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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 09-04-2018, 01:30 PM
Kroc Kroc is online now
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Default Knot Question

Been a long time since I've bothered Mr. D, so I figured it's about time. As you may or may not know, I'm living down here in FL now but this question could apply anywhere. I mostly do inshore fishing with relatively light tackle. Anyway, I never got out of the habit of tying the main line (braid) to a small barrel swivel and then connect my fluro to the other end. I use a Palomar to the braid and a improved clench on the fluro end. I've been watching some videos on how to tie braid directly to mono or fluro. What is your opinion of this? For me retying in the dark of night 15b. braid to mono is more than my feeble mind is capable of. Am I getting stuck in my old ways or is this really a superior method I should take the time to learn? Some of these knots seem very involved, in fact just watched one where it took the gentleman about 4 minutes. That's an eternity when you're on a hot bite. Hope all is well.
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2018, 11:21 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Knot Question

I dislike tying braid to mono because my methods are not suitable for a safe connection. Like you, I prefer tying each of them to a barrell. I am also knot disabled in that one look at my shoelaces and observers say, "this guy needs work."

I am so afraid of knot tying that I almost didn't join the Navy fearing that I might tie the ship up and it would be gone the next morning. But the recruiter assured me that all rates do not have to tie knots. So I asked if I could be a gynecologist and he said that was the Marines, a choice that I deemed unacceptable because even as a 17 year old, I knew they shoot at marines and my hunting background taught me that bullets can hurt like a bitch. I ended up being a Yeoman striker where I could fight with a typewriter. No knots and no Marine stuff. I made Petty Officer Third before finishing high school. My shipmates tied my shoelaces. You really should direct your future knot questions to some Boatswain Mate.
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2018, 07:58 PM
Kroc Kroc is online now
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Default Re: Knot Question

That's some funny stuff there. It does make me feel good that an angler as accomplished as yourself isn't a knot expert. I have a few knots I'm comfortable with and I stick with them. Maybe some of the other sharpies on this site can shed more light on the benefits of the braid to mono connection
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2018, 09:13 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Knot Question

Kroc,
I'd pretty much used the improved clinch knot since the mid 1960s. The last three years I've been using the uni knot instead. It's simpler, strong, and tightens up more easily/smoother than the clinch...it's easier to tie in low light also. I've even gotten a few very serious fishermen to switch...including a very good Atlantic salmon fisherman.

The uni to uni knot can be used for joining two lines etc. I've even used it to tie two looong pieces of braid together when I couldn't get the knot out. On 20 lb braid it actually passes through the guides smoothly as well...but I recheck/retie it every so many hours of casting just in case. All that being said, I'd still join a leader to the main line with a swivel. It prevents a certain amount of line twist and gives you a place to tie a dropper for a teaser. Hope this helps.

Frank Z
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2018, 10:23 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Knot Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroc View Post
That's some funny stuff there. It does make me feel good that an angler as accomplished as yourself isn't a knot expert. I have a few knots I'm comfortable with and I stick with them. Maybe some of the other sharpies on this site can shed more light on the benefits of the braid to mono connection
Knot failure is a common reason for losing good fish. Its very important. Over the years here I have seen any number of members who advocated knots because they read about them but they, personally, never tested one of their chosen knots. If you have no clue of a knot strength, or the way you tie it which is equally important, you are taking a chance.

Years ago the Cape Long Island bunch had all taken to using some sort of shocker, apparently advocated by some Long Island luminary (maybe Bentsen) and they were all pushing fish once the fish was close to the beach and breaking off right where the shocker was spliced to the running line. Dumb! Dah, your outfit is only as strong as its weakest connection.
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2018, 10:32 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Knot Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
Knot failure is a common reason for losing good fish. Its very important. Over the years here I have seen any number of members who advocated knots because they read about them but they, personally, never tested one of their chosen knots. If you have no clue of a knot strength, or the way you tie it which is equally important, you are taking a chance.

Years ago the Cape Long Island bunch had all taken to using some sort of shocker, apparently advocated by some Long Island luminary (maybe Bentsen) and they were all pushing fish once the fish was close to the beach and breaking off right where the shocker was spliced to the running line. Dumb! Dah, your outfit is only as strong as its weakest connection.
Frank, I definitely had your "shock leader thoughts" in mind as I was re-joining my two looong pieces of braid. The saving grace with my repair work is that I re-joined two lines of the same strength, and then added a lower testing, normal length (5') leader. I still recheck and retie my "repair job" though...
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:57 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Knot Question

We don't get all the fish but the one thing we can do something more about is tackle strength. You don't hunt elephants with a duck gun. Now, if your idea of sport is to fish with a guppie rig for moby stripers that is fine. Just know the limits of your tackle choices.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2018, 07:52 PM
Kroc Kroc is online now
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Default Re: Knot Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SALMONMEISTER View Post
Kroc,
I'd pretty much used the improved clinch knot since the mid 1960s. The last three years I've been using the uni knot instead. It's simpler, strong, and tightens up more easily/smoother than the clinch...it's easier to tie in low light also. I've even gotten a few very serious fishermen to switch...including a very good Atlantic salmon fisherman.

The uni to uni knot can be used for joining two lines etc. I've even used it to tie two looong pieces of braid together when I couldn't get the knot out. On 20 lb braid it actually passes through the guides smoothly as well...but I recheck/retie it every so many hours of casting just in case. All that being said, I'd still join a leader to the main line with a swivel. It prevents a certain amount of line twist and gives you a place to tie a dropper for a teaser. Hope this helps.

Frank Z
Sure does. I think I'll just stick to what I've been doing. My real concern was the time and difficulty of tying very thin braid to a mono or fluro leader. I think even with practice it would take much longer than the swivel method.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2018, 10:53 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Knot Question

The very nature of tying lines compromises the strength of both lines. The bending and forces applied to the lines creates unknown damage to one or both of them which are unknown quantities where one tie creates little or no damage and another terminal weakness. The angler has no way of knowing how much or how little loss of strength has taken place. Sure, I am knot deficient in my skills but knowing that is half the battle and I know that my tying cannot be trusted and allow for that. The knots I rely upon and use have been pulled on a spring scale to assure I am not kidding myself. Its like my shoe laces: as long as I know what I don't know, I can compensate for it.
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2018, 03:42 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is online now
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Default Re: Knot Question

I only know how to tie about three knots: an arbor knot, an improved clinch knot, and an Albright knot. I use them for, in order, tying line to a reel spool, tying to a barrel swivel, and connecting mono backing to braid running line.

There are other knots out there that are probably better, but my firm belief is that an average knot tied well is better than a good knot tied poorly. And I can handle these knots, so I stick to them.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2018, 03:43 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is online now
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Default Re: Knot Question

What's up with the people who advocate the usage of the Bimini twist? Is this an admission that fishermen have no social life?

I'm sure it's a great knot, but I've tried it, and it is more complicated than hitting the early Pick 3 at Belmont Park. And it's a slow, cumbersome knot to tie. Is there any reason to get to know it, other than as an admission that an angler needs to get out of the house more?
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2018, 04:28 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Knot Question

Chris, if you ask me then you're asking the wrong guy. For me simplicity in knots is mandatory. I can't prove it but I have always thought that exotic knots were commonly mentioned on the Internet to impress other trolls. Your not a certifiable angler if you don't know knots with multi-syllable names. I do clinch, granny, loop is all.
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2018, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Knot Question

No idea about the bimini, only thought it had application for offshore, heavy line apps.


I use a clinch, perfection loop and uni-knot (or double uni aka uni-to-uni to join lines, or more frequently joining fly leader sections) exclusively.


I've never had a good clinch pull. Note the good in "good clinch". That means proper number of turns, wet the line and cinch it down tight before use.


I have a tough time with an improved clinch in bigger line diameters, and have less confidence in it, so I don't use it. Data be damned, I say


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  #14  
Old 09-10-2018, 04:32 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Knot Question

Back when all these guys were splicing shockers to their running lines, the connecting knot would pound the guides on every cast. Strikes me that hitting the guides repeated with a knot would likely damage the connection, the knot.
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  #15  
Old 09-11-2018, 02:22 PM
Kroc Kroc is online now
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Default Re: Knot Question

Tying mono to braid seems to go against the laws of physics. As anyone whose ever tried to grab braided line under tension knows, it will cut or slice into the unsuspecting angler. My fear was always that the braid will cut into the mono or fluro leader compromising the strength. This is not the case because many people tie these knots without any issue but logically you'd think it would be an issue.
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