and I figure he was about 5 lbs. All of the fish I have been catching lately have not topped 3 lbs, so I was really excited.

He ran once again for the shallow lilies and in checking him, the line went slack....I thought I had snapped the 12# Yozuri Hybrid. But NO, I could see where the KNOT came undone....curled perfectly at the end.

There went my big bass and my rare crankbait at the same time. From now on.....I will be very focused when I tie my knots!

Ever had your knot come undone and you KNEW it wasn't tied right in the first place?

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"If it ain't PERFECT, it ain't good enough!"

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I like you, have tied some half-ash knots just to throw a bait or see how something would run. (Overhand knot a few times)

However, I have not had the unlucky misfortune of actually hooking a fish, and losing it and a lure.

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No. It teally takes no extra time to do it right.

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I hate it when that happens. It always happens to me (not often) when I feel it in my gut that the knot just doesn't look or feel right and I cast it anyway. The knot slips with a fish 100% of the time.

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"If it ain't PERFECT, it ain't good enough!"

X2^ Even if I'm "only testing" a lure, I make sure the knot is perfect. Ya never know when a hungry fish is lurking nearby.

Tmo

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i had a few mishaps w/ the palomar knot when i switched to fluoro leaders. yes i 'knew' i need to do some research to find a better knot b/c of the failures. i found a new knot and practiced it over and over in front of the t.v. till i got it perfect (no line burn/kinks, study which way the line wanted to 'fold' at each turn, test its break strength). ended up with the san diago jam knot which has never failed (love the way it cinches while pushing up the line vs against the knot/eye).

pick a new knot and tie it 100+ times...testing its break strength will build confidence. when on the water you will 'know' if something went wrong. you will 'know' before a knot failure happens but more importantly note a 100% brain failure for going thru with it anyhow.

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Have very rarely had knots come undone, but has happened.

For worm hooks I tie a snell, for lures or jigs I'll either tie a palomar with plenty of saliva, a double palomar, or a clinch knot.

I always do the pull test, usually several times before I snip the tag end and begin fishing.

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I always do the pull test, usually several times before I snip the tag end and begin fishing.

x2. i've read many comments online about only pulling ur knot snug ONCE. i've yet to meet a fish that only pulled once.

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So, tomorrow, I'm going to RE-TIE ALL my baits on my combos. I'm trying to make it a practice to re-tie each lure after EACH fishing trip. I usually would go on 2 or 3 trips before I did it.

But you have to understand: a TRIP for me is down the hill to my boat in the water.....fire up the motor, go about 2 miles, start fishing and fish for about 2 hours, then come in.

But.....I hang a few snags on these outings on most combos so I guess I should do it RIGHT the first time!!

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So, tomorrow, I'm going to RE-TIE ALL my baits on my combos. I'm trying to make it a practice to re-tie each lure after EACH fishing trip. I usually would go on 2 or 3 trips before I did it.

But you have to understand: a TRIP for me is down the hill to my boat in the water.....fire up the motor, go about 2 miles, start fishing and fish for about 2 hours, then come in.

But.....I hang a few snags on these outings on most combos so I guess I should do it RIGHT the first time!!

Sounds good, Silas! Your trips sound a lot easier than mine, LOL. Practice the knots, double, triple, quad check them on the water, use plenty of spit and you *should* be good to go.

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I'm constantly checking my line and giving my knots the pull test. I hate losing a big fish, especially to something I could have easily prevented. No chance I'd put a bait in the water with a knot that I thought might not be good.

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Tying a knot should be second nature requiring no thought at all, if it doesn't look right do it over. I don't care what "fishing knot" is used, they should all hold without issue if tied correctly, nothing is more important than the knot. I inspect my knots before each outing, if they don't look good or the line is a bit frayed near the knot, I retie. My knots seem to last a good while without the need to retie. Catching 20-30# saltwater fish on 15 or 20# braided line is pretty common, knots and lines when healthy do don't fail.

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HUGE Disappointment

David Hayes caught the World Record smallmouth bass in 1955 on Dale Hollow Lake.

Some believe the next World Record will be found on the Tennessee River:

http://www.bassresou...uth_record.html

Almost exactly four years ago, November 2004, my fishing partner and best friend,

Speedy Madewell, boated a 10 lb beauty. I netted the fish and weighed it, he released

the monster! Since that time we have had some luck with other big bass, including the

bronzebacks in my avatar (January, 2005).

Last Saturday Speedy and I fished the river with limited success: an assortment of species

including largemouth, smallmouth, Kentucky bass, striper, cats and drum. We may have

caught forty fish or so, but no size and most importantly, no browns of note. Around 11:00

things changed.

With poor results off either bank and limited water release by the TVA, we moved to the

"middle of the river". Actually, we decided to fish along the river channel, defined by

navigational buoys. The drop is well defined, but relatively small, only 3-5' in 15-25' water.

Still,this represents significant structure for fish in open water.

After landing a few nondescript fish, I got a nice strike drifting along the ridge.

I set the hook hard and didn't budge the fish. However, there was very little fight

and I saw another drum in my future. After 10-15 yards of retrieve, the drum dove

and turned into a big catfish, just digging to the bottom, but no run. As I brought the

fish closer to the boat, Speedy asked, "Gonna need the net?" Without any emotion

I replied, "Yeah, it's big and ugly."

Speedy runs the trolling motor on the forward platform of a BayRanger 2180,

center console. So, with the net on the floor opposite me, it takes

a minute to get set up. With little current, we let the boat drift.

This time of year the water clarity on the Tennessee is about 3, maybe 4 feet.

As my partner came over to my side he asked, "What's ya got?" I replied, in a

steady voice and without inflection, "The biggest f***ing smallmouth I have ever seen."

The fish appeared to be a Trident submarine as it rose toward the surface so both of

us could get a good look at her, but then she bolted. She initially ran about 15 yards

forward, then after a 90 degree turn, another 20 yards toward the middle of the river.

My situation was precarious. I'm in the middle of the boat and have to hustle to get to

the front, around and over the trolling motor while at the same time maintaining rod

position with a sizzling drag. I was starting to have some fun!

The pig came up, but did not jump. I got her turned around, but she had already decided

she didn't like the Ranger. When she was halfway back, she bolted again, but this time

dove deep. It took a few minutes to get her a little closer.

Most smallmouth, especially biggun's, tend to fight the best on the first run after a close

encounter with the boat, but even later, they never give up. This fine lady staged at rod

length, tugged mightily and would not come up. I asked my buddy what he thought

I should do? He responded, "Doesn't matter. That fish ain't ready and she's going

to do anything she wants!"

Well, I've caught a few big fish and I was in no hurry. My rod appeared parabolic with the line

straight down into the river. I said to my friend, "This is when you have to believe in your equipment."

And then.......the line snapped.

stupid, Stupid, STUPID!

We weren't catching anything interesting, so although I noticed a burr on my line before

the last cast, I didn't do what I always preach: "If it ain't perfect, it ain't good enough."

When there is any doubt, retie your line, leader or hook.

So, could that smallmouth have been the New World Record? I don't know, but it wasn't boated,

so it doesn't count. You might ask, "Really now, how much do you think she weighed?"

I don't know the answer to that either, but what I can tell you is, she was...

HUGE!

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If I know a poor knot is tied , I will retie it 1oo % of the time. Knots fail. Sometimes thinner string is stronger than thicker strings because there is less stress on the extreme bends of the knot. 15 pound test tied to a small hook may very well fail faster than 12 lb test tied to the same hook. I have been using 12 lb Suffix Elite a lot the past two seasons and have yet to have a knot slip or break . It will happen , some day, I know .

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Wow! RW, sorry for the lost fish. Great write up it felt like I was right next to you. It happens to the best of us.

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HUGE Disappointment

David Hayes caught the World Record smallmouth bass in 1955 on Dale Hollow Lake.

Some believe the next World Record will be found on the Tennessee River:

http://www.bassresou...uth_record.html

Almost exactly four years ago, November 2004, my fishing partner and best friend,

Speedy Madewell, boated a 10 lb beauty. I netted the fish and weighed it, he released

the monster! Since that time we have had some luck with other big bass, including the

bronzebacks in my avatar (January, 2005).

Last Saturday Speedy and I fished the river with limited success: an assortment of species

including largemouth, smallmouth, Kentucky bass, striper, cats and drum. We may have

caught forty fish or so, but no size and most importantly, no browns of note. Around 11:00

things changed.

With poor results off either bank and limited water release by the TVA, we moved to the

"middle of the river". Actually, we decided to fish along the river channel, defined by

navigational buoys. The drop is well defined, but relatively small, only 3-5' in 15-25' water.

Still,this represents significant structure for fish in open water.

After landing a few nondescript fish, I got a nice strike drifting along the ridge.

I set the hook hard and didn't budge the fish. However, there was very little fight

and I saw another drum in my future. After 10-15 yards of retrieve, the drum dove

and turned into a big catfish, just digging to the bottom, but no run. As I brought the

fish closer to the boat, Speedy asked, "Gonna need the net?" Without any emotion

I replied, "Yeah, it's big and ugly."

Speedy runs the trolling motor on the forward platform of a BayRanger 2180,

center console. So, with the net on the floor opposite me, it takes

a minute to get set up. With little current, we let the boat drift.

This time of year the water clarity on the Tennessee is about 3, maybe 4 feet.

As my partner came over to my side he asked, "What's ya got?" I replied, in a

steady voice and without inflection, "The biggest f***ing smallmouth I have ever seen."

The fish appeared to be a Trident submarine as it rose toward the surface so both of

us could get a good look at her, but then she bolted. She initially ran about 15 yards

forward, then after a 90 degree turn, another 20 yards toward the middle of the river.

My situation was precarious. I'm in the middle of the boat and have to hustle to get to

the front, around and over the trolling motor while at the same time maintaining rod

position with a sizzling drag. I was starting to have some fun!

The pig came up, but did not jump. I got her turned around, but she had already decided

she didn't like the Ranger. When she was halfway back, she bolted again, but this time

dove deep. It took a few minutes to get her a little closer.

Most smallmouth, especially biggun's, tend to fight the best on the first run after a close

encounter with the boat, but even later, they never give up. This fine lady staged at rod

length, tugged mightily and would not come up. I asked my buddy what he thought

I should do? He responded, "Doesn't matter. That fish ain't ready and she's going

to do anything she wants!"

Well, I've caught a few big fish and I was in no hurry. My rod appeared parabolic with the line

straight down into the river. I said to my friend, "This is when you have to believe in your equipment."

And then.......the line snapped.

stupid, Stupid, STUPID!

We weren't catching anything interesting, so although I noticed a burr on my line before

the last cast, I didn't do what I always preach: "If it ain't perfect, it ain't good enough."

When there is any doubt, retie your line, leader or hook.

So, could that smallmouth have been the New World Record? I don't know, but it wasn't boated,

so it doesn't count. You might ask, "Really now, how much do you think she weighed?"

I don't know the answer to that either, but what I can tell you is, she was...

HUGE!

What's the breaking point on that 12 lb. Yo-Zuri Hybrid that you always preach about? That would make that smalley at least 19 lbs I'd guess.

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In the story, he said the line had a burr on it. This would reduce its breaking strength. Not to mention a fish can exert more pull than it actually weighs.

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In the story, he said the line had a burr on it. This would reduce its breaking strength. Not to mention a fish can exert more pull than it actually weighs.

Quite true, but using the drag correctly takes a lot of pressure off the line and the knot. Lines and knots in good shape should never fail, unless rubbed over something, then they really weren't in good shape. I've never caught a 19# sm, but have caught 19# and bigger jack crevelles, snook and tarpon with 12# line and an ordinary clinch knot, knots and lines no problem.

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12 lb Hybrid has a breaking strength of 19.5 lbs, but I was fishing #4 ~ 8.5 lb breaking strength.

The knot did not fail, the weak spot caused by the burr failed.

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Well told story RW, and a cautionary tale for many of us. I have lost a couple of good fish this year on lighter line, due entirely to slight abrading of the line caused by hungry rocks.I am careful with knots and re-tie often, but checking for burrs only takes a second or two and I am resolved to get into the habit of doing it more in the future.

In answer to the OP, Murphy's Law is always at work, and casting a lure on a poorly tied knot dramatically increases the chance of a better than normal fish slamming it...

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12 lb Hybrid has a breaking strength of 19.5 lbs, but I was fishing #4 ~ 8.5 lb breaking strength.

The knot did not fail, the weak spot caused by the burr failed.

Man that's rough, I hate loosing fish because of poor judgement call, funny you tell this story because I notice a burr in my line just the other day and retied course I didn't catch anything but if I did......

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I really don't understand why people shy from the polymer knot on Fluoro. I've been making my own leaders with fluoro for salt water since I could remember. I do a over hand loop on one end for the snap swivel and polymer to the hook. Only time I've lost fish with my leaders is when blues hit and they bite through. This is also with 20-50# fluoro. All the different knots I've come across other then snell come undone at some point from my exp.

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Last year I tied on a jitterbug, but I didn't like the way the knot came together. I pulled on the line a couple of times, and thought it'll work. About 15 minutes later I got hold of about a 3 to 4 pound LM. When I set the hook the fish was gone. I reeled in the line to see that the knot had failed. About an hour later I found my jitterbug on the side of the pond that the wind was hitting.

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