Knots - ok, not that gripping, but they do need to grip. The new Injection ?
The other day I asked the question on my Facebook page "what knots do you use to attach your braid to your mono or fluoro leader ?", and as I kind of expected the responses threw up a variation of knots. There are as they say many ways to skin a cat. I can kind of remember when I first started using braid some years ago now, and although the word was that it was hard stuff to knot I can't think of any real problems I was getting. I know nothing of the science behind it all, but it seems to me that your more regular 4-strand braids are actually pretty good at "gripping" in the knot. You still can't get away from the fact that a bad knot is a bad knot, but I can't recall ever having 4-strand braid slip or undo on me.
I don't actually use many different knots at all for my fishing. Some of the knots the guys were using for the GT popping over in the Seychelles the other day (new photo gallery up on my website here by the way) almost defied belief, but then that kind of seriously heavy duty fishing requires a whole different set of skills to cope with it. On that front I have lots to learn, but I do know that I can dish it out to a fish when I have to !!
For the most part these days I guess I am using these newer 8-strand braids for my lure fishing in the UK and Ireland, and I do believe that a bit more care and perhaps knowledge is required to knot them properly. I have even found that different braids from different companies can behave slightly differently - nothing scientific again, but I can think of one braid in particular that required me to go back to my "regular" knot, think again, and then find if it might be improved. It is not a fault of the line. It's the way it's made, and in my mind it is a progression of technology that in turn requires us the users to up our game if we want to take full benefit of the new stuff.
As I said earlier, there are many ways to skin a cat. Some of those "serious fish" fishing knots are incredible, but I don't believe we need them for the bulk of our lure fishing here in the UK and Ireland. If it's any help, I have tried a bunch of different knots for attaching my 8-strand braid mainline to a fluoro leader and I personally can't find anything that is easier to tie or that is as strong as the Improved Albright Knot finished off with a three turn locking knot. If that is double-dutch to you, look at the bottom of this webpage here for the Improved Albright, but I put six turns up and six turns back down instead of the five they show. Once that knot is pulled up tight I then put the 3 turn locking knot on it - see this webpage here for how to tie that one. So easy, and I have never, ever had any braid slip on me one single bit with this knot. I have played around a bit with this new Berkley Nanofil line and the word is that it will literally come undone if you don't use the right knots. Berkley even include a little leaflet on the spool with some recommended knots, but from the off I have used the Improved Albright with the three turn locking knot and I have not come across any problems so far. I just don't believe that there are many bad lines out there these days, and nothing so far has deviated me away from still believing that most line related problems are through angler error. Plus, and it's a subject I need to try and find out about some more, lines do seem to react in different ways depending on the kinds of stresses they are put under...............
I did come across a braid that one of the guys was using out in the Seychelles for some of this serious GT popping, and it seemed to be awesome stuff. It's called "Jerry Brown Line One Hollow Core Spectra Braided Line" (see here), and from memory he was using the 100lb breaking strain as in the photo above. And yes, I desire that Stella 10000 with the custom Studio Ocean Mark spool that increases the line capacity. Reel lust. This particular hollow core braid from Jerry Brown does not seem to come in breaking stains less than 40lb (yes, they do a solid braid at the breaking strains we might use), but the thing that really struck home to me was the fact that you can actually splice this hollow core stuff together for I suppose 100% strength - essentially no knot to catch in the guides, and the ability to load up your reel again with only as much line as you need after a GT goes and breaks you off on structure. No taking all your like off and starting again. Simply fill up as required. Does anybody know more about these hollow core braids ?
Last weekend I was in north Cornwall for a couple of days and I dropped into The Art of Fishing in St. Merryn to see Ben and have a waggle with this new, longer Tenryu Injection (the Injection SP82M Long Cast Finesse to be precise). A friend asked me in the week about it and I said that in essence it felt exactly like a longer version of the Injection SP 73M and he laughed. But think about it for a second. Rods of different lengths within a specific range often feel different for various reasons (length versus weight versus action etc.) OK, so I only got to waggle the new longer Tenryu Injection about a bit and talked through it with Ben, but from that it felt to me exactly what I was hoping a longer Injection would be. Like the shorter one, but a bit longer !! I would have to take one out fishing to really get a proper feel for it, but I can't see how anybody who loves the shorter SP 73M model could not like this new longer one. Not cheap, but then the really good gear never will be. I would hazard a guess that this new, longer Injection might find its way into a whole bunch of lure anglers' hands next year............