BoatUS ANGLER: Do It Yourself Department
by Capt. Steve Chaconas, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
With braided fishing line winding its way into several fishing techniques and the improvement of fluorocarbon fishing lines, many anglers are using them in combination.
Braid for the strength and durability and the fluorocarbon for its sinking property and that it is nearly invisible under water. There are many knots being used to join leaders to the main line. Trouble is, no matter the knot, there is a weak link!
Leaders are coming into play for pitching plastics or even as copolymer leaders for topwater lures as well as other moving baits. Some like the “shock absorber” effect; others want to have something that will break off as braid won’t easily break. Whatever the reason, the popularity of braided line has created a demand for using leaders. Knots have improved and anglers are better at tying them, but no matter the knot, with a leader anglers are introducing a breaking point into their rigs.
Fishing line aficionado Dale Black, owner of GAMMA Fishing lines, was intrigued by the trend in fishing to use a leader. He had heard of threading leader material in hollow core Spectra braided line and looked into it.
Hollow braided spectra line can be internally threaded, using specialized needle tools, with other spectra line and types of line materials, allowing the creation of a very wide variety of line configurations and capabilities. Due to the braiding process used in its creation, when pressure is applied to the length of spectra line, the braid tightens, applying pressure to the inside of the line. This pressure, over a short length of braid, will bind the line and any internal materials, commonly called a ‘Chinese Finger Cuff’.
Using these techniques, hollow braided lines can be spliced together, added on to, and terminated with 100% line strength – without knots of any kind. This is of great value when having heavier or lighter, sections, or the need to attach different types of ends.
Threading needle sizes come in range of line diameters for various sizes of monofilament and fluorocarbon lines. Charts assist in the selection of the correct size needle for their specific line.
Using GAMMA Torque hollow core Spectra braid, Dale Black demonstrated the ease of knotless leader assembly! Starting with 60-pound hollow core GAMMA Torque Braid, and 12 pound test GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon; the first step is to mark off 6 feet of braid with a black marker. This will be how far the fluorocarbon will be threaded into the hollow core braid. Dale says this length is slip-proof. The process begins by taking the fluorocarbon line and using a cutter at a 45-degree angle, not a snipper…snippers will flatten the end of the line making it difficult to insert into the DaHo needle. Dale uses a Boomerang Tool to cut his line. Insert the line into the needle and carefully thread into the hollow core braid. Inching the needle into the braid by bunching then pulling along will keep the line in the needle. Once threaded to the 6 foot mark on the braid, allow the needle to exit the side of the braid and carefully pull the needle out, leaving the fluorocarbon line behind, trim and make sure the end is tucked back into the hollow core.
Next, Dale ties a nail knot; with 6 pound test GAMMA Torque, where the braid and fluorocarbon meet. Trim the ends close. This knot provides a bit of extra security along with a drop of Pro’s Soft Bait Glue, this leader isn’t going anywhere.
After that, cut the leader to the desired length. I suggest making it from about 3 inches from the tip of the rod to the reel handle. This will make pitching easier as the junction will not go through the guide tip on pitch casts. Also, the knot will not end up in the reel which will make casting tough. That’s it! It takes a good threader about 10 minutes to complete the leader. Some pros are actually threading several leaders in advance and leaving a foot of extra braid
to tie to the braid from the reel. This knot is much stronger as it is a braid-to-braid knot and usually very small! Dale says 60-pound GAMMA Torque braid will accept 12-50 pound test GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon and 80 Torque will handle 20 or 30 to 80 pound Edge.
Get a good needle and try it a few times. No knot is the strongest junction for leaders and will cast through the guides better.
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