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txchaser

My Knot Wars, round one - braid/flouro (updated)

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A lot of the published braid to leader knot strengths are not focused on what I'm using, so I finally decided to just start testing for myself. I'll edit this post as I progress

It's a bit tough to get a real read on poundage using the knot chain-to-fishing-scale approach (same as saltstrong tests) unless I'm taking video, which I'm not. 

This started because I had some hesitation about the FG as it is supposed to be for larger diameter/strength leader than the braid, which isn't the case in bass fishing. Plus it's fiddly to tie...so I needed an alternative.

 

At some point I need to re-run these, one or two samples isn't great.

 

Update -

1) frustratingly, some of the results are in a 15% or more variance. So I can see the difference between dramatically different results, but many are too wildly varying to get anything conclusive on braid to leader poundages.

2) reasonably conclusive that FG > Surgeon 6 > 3/9 Uni > 3/12 Uni > 5/10 Uni = shin lazy alberto

3) berkely braid (which has many names, it's the one that ends up with a loop by the hook and a tag end towards the rod, remains undefeated vs fish-n-fool and (very carefully tied) palomar.

4) After about 10.5 lbs the leader is completely wrecked, warps and bends and such. Regardless of whether the knot holds past that rate, the whole thing feels like it is on very think ice. 

5) tying the braid to a belt loop made the FG way way easier. 

 

----------ongoing notes----------

 

Sufix 832 30lb, Seaguar Blue Label 15lb 

Braid to Leader:

6 turn surgeon knot is stronger than double uni (~7.5lbs) which is about the same strength as the shin lazy alberto (~7.5lbs). 

FG stronger than 6 turn surgeon - 10.5lbs (this makes no sense given another 13.5 lbs result on another test. FG should be stronger, but results are too variant)

 

Terminal Knot vs Leader Knot:

6 turn surgeon knot is stronger than the fish-n-fool, which appears to be a uni with an extra wrap through the eye (10.5lbs)

un-retied 6 turn surgeon knot is weaker than the berkely braid knot, broke at ~13.5lbs. I think a consistent 90% would be a win.

 

 

PP 10lb, Seaguar Blue Label 8lb

(next up)

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16 hours ago, txchaser said:

...the shin lazy alberto...

LMAO. You (or auto correct) made my day.

 

ps: How many turns are you using on the uni? 7.5 on 15 lb line doesn't sound right. Try 3/9 turns and see what happens.

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I may be the only one who is challenged by what your testing, but I don't know what an "un-retied" knot means.  I don't know what your testing process is, and as you say, a single test isn't enough for a solid conclusion.  Does the 7.5 pounds mean that the double uni knot only held half of the leader pound test  then broke?  6 turn on through every test?  Did you not take it to failure?  

 

I don't mean to be critical, but I think you have to be more specific in order that we don't all come to our own conclusions as to what's going on and what the results are.  Right now I can take no conclusion from what I've read.

 

 

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Just learn to tie an FG knot. It virtually never breaks, so you don't have to re-tie it very often anyway.

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2 hours ago, BassWhole! said:

LMAO. You (or auto correct) made my day.

 

 ps: How many turns are you using on the uni? 7.5 on 15 lb line doesn't sound right. Try 3/9 turns and see what happens.

 

 

On the uni/uni I was at 5/10. I'll try a 3/9 turn as well. I agree that 7.5lb sounds light.

 

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2 hours ago, MickD said:

I may be the only one who is challenged by what your testing, but I don't know what an "un-retied" knot means.

I just kept using the same surgeon knot as I was trying different end connection knots; I didn't re-tie it. 1) it's not a crazy use case for me, breaking off at the terminal knot and re-tying there. Plus I was curious to see if I had weakened it in earlier testing. 

2 hours ago, MickD said:

I don't know what your testing process is, and as you say, a single test isn't enough for a solid conclusion.

I'm replicating the saltstrong tests, just with different line. Effectively braid<knot a>leader<knot b>braid, pulled slowly until something breaks. One end of the test kit is a digital scale.

 

2 hours ago, MickD said:

Does the 7.5 pounds mean that the double uni knot only held half of the leader pound test  then broke?  6 turn on through every test?  Did you not take it to failure?  

Yes that's correct. Flouro broke at the edge of the wraps on the flouro side. 

I didn't test multiple #'s of wraps on the surgeon, as the SS advice is that the surgeon knot with braid was pretty bad slipping at lower turns. Good idea for the tail end of this though. 

Every test taken to failure. 

 

2 hours ago, MickD said:

I don't mean to be critical, but I think you have to be more specific in order that we don't all come to our own conclusions as to what's going on and what the results are.  Right now I can take no conclusion from what I've read.

Ah sorry if I wasn't clear, this is in-progress. I figured I'd get some useful feedback by doing it real-time. 

 

3 minutes ago, jbsoonerfan said:

Is Sufix 853 new?

Haha outstanding catch, thank you. 

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1 hour ago, Tim Kelly said:

Just learn to tie an FG knot. It virtually never breaks, so you don't have to re-tie it very often anyway.

That's where I started, and I had decent luck with it, but found myself really frustrated re-tying while fishing. I'm trying really hard to fish in unreasonable spots, so after a few times of being aggro'd I decided to see what my next best option is.

 

Also, I had mixed results with it on 6lb flouro, not much there to bite into I suppose. Last failure there was a braid-flouro connection with 6lb flouro on a 5lb fish (caught it again a few minutes later).  I had fished the line the day before and didn't re-tie the braid/leader that morning, so maybe that first loop just got too beat up.

 

On top of all that I can't find any testing for matched diameter braid to leader; my understanding is that a big part of the idea behind the FG knot is to distribute load across braid that is weaker than the leader, and do it in a very slim knot. It may well turn out that the FG knot is still the best, but it's troubling to me that, for the line sizes we use, we don't have much objective data on modern lines and uses. 

 

Related, I found this somewhere, but I can't for the life of me recall the types and sizes of lines they used. 

 

 

281672805_KnotStrengths_zps020mujkc.png.e0ddb2b8247e39f8e4bb56f767fed6b4.png

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3 hours ago, BassWhole! said:

 

ps: How many turns are you using on the uni? 7.5 on 15 lb line doesn't sound right. Try 3/9 turns and see what happens.

tested twice, uni to unit with 3/9 failed in the flouro part of the knot at ~10.5 and ~11.5

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19 minutes ago, txchaser said:

tested twice, uni to unit with 3/9 failed in the flouro part of the knot at ~10.5 and ~11.5

I like the improvement. Run your nail through the braid a few times and try 3/12 (snug the braid up fairly tight before pulling against the mono). The mono in this case should be just a stop. The friction of the braid wraps is what holds the uni/uni. You should be at least 80% of the line strength. The mod albright is a bit stronger.

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Anyone know a good way to test the actual breaking strength of the line itself?

% rated strength is interesting but not nearly as % vs actual

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27 minutes ago, BassWhole! said:

I like the improvement. Run your nail through the braid a few times and try 3/12 (snug the braid up fairly tight before pulling against the mono). The mono in this case should be just a stop. The friction of the braid wraps is what holds the uni/uni. You should be at least 80% of the line strength. The mod albright is a bit stronger.

Got worse by about .5 lb on both runs.

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32 minutes ago, txchaser said:

Anyone know a good way to test the actual breaking strength of the line itself?

% rated strength is interesting but not nearly as % vs actual

You need to secure both ends without using a knot. A spool of some kind that you can wrap the line on without damaging it works well. I had a contraption made to test the tensile strength and elongation of tennis strings when I worked in that industry.

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6 hours ago, Tim Kelly said:

Just learn to tie an FG knot. It virtually never breaks, so you don't have to re-tie it very often anyway.

Thanks for the poke. Helped me realize I needed to test it anyway, and forced me to find a better way to get tension on the braid.  Belt loop worked great. 

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Ineresting tests, and narrative; thanks for taking the time to do it, and share it.

 

I'm an FG fan, and don't find it hard to tie.  My 2nd choice is an Alberto.  Since neither fails (unless I screw them up) I'm good to go.  I've had FGs on wire leaders for pike and musky last an entire season...same with Albertos.

 

My line almost always fails (ore gets beat up) before there any chance of a know failing, so I tend to go with knots I like tying (and that work).  I don't have to have the best, just something that's above the failure point I need.

 

For some reason, I hate tying Uni-unis...and I have little faith in a knot that relies on one thickness of each line at the critical juncture...dunno why, given that there's all kinds of objective proof to the contrary...

 

Surgeon's and multiple iterations thereof, are great, but the Alberto and FG are smaller...and look neater when done right.

 

For a real exercise in line to line knots, tie your own fly fishing leaders.  You have leader to line (typically loop to loop), then usually two step down (call it 30# to 20# to 10# to keep it simple) and then your tippet (could be a section of wire for toothy fish, or another step down for anything else.

 

Since all those (except to the wire tippet) are mono to mono or fluoro to fluoro, I use Albertos.  You get really good at them after a while...

 

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Thanks @Further North 

Anything change if the join is going through your rod eyes?

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2 hours ago, txchaser said:

Thanks for the poke. Helped me realize I needed to test it anyway, and forced me to find a better way to get tension on the braid.  Belt loop worked great. 

I've been using the FG for a few years now and have had the knot break so rarely that I can't even remember the last time. Tying it well is crucial though. I tie it on the water if the leader has got too short or the braid has frayed without issue. I use the rod tip as the tensioner for the standing line and the tag end in my mouth. It is really important to make sure each of the wraps seats nicely on the previous one by manipulating the leader slightly so it kicks over the last little bit. One you've done 20-26 wraps then a half hitch you must pull on the standing line and the leader hard so that the braid changes colour. Once that has happened you knot the knot is sound and you just need to finish with a few half hitches, then I like a renzetti finish (I think it's called - search you tube) which just completes the knot and stops the hitches from coming undone. 

 

Very occasionally I had come across braid and leader combos that won't seat properly. Trying to tie a 3lb fluoro leader to 15lb braid wasn't successful, though I could use 3lb mono. The great thing is, that when you pull the knot to seat the wraps you know immediately whether the knot is good or not. I expect it takes me 4 minutes to tie the knot on the water. Compared the the constant re-ties and lost fish I see people battling with who tie other "quicker" knots, I think there's no contest. 

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7 hours ago, txchaser said:

Thanks @Further North 

Anything change if the join is going through your rod eyes?

Not really; FG 1st choice, then Alberto, because of knot size.

 

I won't use anything else.

 

Almost all my rods have either wire or fluoro leaders with braid main line. 

 

 

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I had trouble tying the FG holding the braid in my teeth because many times before I got the knot tied, the braid slipped.  Until I started wrapping the braid around these and holding the bigger, softer, device in my mouth.  Even better was when I discovered that the device could be tied to a belt loop which brought the whole tying of the knot to an ergonomically better position, basically tying it in my lap.

FGTool.jpg

The double uni used with the lower pound test braids and leaders that are so popular now is small enough to go through every guide size, including small micros, that I've tried.  For size the leader is the major culprit, and double unis with leaders over about 15 pound probably will not work well with most sizes of micros.  Maybe lower than 15.

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