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  #1  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:32 PM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
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Hollow Spectra V: Mainline Loops (End Loops, Biminis, Surgeon's)

If you are going to use a Wind-On leader with your Spinning reel, one of the choices you face is how to make the loop on your mainline for the loop-to-loop connection between it and the Wind-On leader. (Loop-to-Loop photo below.) The loop-to-loop connection lets you change leaders reliably and quickly, in 6' seas, a 20 knot wind, when the temperature is 50 degrees, at night. And if you have pre-tied swivels/split rings to your spare leaders, there are no knots to be tied when the bite is on.

The mainline loop is a critical part of a loop to loop connection system. Done correctly, the mainline loop is a line-doubler. A well chosen line-doubler reduces the tension of the in the loop by half, with no loss of strength (e.g. if the mainline tension is 40 lbs., the tension in the line inside the loop, is only 20 lbs--almost magic).

Halving the tension in the loops is key to the loop-to-loop connection because the loop-to-loop knot itself is a 60-65% knot. Simple math (and real world testing and experience) says that a 60% efficient knot, running at half of the tension of the mainline, is a 120% connection. Of course 120% is meaningless but it does guarantee you a 100% strong connection--no loss of line strength in the connection. (Note: A single loop-to-loop connection is all that is needed.)

For spinning reels, the ideal mainline loop is:
--thin and without knots so that it does not catch loops of line on the spool, leading to wind-knots;
--sized small so that it can't loop around a guide during casting;
--and does not reduce the strength of the line.

Some examples of mainline loops, photos below:

1. Spliced End-Loop in hollow-weave Spectra. This is a thin, reliable way to form a line-doubler loop. There are no points of stress concentration and it is easy to make perfectly. The spliced End-Loop can be made in any loop size from fractions of an inch to feet. The catch is that you need hollow-weave Spectra.

If you prefer solid-weave Spectra as your mainline, a good alternative is to splice 5 to 10 yards of hollow-weave Spectra on top of the solid-weave and then make a spliced End-Loop. Solid to Hollow Spectra Splice

2. Bimini Twist. Thin and nearly 100% strong, the key to successfully using a Bimini Twist in a loop-to-loop connection is to use enough twists so that each side of the loop can carry 50% of the load. In my testing, that rarely happens below 30 initial twists--I say initial twists because about 60% of the twists you start with are used to create the top wraps, leaving only 40% of the initial twists to hold the connection. In my experience and testing 50 initial-twists is a good number. (Note, the loop-to-loop is a different application than tying a Bimini Twist to a Slim Beauty.) The final lock knot on the tag end of a Bimini should be superglued or it will loosen after a couple hours of casting.

The biggest drawback to the Bimini Twist is that it is difficult to control loop size, and large loops can catch on the guides during casting. More twists means a bigger loop, less twists means a risk of the knot slipping.

3. Surgeon's Loop. This is a quick, reliable, east-to-tie knot. And it is relatively easy to control loop size. The main drawbacks in a spinning reel application are: a) there is stress concentration where the mainline makes its first turn inside the knot, which reduces the strength of the mainline by about 30%, b) it is a knot that can hit the guides, and hang on them, and c) after an hour of casting, when the line on your spool is no longer packed tightly, it can pull wind-knot loops off the spool. The 30% strength loss is not usually a problem in 80# Spectra on a spinning reel, unless the particular line doesn't overtest (e.g. some of the PE lines).

All of the above choices will work, with some having advantages over the others. You can probably tell, I'm a big fan of the spliced End-Loop
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Last edited by pametfisher; 07-29-2009 at 08:43 PM..
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:33 AM
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Albiemanmike Albiemanmike is offline
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Roger,
No problems with the solid mainline braid cutting the hollow spectra when using a loop to loop with bimini in mainline??? That is why I always shyed away from using the bimini as the mainline loop and instead went with the spliced end loops as you know. I am more confident with hollow to hollow loops then solid to hollow loops if you get my drift.
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2009, 05:10 AM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albiemanmike View Post
Roger,
No problems with the solid mainline braid cutting the hollow spectra when using a loop to loop with bimini in mainline??? That is why I always shyed away from using the bimini as the mainline loop and instead went with the spliced end loops as you know. I am more confident with hollow to hollow loops then solid to hollow loops if you get my drift.
That's a good question. The simple answer is that there are no problems with solid Spectra cutting hollow Spectra. Here's why--

The materials of hollow-weave Spectra and solid-weave are the same, Gel Spun Polyethylene. The difference is purely how the bobbins move on the weaving machine when the line is made. In the case of solid-weave, the threads are brought across the pattern from time to time, in hollow-weave the bobbins move around the outside and never cross the center.

When put under tension, for all practical purposes, hollow and solid of the same strength are nearly indistinguishable. When I splice an end loop on a piece of Spectra and hang it on a hook, then go back to it in a few days, the tension of hanging makes it hard to find the center at times--that's how easily the "hollow center" disappears. When you're jigging, casting, retrieving or trolling hollow-weave Spectra, the center is fully closed.

Forgetting solid and hollow for a moment, if you take 50 lb. actual breaking strength (ABS) Spectra, and loop it to 80 lb. ABS Spectra and then load it with 50 lbs. or so, the 50 lb. loop will appear to "cut" through the 80 lb. loop. (I've tested this a few times.) But what is actually happening, according to the Materials Science guys I've spoken to, is that the 80 lb. line is being "bent" around the much thinner 50 lb. line and is fracturing. But this type of breaking is merely an example of a 50 lb. line, connected to an 80 lb. line, breaking at 50 lbs.--just what you would expect.

The biggest problem that I've seen and heard about with Bimini's in casting loop-to-loop connections, is the Bimini loop (which can be a few inches in diameter) opening and wrapping around the stripper guide--followed by an abrupt break-off or lure flying back your way. It is hard, if not impossible, to make a 50-turn Bimini in Spectra that is as small as an inch in diameter. That's one of the reasons I like hollow-weave for loops.
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2009, 06:53 AM
jaydreamin jaydreamin is offline
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How about the Bimini/ Slim Beauty connection? Have you experimented with that combination?
Good info, thanks~
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:28 AM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydreamin View Post
How about the Bimini/ Slim Beauty connection? Have you experimented with that combination?
Good info, thanks~
The Bimini -- Slim Beauty is a very good connection. I have only done a little testing but it is very strong. The number of turns in the Bimini Twist is not as important for a Slim Beauty, because it is not as important that each leg of the loop loads equally.

For connection to heavier leaders, 80# to 130#, the Figure-8 knot of the Slim Beauty gets large and so I've personally steered away from it and toward wind-on leaders--much easier on the guides, and they cast further.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pametfisher View Post
The loop-to-loop connection lets you change leaders reliably and quickly, in 6' seas, a 20 knot wind, when the temperature is 50 degrees, at night.
Are you nuts?
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:19 PM
Danny M Danny M is offline
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what size hollow would you use to splice on the end of 80 lb floro to make the loop for the wind on leader?
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:05 PM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny M View Post
what size hollow would you use to splice on the end of 80 lb floro to make the loop for the wind on leader?
80# JB White.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:42 PM
Danny M Danny M is offline
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Thanks, but I still have more questions.

I would like to put a 3 hundred yards of solid pp 80 on a penn 6/0 then top it with 2 hundred yards of 80 mono.

would you use the loop to loop to connect pp to mono, or would splice to splice be beter seeing as it wount be cast through the guides 100 times, or there will be no need to change it quickly or often.

Thanks again, very helpful!
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:49 PM
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Buy a couple extra rods and use a PR knot which is the only knot that will give you 100%...problem solved
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2009, 05:07 PM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny M View Post
Thanks, but I still have more questions.

I would like to put a 3 hundred yards of solid pp 80 on a penn 6/0 then top it with 2 hundred yards of 80 mono.

would you use the loop to loop to connect pp to mono, or would splice to splice be beter seeing as it wount be cast through the guides 100 times, or there will be no need to change it quickly or often.

Thanks again, very helpful!
Why go with solid PP over hollow JB?

If you choose PP, I'd Bimini it and carry a spare topshot or two (on a spool) in case I needed to change them. Or as Codfisher suggested, you could carry a couple spare rods and reels instead of a spare topshot. (Hi Codfisher.)
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2009, 09:51 PM
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Vitamin Sea Vitamin Sea is offline
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I have been messing around with the hollow core spectra for a couple of months now. My impressions:

60# blue is hard to work with because it is small and I think the coloring makes it sticky. The right tools are absolutely necessary to open up the weave and then do your threading and splicing.

80# white is a breeze to work wih compared to the 60# blue. Still the right tools make all the difference.

130# blue is not bad at all and the tools definitely help.

Threading mono/fluoro into the hollow is easy with the threading needles and an opened up weave. With a little practice it is no problem.

Threading solid spectra into hollow spectra is simple as well.

Where I am having difficulty is making the end loop. Working the tool or bent in half wire into the hollow core goes smoothly. Poking the tip of the wire out and putting a small loop of the hollow core through the loop in the wire is not an issue either. BUT trying to then pull that loop in the line that is through the loop in the wire back inside the hollow core is a PAIN for me. I work it around trying to keep the hollow core loose and open but it still takes just getting lucky for the loop and wire to pop back inside the hollow core. Any tips I am missing? The directions say as small a loop in the line as possible will make it easier, but my loop is the size of a dime.

Other than that my connections are coming out great. Now I just need to test them.
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2009, 10:22 PM
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Albiemanmike Albiemanmike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Sea View Post
I have been messing around with the hollow core spectra for a couple of months now. My impressions:

60# blue is hard to work with because it is small and I think the coloring makes it sticky. The right tools are absolutely necessary to open up the weave and then do your threading and splicing.

80# white is a breeze to work wih compared to the 60# blue. Still the right tools make all the difference.

130# blue is not bad at all and the tools definitely help.

Threading mono/fluoro into the hollow is easy with the threading needles and an opened up weave. With a little practice it is no problem.

Threading solid spectra into hollow spectra is simple as well.

Where I am having difficulty is making the end loop. Working the tool or bent in half wire into the hollow core goes smoothly. Poking the tip of the wire out and putting a small loop of the hollow core through the loop in the wire is not an issue either. BUT trying to then pull that loop in the line that is through the loop in the wire back inside the hollow core is a PAIN for me. I work it around trying to keep the hollow core loose and open but it still takes just getting lucky for the loop and wire to pop back inside the hollow core. Any tips I am missing? The directions say as small a loop in the line as possible will make it easier, but my loop is the size of a dime.

Other than that my connections are coming out great. Now I just need to test them.
The only thing I can think you are having problems with is maybe the size of the wire you are using. I use some very thin copper wire my wife has for her jewelry making and it works beautiful. When I run the wire into the hollow and then out again I pull a good size loop through the wire before I slide the hollow back over itself as when i first started doing it I woould end up with no loop at the end to work with and it was a pain to work the loop back out again. With the thin wire working the hollow back over itself is a piece of cake and takes no time at all.
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2009, 05:35 AM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Sea View Post
I have been messing around with the hollow core spectra for a couple of months now. My impressions:

60# blue is hard to work with because it is small and I think the coloring makes it sticky. The right tools are absolutely necessary to open up the weave and then do your threading and splicing.

80# white is a breeze to work wih compared to the 60# blue. Still the right tools make all the difference.

130# blue is not bad at all and the tools definitely help.

Threading mono/fluoro into the hollow is easy with the threading needles and an opened up weave. With a little practice it is no problem.

Threading solid spectra into hollow spectra is simple as well.

Where I am having difficulty is making the end loop. Working the tool or bent in half wire into the hollow core goes smoothly. Poking the tip of the wire out and putting a small loop of the hollow core through the loop in the wire is not an issue either. BUT trying to then pull that loop in the line that is through the loop in the wire back inside the hollow core is a PAIN for me. I work it around trying to keep the hollow core loose and open but it still takes just getting lucky for the loop and wire to pop back inside the hollow core. Any tips I am missing? The directions say as small a loop in the line as possible will make it easier, but my loop is the size of a dime.

Other than that my connections are coming out great. Now I just need to test them.
You're doing really well, given the comments you made:

60# is harder in general, it is smaller and the JB 60# is 12 threads, the 80# is 16 threads. The 16 carrier (threads) is much easier to work with. ANY color added to the line makes it slightly "sticky". It becomes much harder to work with.

80# and up becomes very easy to work with with a little practice. It now takes me less time to pull a full end loop than to tie a knot. Keep going.

When making an End Loop, make certain that you get a clean entry and clean exit--no hooked threads on the way in or out. After you poke the wire out, you have to pull only one loop through as form the End Loop. That means, "flipping" the wire through itself (pulling the ends of the wire through the loop) or having a big enough wire to pull the spool through the wire where it exits the braid. My guess is that you're trying to pull four length of line into the opening (I can do it but it is very hard).

If you make the Splice Sections of an End Loop longer than 3" each they will not break or slip--meaning they are 100%.
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