How important is the type of node used?
It is no coincidence that on the packaging of many lines or on special inserts, the nodes recommended for them are shown. The manufacturer (or distributor) is well aware of which knots are optimal for his line, so following the recommendations gives a good guarantee that the knot shown will be the best. On the other hand, on packages of different braided and monofilament lines, you can see six to seven or even more fundamentally different knots. Not that it is difficult to master them all – no, but every time we switch to a new knot, moving from one line to another (and this sometimes has to be done several times during a fishing trip), this is unnecessary, because we usually knit knots “on the machine” , and this is easier if you use only two or three nodes.
For me, tying the bait to the line comes down to two knots. These are “palomar” (Fire Line and some Japanese PE-cords) and “clinch” (other cords and mono). Both of these nodes are quite familiar to everyone and are most often found in recommendations. In principle, I have heard of lines, both monofilament and braided, for which neither clinch nor palomar are close to ideal, but I myself have not come across such. In general, our search for the optimal knot is often driven by the desire to squeeze the maximum out of the line, that is, to find such a knot that would preserve almost 100% of the strength of the line. For inexpensive or, as it could be called, “disposable” monofilament, this approach is justified. For a “braid” – hardly, there should be a slight loss of strength at the knot.
Is the so-called “nodeless connection” good or bad?
For a “disposable” monofilament, which you use according to the principle of “caught fishing – thrown out”, it is definitely good. For a high-quality fishing line, it does not matter whether it is mono or “string”, rather bad. It is known from experience that a very cheap and indistinctly calibrated fishing line quite often breaks outside the bait, and this does not depend on the type of connection – with or without a knot. But if the fishing line is of a higher class, but also not very expensive, there is already something like this: when connecting to a knot, the cliffs are about ten to one at the bait and at a distance from it, with a knotless connection – about three to one. For expensive lines, the use of a knotless connection leads to the fact that a break on the hook is approximately equally likely at the bait itself or anywhere at a distance from it. To avoid large losses of expensive fishing line, a knotless connection in combination with it can be justified only in two cases – when fishing where there are practically no hooks, or with a very short cast.
So after all – what is the optimal amount of line on the reel spool?
First, about the level of winding. There is an opinion that reels with mediocre (to put it mildly) winding quality have the optimal amount of fishing line – three millimeters below the level of the spool’s front cheek, but if the winding quality is impeccable, then a millimeter and a half is enough. In principle, everything is so, but for a reel that puts the line in humps, sometimes a three-millimeter “discomfort” is not enough – “beards” still fly off. It may sound trite, but it is better not to deal with such coils in principle. Moreover, it is now easy to find reels with good styling and in the inexpensive category. Therefore, my principle is to fill the spool to the eyeballs, that is, do not push up to the edge of the spool no more than a millimeter. There are, however, exceptions. This is, firstly, fishing in frost, when, due to icing of the line, its volume increases, and fishing at night, when you need to guarantee yourself one hundred percent against “beard”. In both of these cases, three millimeters minus is normal. As for the total amount of line on the spool, the optimal standard for a braided line is 135-150 m, for a monofilament – 100-120 m. The excess volume is filled with backing. Why exactly these numbers? They follow from considerations of rationality and are in agreement with most actively practicing spinningists.
Is fluorocarbon really a revolution or not at all?
Until now, I have not so much felt the advantages of fluorocarbon fishing line over a regular monofilament and over a braided line, although I tried to set up more or less rigorous experiments for this. To begin with, the statement that fluorocarbon is practically invisible in water is not entirely correct. The refractive index of this material, although closer to the refractive index of water than the analogous parameter for nylon, is still noticeably different from it, so the fluorocarbon line does not “disappear” in the water. Another question – is it necessary in principle? And if so, under what conditions?
The experiments that I mentioned concerned various fish, including brook trout, which, according to many, ranks first among those predatory fish for which the visual visibility of the line has an emphasized negative significance. Nevertheless, I have already said about the result. However, I have not put an end to myself in this matter at all. Fluorocarbon is very popular with American bass pros. True, we are talking here about a line with serious tests – in the region of 20-25 pounds. These people are unlikely to be so stubborn almost all, if the idea of fluorocarbon is completely empty.
I noticed that the most expensive monofilaments fall into the price range of cheap multifilament cords. Is it possible to compare both in terms of working qualities?
Yes and no. The thing is that at the intersection at prices (which is about $ 10 per hundred meters), a monofile is a high-quality monofile, and a “braid” is usually disgusting. As a good scooter is more pleasant to operate a bad car, so a decent monofilament is better than an indecent “thread”. By “indecent” I mean a “thread” of irregular thickness, with foreign inclusions, made according to a simplified technology, etc. When, after several years of being on the market for classic “braids”, it was concluded that their price sharply limits sales, they began to look for an inexpensive alternative. This is how “threads” of the “Fusion” type appeared – without interlacing, but in a shell. At first they suited us, but then we still had to return to the classics of multifilament lines.
If cords like “Fusion” have anything more than price that unites them with monofilaments, then it’s relative fragility. Such “threads” are killed much faster than classic braided cords. However, some of the classic braids also fall into the “about $ 10” price niche, but their quality, as a rule, is nowhere worse. More precisely, the main problem of such “threads” is the inhomogeneity of properties along the length, which, as you know, is most critical for small tests. Therefore, cheap classic cords are more or less suitable for fishing with their tests of the order of 15 lb and higher, such cords of smaller diameters have too much variance of the real breaking value, that is, they sometimes break unexpectedly very easily, and it is better not to deal with them at all.
A friend brought a red monophile from America. Says it now “the last squeak”. What is the point here?
There is nothing fundamentally new here, although the idea of red began to be actively promoted this year. And not just American firms. There is, for example, the Italian line Asso Magic Red – also very rich red. The essence of the phenomenon is as follows. The long-wavelength part of the spectrum (and the red color in the first place) is most strongly absorbed in water, therefore such a line becomes much less noticeable already at a relatively small distance from the surface than outside the water. Above the water, it is clearly visible, and therefore the red fishing line can be used, like the more usual yellow one in this role, for visual control of the wiring. Another thing is that the visual perception of the fishing line is not so simple, because the necessity of its “disappearance” in the water, as in the case of fluorocarbon, is not so obvious.
author: Konstantin Kuzmin
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