How did this "new" leader knot do ?
If you have no clue what I am talking about here, then I refer you back to these two blog posts here and here - and if you have no interest in fishing knots then I would advise you to come back another day when I'm on about something a little more exciting. What, fishing knots aren't wildly exciting ? OK, I admit that knots do actually quite interest me, and especially when they work differently perhaps even better than what you were using before. Take a look here for the leader knot I have been using for ages now to attach braid to a leader, because it has never failed me with a fish on and in certain situations I will continue to use it.....................
I fished with this "new" knot the whole time I was over in Ireland, so if you take the hours I fished, the bass I landed and the methods I used to land them then I reckon that's a pretty good test of a knot. We are talking about a lot of casting over a number of hours, and with a few different rods as well that are rung with various ring patterns. To make things easy here I am going to refer to this "new" knot as the simplified GT knot. So how did it do ? In a word, perfectly.
As I said in the original blog posts, I was never worried about the strength of an Improved Albright/3-turn locking knot combination for the lure fishing we might do, but without a doubt this simplified GT knot is stronger. Nope, I have nothing remotely scientific to back this up, but I know my snags, and I know what it takes to get things back out of them. I could not believe how hard I could pull on 20lb braid connected to a 6' long 12lb or 16lb fluoro leader (the consistently awesome YGK Nitlon DFC stuff), and on a couple of occasions when I did not get the lure back, the leader broke somewhere above the lure clip instead of the leader knot itself breaking. Somewhere on the Copper Coast is a much loved, green back, launce lookalike DUO Tide Minnow Slim 140.
Mark and I (plus Cian when he could sneak away from the shop) used this simplified GT knot for the whole trip and not one single time did either of us get the leader knot catching in any of the rod rings when casting, to the point that after the first day I just gave up worrying if it was ever going to happen. I have read that GT anglers have to keep an eye on the knots they use like this that come through the rod rings as they take a battering with repeated casting of those big poppers, but perhaps this is due to much heavier lines and leaders. I know that Mark only retied his knot once during the trip and he never had one single problem and was still able to wrench the odd lure out when required.
I do like being able to fish with a longer leader, and of course I could go even longer if I wanted to with this knot, but for me 6' seems just fine at the moment. Without a doubt my last few metres of braid to the leader took less of a hammering being that little bit further away from the rough stuff, and I can't help but feel that bit more confidence when fishing lighter leaders if they are that little bit longer. I was able to wrap a couple of turns of leader around my hand and pull a smallish bass up to unhook and release a couple of times, and I categorically don't feel comfortable wrapping braid around hands whatever the size of fish.
In my mind it's very simple really. This simplified GT knot is a better alternative for me than the one I was using before and therefore it's a no brainer. I will still use the Improved Albright/3-turn locking knot when it's windy and I break my leader off, because this simplified GT knot is tricky to tie in the breeze and it simply doesn't work if you don't get those cross-wraps in there correctly, and of course you need to remember to pull the hell out of the knot after that first half-hitch. Forget to do this and the knot will fail. This "new" knot does take longer to tie, but to me it's worth it, and without a doubt this knot picks up less weed than the other one as well.
The more I tie it though, the more I fancy my chances of retying it successfully in a bit of wind, indeed I did manage it out on the rocks if I took my time - when there were some fish on the feed though and I snagged a Black Minnow up solid and broke my leader off, I tried to rush the knot (fish fever), failed, and turned back to the (faster) Improved Albright/3-turn locking knot. When I got back to the house though I put a new leader on my rod using this simplified GT knot because this is how much I now trust it. Until something better comes across my radar this "new" knot is what I will be using as it's just one awesome way to connect braid to leader.
Monday Morning (progressive) Metal Madness - All I know is that this band Riverside hail from Poland, but holy cow their new album "Shrine of New Generation Slaves" has got inside my head this year. Progressive metal ? Not sure what this stuff is really, and it certainly ain't the more usual stuff I might listen to (what, no screaming vocals ??!!), but I just can't stop listening to this band. What a great start to the week if you ask me................