I don't know when the 16 lb tippet came into being in the IGFA record books, but it was a lot longer than 15 years ago. My idea of "old days" and yours might be different though. But I lose track of time too, just like where my keys are, and it gets easier every day for me.
From the IGFA Hall of Fame Induction article about Billy Pate:
But to Pate, light tackle fishing for tarpon is the ultimate challenge. His 188-pound, 7’5” tarpon, caught on 16-pound tippet on May 13, 1982 in Homosassa, Florida, was a record for 21 years.
I don't remember what the record was prior to Pate's, but the guys I tarpon fished with prior to that record were all using 15# and not 12. So maybe they added that tippet class not long before Pate's record in 1982. I don't know.
I didn't really get into tarpon fishing until the late 70's, though I caught my first one (a baby) in 1958 in the Miami river on a bass popper using a GBF taper. Pure luck. Though I have hooked them while meat fishing with conventional gear, I've never caught any on anything but a fly rod.
I think the thread was about favorite loops and somehow got sidetracked into 100% knots - that all knots should be as close to 100% as posible. I just don't agree that knot strength should be the primary consideration (though it is certainly important). But sometimes, as in the case of shock tippets to flies, it makes no sense at all.