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Old 12-22-2010, 01:44 PM
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Question true leader strength

It's snowing up here in Vermont, so I've been testing line and knot strength in preparation for a fly fishing trip pursuing juvenile Tarpon on the west coast of the Yucatan. The best I can do is 70-75% of advertised line strength once a knot is tied and the Kreh loop knot is in that range. Anybody out there with a personally tested stronger knot that Lefty's?

As a related problem, I then tried to see just how 15lbs of true breaking strength felt in terms of pressure at the wrist with the rod in hand (have plenty of space to do the test). OK, as soon as you stop laughing the odd news is that I didn't find the answer.

With the scale (digital fish weighing scale good to 50lbs), I could see exactly how much pressure was being applied. Well, this 90 pound weekling couldn't generate 15 lbs of pressure. Couldn't even get into the double digits.....sadly not even into the high single digits.

Has anybody tried this?
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: true leader strength

Welcome to the forum,

I use a level 25 pound Maxima leader for King salmon and this is what I have found over the years. When I use the Orvis Knot (a slip loop knot, these seem to go by many names) to attach my fly, regardless of what loop knot I use to attach that 25 pound line to the fly line, the loop knot always breaks and not the one at the fly. I do mean always, when I loose a fly on a big fish I loose fly, leader, and all, never just the fly..........................

This repeated experience year after year leads me to believe that for attaching a fly to leader for use on fish 25 - 60 pounds in weight, the Orvis Knot is the strongest I have found. 20 years ago I would tie the fly on with an improved clinch knot and back then the flies would be lost but not the leader. This is what influenced my choice to try different knots. As for the loop to the fly line................. If you are fishing a heavy leader I would nail knot it strait to the line and leave at least a quarter inch of fly line as a tag in front of the nail knot for good measure. Hit the finished knot with a good cement and hope for the best. With that setup I would use the aforementioned knot (Orvis) to connect my fly. That is about as close to "true breaking strength" as I'm gonna get. When the leader is too strong and the fish too heavy the weak link will be when the nail knot skins its way down that quarter inch of tag and slips off the fly line. I am not guessing about this,

Ard
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: true leader strength

If you are fishing for juvenile tarpon, the "bite" (or "shock") tippet will be much stronger than your class tippet, if you use one. So the connection at each end of the class tippet is the weakest link. For that one, you can do a bimini at each end and use a doubled slim beauty to attach to the bite tippet and leader butt.

I don't bother with that any more and just use straight 60lb fluoro all the way to the fly for big tarpon, since I don't care about records. Then you don't have to worry about the knots at all.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: true leader strength

I tie my own leaders with ANDE which is promised to break at the rated point. I use blood knots to join the sections. I have had these leaders tested by the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and they almost always break right where they are supposed to. At the ends I use a perfection loop, and when they required sending the fly still attached, I always used a trilene knot. I have rarely ever been let down with this system.

When I am going after things in toothy critter water, I use a bimini twist that I loosely furl and attach the double line to a heavier bite tippet ( generally mono as well.) with an albright knot. I then tie the single line of the bimini twist to the test tippet with a blood knot. This works like a shock absorber and keeps really big fast hits from breaking you off with sheer shock. If you are going after records, the IGFA does not allow the bimini/bite shock tippet to be more than 12" in length to the first single line. I think the test tippet needs to be 24" minimum. You may want to check on those before you go for records. I didn't get much chance to fish this summer, so it's been a while since I looked at those rules.

The perfection loop is not a 100% strength knot, but because it is in the fat end of the leader, it breaks at a greater weight than the test tippet. So there is no danger in using this knot. All the other knots are virtually 100% strength knots. If you still don't fully trust them, you can use a bit of super glue on the knots.
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