More on that (awesome) leader knot
My apologies for another blog post about knots when perhaps I should be regaling you with tales of double figure bass crawling up the line, but if you go fishing then knots are one of the basic fundamentals. I always use a leader for my lure fishing and therefore the quality and behaviour of that leader knot is important to me. As Alan said in a comment on Monday's blog post, it never ceases to amaze me when anglers talk about knots breaking on the fish we might hook here in the UK and Ireland - because they shouldn't be. Sure, fish get off the hooks or smash us on rocks sometimes, but bass, knot breakers ? Me thinks not.............
Anyway, I have been playing around a bit more with this "new" leader knot, and if you haven't read the blog post previous to this one that is all about the knot in question then it might be worth nipping back and scanning through it - hold on to your hats though because it's some pretty wild stuff !! And yes, I hear the "I've been using so and so knot for years and it's never let me down", because you can put me in the same boat with my Improved Albright/3-turn locking knot. No problems with it at all.
But I am starting to think that this "simplified GT" knot (for want of a better name) is plain and simple just a better overall knot. I have nothing remotely scientific to back up my hunches, but I know that if I tie 20lb braid to a 16lb fluoro leader then I can wrap the lines around my hands and break the Improved Albright with a decent pull, yet I can't break the simplified GT knot. If I put some gloves and pulled that bit harder I know the knot would give eventually, but for me it seems to be a stronger knot. Do I need a stronger knot for my UK and Irish lure fishing ? Nope, but I like the "new" knot and I'll take the extra strength thanks very much (any chance to pull harder on my hooked fish).
The thing for me though is the fact that I can now use a fluoro or indeed mono leader of whatever length I want and not worry about it catching in the rod rings. I have thrashed the knot with different rods rung with different rings and so far it's just never caught up. A good angler and thoroughly nice bloke I know over in Ireland called Alan O'Neill left a comment on the blog post to say that he's been using this kind of knot for a couple of years now and has complete and utter confidence in it. I note also that Alan has at times dropped to a longer 7lb fluoro leader and kept catching, but as he quite rightly says, gauge the area you are fishing with regards to leader strength.
I will admit that the video clip that I embedded in Monday's blog post is hardly the most exciting thing on You Tube, but I give the bloke his dues that he explains the knot as plain as day. One thing you really need to take care to do after putting the first half-hitch in after the twelve cross-wraps (see 5:14 in the video) is to then tighten the hell out of the knot - this is a vital part of tying this knot. It seems to make those cross-wraps literally grip onto the leader like they are meant to. I did make the mistake of forgetting to tighten that first half-hitch on one occasion and when I finished the knot and went to tighten it up it all pulled free.
A guy called Paulo Felicio kindly left a comment on the blog post about how he tends to tie a load more half-hitches around the (braid) mainline after he has essentially finished the main knot off and then cut the leader tag-end right down (and yes, I cut mine as close as I can get without cutting into the actual knot). I have seen this weave of half-hitches done before on GT popping and jigging gear and I can understand exactly what Paulo says about a load of extra half-hitches almost helping to smooth the profile of the knot down a bit more and help it run through small rod rings on the cast. Makes sense to me I must admit and when I am tying the knot inside before going fishing I think I am going to finish it like this. Out and about though in the elements and I will most likely complete the knot with the more regular four half-hitches like I was talking about on Monday. When I head over to Ireland next week, this is the knot I will be using and I will let you know how it goes.
You will no doubt be thrilled to know that the short bass fishing film we made over in Ireland a few weeks back is now available to as a podcast right here (the 24th August show). I did watch the show and I give a lot of credit to the Tight Lines lot for getting a bit political over the bass MLS stuff. I am pleased with how our bass stuff came across, but I also can't help wondering what we could have done with those fish we caught for the camera together with a load more time/budget. I dream about say a BBC nature budget and all those gyro-stabilised cameras mounted on helicopters and what could be done with fishing, indeed I have this opening shot in my head that wakes me up from time to time with how frigging awesome it would look. To dream..................