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Garry2Rs

Anyone using top shot leaders?

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For the last couple of years I have been reading about top shot and loop-to-loop leaders utilizing hollow core braid.

These saltwater set-ups allow you to create a knotless leader connection using a needle to thread the leader material inside of the hollow core line. The leader is held in place by the weave of the braid closing over it like a Chinese finger trap.

In the past, needles for leaders of less than about 20 pound test either didn't exist or I just couldn't find them.

The other problem was that hollow core that would except a leader seemed to be a minimum of 60 pound test...a little too heavy for general casting, in my opinion.

This week I read about Power Pro's new Hollow Ace line. Someone on the west coast told me they have a needle that could put 12 to 15 pound fluoro inside this PP 40# test.

I ordered the components.

Now that I have committed, I am wondering if anyone out there is already doing this?

Garry2rs

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I am not, but I would be VERY interested on how you make out. If this is something that has a practical application, I will be checking it out. Please let us know.

A-Jay

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[movedhere] General Bass Fishing Forum [move by] five.bass.limit.

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... I am wondering if anyone out there is already doing this?

Garry2rs

Hey, am I glad I am not the only one! Heck, yes, I make my own topshots, have them on spin and cast rods.

I fish pike and bass. I scaled them down. I use almost exclusively braid as a main line and then Jerry brown hollow braid and then Cabelas flourocarbon leader made by Seguar. On pike leaders I put on boa titanium leaders, boa is the only one you can tie like line, after the flourocarbon.

I terminate my main line now for all things in a bimini loop! I can tie it almost as fast as a palomar, I lay out a strip on my forearm, spin in 50 turns by putting my finger in the loop. I hold the tag in my teeth, pull the main with one hand and open the loop with the fingers of the other. I get a 3-4 inch bimini loop! I use this loop for leaders, snaps, lures, hooks any type of terminal tackle. Usually, if not a leader connectin I will use a cats paw, off-shore knot with this loop to connect the what-evers.

In the Jerry Brown I use 6 feet of 60 or 80 #. I use 10 feet of flourocarbon leader 40-50 or 60#, with the needles I put a 1 inch loop into the hollow braid by turning into itself, I run 4 feet of the flourcarbon with the needle up into the hollow braid, that leaves less than 2 feet of free hollow braid and 6 feet of exposed flourocarbon. I made my own clamp stands, like Blackwater tackle stands. I wrap the joined lines with10-20# braid and drop a drop of super glue on it, but it is the hollow chinese finger cuff effect that holds the two together. I run 18-20 inches of Boa titanium, 60# for toothy fish. That is the most flexible titanium.

I connect the titanium to a duosnap by running it through a very small brass bead making a loop, I tie an overhand knot in the tag over the main wire pull it tight then crimp the bead. On the connection to the flourocarbon I turn the titanium into an open loop and tie an albright knot.

These leaders run great on spirex 4000 spin reels and casting reals.

The neat thing about the loop loop connection is I do a double run through on the connection, going through the loop twice. Sometimes called a Tanaka Loop. Before I pull it tight I take a small piece of braid an inch or two long and tie it by one over hand loop on each loop. To open the loops and change leaders I only need to snag this little tag ends with pliers or teeth and pull the loops open.

Why use topshots in the first place? Flourocarbon is invisible and really does inprove catches when using braid. Tying leader knots all but one knot, has the flourocarbon on one side or the other of the braid knot. That flourocarbon clicks everytime it goes though the guides it clicks and eventually it will fail, fracturing on the knot. Loop to loop connections go through smoothly and quietly.

http://gulffishing.com/spectra2mono.html

will show you the flourocarbon connection where the knot is protected front and back by wraps of soft braid.

This is a good connection when using flourocarbon line or light leaders, topshot is the way to go on stiffer leaders.

http://www.studio-oceanmark.com/en/products/knoter/howto.html

and

http://www.extremelures.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=208shows a very expensive tool designed to tie that knot.

I perfer the topshot and get my info and supplies from www.bhptackle.com . http://www.blackwaterinternationalinc.com/ is an other sourch and has video on making these.

This weekend I am rigging for the spring bass and crappie season. I fish with eleven rigged rods, most will have braid and top shots, no pike so no titanium but flourocarbon for sure.

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Sheesh.  I better have some durned good data that says this method is at least 50 times better to go through all that!  Maybe Tred Barta needs to know this to get a sail released on 2#, but I think I can make out alright without this skill.  ::)

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If I had discovered that protected knot first, I likely would no have made the investment.

It is a salt water technique for heavy lines, it solves knot problems.

I had lost several good baits on the cast when the flourocarbon let go.  Basically, especially when cold the flourocarbon acts like glass and it fractured in the knot. 

What I am sayin is all but that one knot has a loop or two of the flourcarbon in the connection that strikes the guides either on the cast or retrieve.  Better to do that on the retrieve as there is less force involved. 

I had tried all the Japenese knots and all the classics.  It was not until I found that one that has braid wrapped before and after the connection.  Those wraps cushion the flourocarbon and taper the line into the larger part of the knot. 

You will not run into those problems with lines and leaders of 20# or less.

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Here is a video for a top shot for fresh water, he mentions bass. Interesting is that I tie my top shots almost identical to this. I just finished two weeks on Northern Pike, I use 10 rigged rods, all with a top shot leader. 6 feet of hollow braid with a loop, I attach to the main line loop like a fly line leader, then inside it is 4 feet of 10 foot 40# flourocarbon leader, then the serving and the remaining 6 feet exposed flouro.

On the end of the flouro for line biting pike is attatched by an albright knot, 14-20 inches of titanium 60# boa wire, the U for the albright is made in the titanium. Dont need the wire for bass.

and a video of bass fishing the top shot:

The serving is very important, if it fails the flouro will come out of the hollow braid!!! Experience and I researched it thouroughly on the Internet. Use a tight wrap of braid and a good super glue there.

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