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Old 12-08-2010, 08:27 PM
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Default Leader/tippet Q

I went out in the early afternoon today and it was cold. I had my medalist, which I used once before also in cold weather (just not as cold) and still had the same leader on. It was a no name that came free with the line, I believe.

I tried to tie on the fly with an improved cinch knot and the knot crumbled. Twice.

No snaps, no pops, no crackles, no other cereal related cartoons. I pulled it tight, slowly BTW, and as soon as the knot came together it was as if the knot came undone while still in my hands. Just in two pieces. I panned it out to being a crappy, no-name leader.

So I switched leaders and fished for a bit. I went to switch flies and it it happened again on the new leader! This was a brand new leader from a few months ago, just can't remember the brand offhand.

Could this have happened due to the cold weather? This is the first that this has ever happened to me. It wasn't very cold, but cold enough that the guides were freezing shut.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

My guess is that the cold caused it. When I tie leader and/or tippet I wet the knot with saliva. In cold weather it seems like the knot "slips" more often and I have to re-tie it. I've been told that the saliva reduces the friction between the knots so that the slide together easily. I imagine that in extreme cold weather, its effect is reduced. Looking forward to other thoughts on this.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

Cold can definitely change the material properties but I would guess it would take temperatures well below freezing to create issues as described. I would rather fish in the winter and I have never had these issues with tippet material. There are times when the knots do not tighten well as mentioned in the post above but breaking apart is strange.

My guess is material fault. How do you store the tippet material? High heat and sun can damage the material. But what is described here seems like much more than just sunlight or heat.

Coy
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

try a furled leader. then a high quality tippet.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:18 AM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

I was using saliva to "lube" the knot. I always do (when I remember too )

I keep my leaders in my leader wallet, which stays in my vest and hangs in my basement, which stays around 70 degrees year round.

I was ready to blame it on faulty material as well, but it happened to two leaders by two different manufacturers. That is what really threw me off.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

Hi Ant,

I wonder what weight tippet you were using? If it was a light tippet I think you are just using to much strength to tighten the knot. With very cold weather you don't have the feel in your hands as you do when it is warm. You can apply too much pressure and not even know it.

I have a similar problem when I fish bass and then go Trout fishing. I may have 20lb line fishing for Bass and use a lot of pressure tightening a knot. Then when I put on a 5wt tippet for Trout I will usually break a few knots till I get use to the tippet strength.

Frank
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

Ant,

It could also have been the hook eye if it were an old hook and had rusted some on the inner diameter.

I've got to start reading posts more carefully! I just noticed that it happened on two flies. Chances of both having an irregular hook eye surface are (hopefully) slim. Last year, a buddy of mine and I had bad fluoro from three different spools - all the same manufactuer. It would split on a bias when under tension. So it is certainly possible that your leaders are no good too.

Cheers,
Jim

Last edited by wjc; 12-09-2010 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Edit in Blue
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

Frank,

I was using a 5x and then switched to the 4x.

Jim,

The hook was maybe a year old, but it was just sitting in my container. The fly was just tied the other night.


Thanks for all of the input, everyone. I think I will go down a little later and try to tie on some flies to the leader to see if I can recreate it. The basement is a constant temp and they should be warmed up by now. I'll also take a look at the hooks on the two flies in question. There may be some sneaky head cement or something.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

Ant,

I am probably hyper-sensitive to rust, since even my "stainless" kitchen utensils rust if I forget them out on the deck for long. I also prefer galvanized hooks for flies, and sharpen them, so galvanic corrosion starts happening immediately once they get wet.

I keep my "hair" hooks for catching teaser fish in a pill bottle filled with talcum powder. If I didn't, the whole pile of them would be a solid mass in a short time.

Cheers,
Jim

Last edited by wjc; 12-09-2010 at 11:08 AM. Reason: blue
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Leader/tippet Q

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjc View Post
Ant,

I am probably hyper-sensitive to rust, since even my "stainless" kitchen utensils rust if I forget them out on the deck for long. I also prefer galvanized hooks for flies, and sharpen them, so galvanic corrosion starts happening immediately once they get wet.

I keep my "hair" hooks for catching teaser fish in a pill bottle filled with talcum powder. If I didn't, the whole pile of them would be a solid mass in a short time.

Cheers,
Jim
I've never had issues with rust(normally I lose my flies way before then ), but I have had issues of the point of one hook going into the eye of another in my container, and then getting a small nick in the eye.
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