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Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

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Limpe Iven
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:22 am

Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#1

Post by Limpe Iven » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:46 pm

On my last trip i expierenced that my tippet would break right after the knot.
Using a standard saltwaterleader, tying on a piece of tippet with a bloodknot (carefully wetting the ends before tightening the knot), not striking by lifting the rod but setting the hook strip-striking (yes, with feeling, not a ridicolous yank) in some cases the tippet broke right off after the knot right after setting the hook and feeling pressure on the flyline)

Taking extra care of the way the knot was tied and taking extra care on the strip-strip strike it still happened.
So i figured; what did i do wrong?
I remembered some chemical i have had used before (not sure if it was knot sense or some similar product) that prevented this a lot.
So i figured it was the hot sun/uv that influenced the knot, when wading (or pausing for a drink) i held the fly and the leader knot in hand to shield it from the sun, that took care of it, reducing leaderknot breakage a lot.

What are the expierences on this?
Do you use some chemical to apply to knots? If so, what product?
Any advice?

(i always make use of new leaders, new tippet material, making sure in do not mix fluorocarbon with other material or mixing hard tippet with a soft leader when fishing hot sunny saltwaters).

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Graeme H
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#2

Post by Graeme H » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:32 pm

I've never experienced that. I don't use anything on the knots (other than saliva).

What fish were you chasing? Perhaps you were being bitten off?

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:57 pm

The Blood Knot is a pretty poor knot and some modern materials really don’t like it at all. James did some testing FPs with an Instron and various knots. The knot he uses for tippet is a J-knot. I personally tie a Bimini into a Slim Beauty, or more likely nowadays make a twisted leader. I like the fly knot to be the weak link, or better still the hook itself!

It can also be a bad batch of tippet material. But I’m sure you’ll find these knots FAR stronger. For one thing a Bimini can be tightened without the line slipping towards the knot and hence without deforming the tippet at all. That’s why it’s close to 100%.

I don’t think UV can break down tippet that quickly so I doubt it’s that. I’ve had problems in the past with tippet material that got wet. I also know about tippet material that had been damaged at manufacture. Also it has a shelf life and just because you bought it new doesn’t mean it is new! However I would play around with breaking some knots - it’s always good fun, but wear sunglasses and hand protection! :cool:

Cheers. Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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petevicar
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#4

Post by petevicar » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:33 pm

This might sound rather obvious but do you test your knots before you cast. What I mean is giving the leader a seriously hard tug just after you tie the knot.
I have found that quite often the line breaks for no apparent reason.
When the line does not break then you can be pretty sure that it will not break on a fish, unless it gets damaged.
IANACI

Mangrove Cuckoo
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#5

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:52 pm

Iven

When you say "right after the knot" I am guessing you mean the knot is still there but the break was further down the leader toward the fly?

How far is "right after"... like a few mms?

Also, is the tippet thinner, the same, or thicker than the end of the salt water leader you are adding it to?

Does the remaining tag show any deformation?

I suspect you may have some slipping and/or friction heat causing your problem.

A couple of things come to mind...

I have found that mixing materials (different brands) can cause problems. One is almost always a bit stiffer or slicker than the other and that can lead to slipping within the knot. It is a real problem when trying to knot nylon to fluoro, but even different brands of nylon mono will cause problems.

Also, different lines (either materials or diameters) often require different numbers of wraps when joining them with blood knots. Thinner diameters need more turns, so do softer materials. Have you experimented with how many turns your materials prefer?

Also, with blood knots (which I prefer btw) I have found that setting the knot is a two step process. Once I have made the wraps, and lubed it with spit, I first draw it down with a quick but light tug. That sets the knot about 80%. I then spit on it again and finish the tightening slowly. Commonly, I employ my knees to help with the final step. It is imperative to avoid creating friction when the tightening the knot and this two step sequence seems to help.

And then... if the break is more than a few mm from the knot... are you sure this isn't happening due to "wind" knots??? They like to form near knots in the thinner sections of tippet.

Finally, you did not mention what strength of tippet you are using. Strip sets can be pretty tricky when using very light tippets!

As to chemicals. If you don't have slippery spit, try lip balm. Just apply a new coat to your lips before working on your leader, then drag the untightend knot through your lips a few times before setting the knot. It really helps and it keeps your lips from getting sun burned too!
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

Limpe Iven
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#6

Post by Limpe Iven » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:40 pm

Thanks for the replies and comments sofar.

Last trip i used Rio Tapered leaders .014 inch 13.2 Lb test, adding 3 to 5 feet of rio fluoroflex (like the manufacturer suggests on the package).
The time that it happened the knot (leader-tippet was gone) didn't measure how much pre-knot-tippet was lost. In all cases the knot was gone.(no rocky beds, no tangles in turtle grass before the breakage, pristine flats, never tangled up in branches, or roots, no stepping on lines, i guess i'm carefull enough..)
On some occasions i cut some more of the tapered leader to meet the diameter of tippet.
Regarding shelf life, i was more worried about the 12 year old flylines, wich held up pretty good.

I do test the knot before action.
@Greame chasing bonefish, big ones :)
Image

I can imagine that a combination of supple leader and stiff, non stretchable tippet material is an improved risk so i took care not the choose those different materials.
Happend one time after wading a long time, therefore the link with sun/uv.

Will try again in a couple of months, thansk for the knot suggestions, practicing some of them already.
Thanks!

Mangrove Cuckoo
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#7

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:33 pm

It sounds to me that there is something seriously wrong with your leader stock. Throw it out and get some fresh stuff.

Because of issues like this, no one I know trusts knotless leaders for saltwater use.

I suggest you get some spools of fresh mono and learn to make your own leaders. That way you know you can trust 'em. If the knots fail it is on you. Besides, you can alter the leader profile to meet your needs.

BTW... If you pull a few meters of "new" mono through your fingers and see a white chalky residue left on you fingers don't purchase it. That is monomer bleed and the stock is old.
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#8

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:47 pm

Completely agree with Gary here. Sounds like there is a problem with your tapered leader/s. Weak points should appear further towards the fly. What breaking strain was the tippet?

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Limpe Iven
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#9

Post by Limpe Iven » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:05 pm

Paul,
13,2 Lb test .104 inch thickness of tip. 1X tippet with 10 Lb test
also 15 Lb leader with 0X tippet, both broke there.

I checked other leaders from the same batch i bought, tried different knots too, they all remained perfectly strong.
also tried to tie different knots with the same leaders/tippet from the batch i bought, even with a poorly tied knot, not wetted, they all hold up. (old heavy motorcycle parts make for good test objects :) )

For sure i will do a test when i'm on the flats again, since i have no doubt about the quality of the leaders/tippet, nor my tippet-knot-tying skills.
Will leave a set-up lying in the sun, then test, also testing one tied on with knot-sense. ( i remember this issue back in 2005, when we had the same issue, one of my fellow travellers had brough a bottle of knot-sense and from there on, no more breaking of knots).

Funds keep me from going next month :D .

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tippet breaking-tropical hot saltwater.

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:43 pm

Ok then drop the knots. Do what I did and make knot-offs ie break knots against others. That connection for max strength should be a Slim Beauty into a Bimini. But you must feel the difference. Alternatively do what I do now which is a twisted leader with a J knotting lock - I’ll post a video of this shortly. This knot should be 100% or 99%+. Anything less makes no sense when you need to pull. We have knots at the fly that do this and that needs to be the weak point. If this is not strong enough then use braid. We haven’t touched the use of braid yet in fly fishing. If I can use it for dry fly and the most difficult fish (Gourami) then you can use it for streamers in the salt. (I’ll make another video on this). :)

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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