Connections

Ksurg

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Jul 14, 2012
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OK.............
Seems like when I started fishing we used candlelight, jack poles, longshoreman caps, prayer and a bottle of spirits. The last thing to be trusted was any line-to-line connection. So as we enter a new dawn of braid, fluoro, mono, titanium , and other metal option. So I have a question. It's really basic but came up as nagging concern as I was rigging for an upcoming trip. Do I trust a braid to mono/fluoro connection more than a braid to mono/fluoro to ring/swivel connection. I guess my never ending distrust is that the number of connections portends failure. Basically it's the weakness link thing and the more links the more failure. Let me give an example:

Flat falls. I could make a bite leader. Don't obsess on the detail. Assume a perfectly rigged flat fall meant to catch the record BFT. Now, do you tie to a swivel with braid? Maybe connect with mono for stretch knowing that the braid to mono serve or knot could be a point of failure. No, well you can tie the flat fall leader directly to the braid or mono.

I think where I'm going with this thread is how confident is everybody with line to line connections. That's complicated given braid, mono, fluoro, wire and every other choice.

I apologize in advance because I know I am over thinking this but there's nothing worse than the "one bite that failed for an error" because it could have been predicted or avoided.

For the record I am planning to rig half of my flat falls with brazed ring and 2 large Mustad southern style J hooks and the other half with bridled circle hooks. But, I need to decide on how I connect the leaders. Left alone I will probably just use swivels. I need suggestions. Also the connection will determine the length of the leader. So, go at it and educate me. Also let me know what to use as leader( i.e. fluoro, mono, and # test).
Thanks in advance!!!
 
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David Brewer

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Jan 10, 2006
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Dave Brewer
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OK.............
Seems like when I started fishing we used candlelight, jack poles, longshoreman caps, prayer and a bottle of spirits. The last thing to be trusted was any line-to-line connection. So as we enter a new dawn of braid, fluoro, mono, titanium , and other metal option. So I have a question. It's really basic but came up as nagging concern as I was rigging for an upcoming trip. Do I trust a braid to mono/fluoro connection more than a braid to mono/fluoro to ring/swivel connection. I guess my never ending distrust is that the number of connections portends failure. Basically it's the weakness link thing and the more links the more failure. Let me give an example:

Flat falls. I could make a bite leader. Don't obsess on the detail. Assume a perfectly rigged flat fall meant to catch the record BFT. Now, do you tie to a swivel with braid? Maybe connect with mono for stretch knowing that the braid to mono serve or knot could be a point of failure. No, well you can tie the flat fall leader directly to the braid or mono.

I think where I'm going with this thread is how confident is everybody with line to line connections. That's complicated given braid, mono, fluoro, wire and every other choice.

I apologize in advance because I know I am over thinking this but there's nothing worse than the "one bite that failed for an error" because it could have been predicted or avoided.

For the record I am planning to rig half of my flat falls with brazed ring and 2 large Mustad southern style J hooks and the other half with bridled circle hooks. But, I need to decide on how I connect the leaders. Left alone I will probably just use swivels. I need suggestions. Also the connection will determine the length of the leader. So, go at it and educate me. Also let me know what to use as leader( i.e. fluoro, mono, and # test).
Thanks in advance!!!
Always do destructive testing at home, before you try it on the water.
 
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TOTW

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Take your time, make sound connections, trust them. Trust the tackle you are using—and if you don’t, don’t use it. I never put anything in the water that is just “okay”—whether it’s a connection I’ve made or a piece of tackle that looks suspect.
On the flat fall/knife jig without bridle—you need a bite leader—200-lb min. Don’t make it too long. Maybe a couple feet. At the line-tie side, use a heavy-duty swivel or a solid ring. You can tie your braid straight to that, but it’s probably better to have some shock absorption with a length of fluoro or mono. That piece should be ~100#. The longer jigs (you will definitely want a couple of rip rollers or something like them) don’t really work for the bridle, so you need to be able to connect them confidently.
 
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TOTW

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For the bite leader: consider the height of the boat and how far your rod tip will be away from the surface of the water at the end game. The last thing you want is to have your leader/swivel connection jammed into your rod tip with the fish circling just out of gaff range.
 
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Ksurg

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Jul 14, 2012
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Thanks. Feel good about my brazes. Agree with bite leaders. Plan on mostly 200lb fluoro. Not sure about big J hooks vs big bridled circle. Naturally will have both😜
 
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2Rotten

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24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
Bridled big circle hook, no bite leader required. Last May on Tomahawk I went 3 for 3 on BFT 120 - 185# using a UC Viper, Mak 20, 100# Braid to 15' of 100# Fluoro direct tied to a 12/0 Eagle Claw 2004 C-Hook. I used an FG knot with Rizzuto finish for the braid to fluoro connection, and a 5-turn San Diego Jam knot to connect the 12/0 C-hook. Simple and strong. Jig used was a 300 gram SK Zebra Glow. For Flat Fall/SK style jigs bridling is a great solution.

PXL_20210922_044937491.jpg


I'm headed back out October 2 - 12 on Intrepid, also bringing 300 and 500 gram knife jigs. These knife jigs are too long to successfully bridle. For these I plan to use the same rig (Viper/Mak 20), with the same FG/Rizzuto braid to 100# fluoro connection, then tie the 100# fluoro to a strong swivel, then 4' of 300# fluoro bite leader, to the knife jig. My knife jigs are rigged with 7/0 Mustad Assist hooks front and back, with an extra 9/0 swiveled Jobu hook on the back.

PXL_20210922_043643764.jpg
 
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Ksurg

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Jul 14, 2012
87
122
San Jose, CA
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KB
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Outer Limits
Bridled big circle hook, no bite leader required. Last May on Tomahawk I went 3 for 3 on BFT 120 - 185# using a UC Viper, Mak 20, 100# Braid to 15' of 100# Fluoro direct tied to a 12/0 Eagle Claw 2004 C-Hook. I used an FG knot with Rizzuto finish for the braid to fluoro connection, and a 5-turn San Diego Jam knot to connect the 12/0 C-hook. Simple and strong. Jig used was a 300 gram SK Zebra Glow. For Flat Fall/SK style jigs bridling is a great solution.

View attachment 1320629

I'm headed back out October 2 - 12 on Intrepid, also bringing 300 and 500 gram knife jigs. These knife jigs are too long to successfully bridle. For these I plan to use the same rig (Viper/Mak 20), with the same FG/Rizzuto braid to 100# fluoro connection, then tie the 100# fluoro to a strong swivel, then 4' of 300# fluoro bite leader, to the knife jig. My knife jigs are rigged with 7/0 Mustad Assist hooks front and back, with an extra 9/0 swiveled Jobu hook on the back.

View attachment 1320627
Nice. Also a fan of the FG knot. Thanks for the pics. I will probably go from mono to bite leader or braid to fluoro but like your rigging.
 
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Bill W

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    The joke of two guys walking a trail in bear country. One guy says to the other do you think you can outrun a bear. The other guy said no… but I can outrun you.
    So… know where the weak link is. And a lot of knots can slip over time. If you crimp there is something called crotch break. Point is even if it tests well on the bench, fishing is different. And some really strong connections do not fish well. Sounds like you are zeroed in on flat falls.
     
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    RichG

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    Agree, they say the weakest link is the connection. Currently there are several good connections and they all work if tied correctly and cinched tight.

    you asked about braid to a swell. Personally I don’t. But I’ve seen a loop on the braid with a cat paw to the swell. It’s like making a loop to loop connection.

    agree a mono shock leader to the heavy fluro is a good idea.
     
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    afraser

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    Bridled big circle hook, no bite leader required. Last May on Tomahawk I went 3 for 3 on BFT 120 - 185# using a UC Viper, Mak 20, 100# Braid to 15' of 100# Fluoro direct tied to a 12/0 Eagle Claw 2004 C-Hook. I used an FG knot with Rizzuto finish for the braid to fluoro connection, and a 5-turn San Diego Jam knot to connect the 12/0 C-hook. Simple and strong. Jig used was a 300 gram SK Zebra Glow. For Flat Fall/SK style jigs bridling is a great solution.

    View attachment 1320629

    I'm headed back out October 2 - 12 on Intrepid, also bringing 300 and 500 gram knife jigs. These knife jigs are too long to successfully bridle. For these I plan to use the same rig (Viper/Mak 20), with the same FG/Rizzuto braid to 100# fluoro connection, then tie the 100# fluoro to a strong swivel, then 4' of 300# fluoro bite leader, to the knife jig. My knife jigs are rigged with 7/0 Mustad Assist hooks front and back, with an extra 9/0 swiveled Jobu hook on the back.

    View attachment 1320627
    Man, that was perfect advice. Bridling allows you to fish lighter line, which is key sometimes. I do like a bigger Jobu hook on the back, either 10/0 or 11/0.
     
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    effigy

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    Which one? Too many....
    The longer jigs (you will definitely want a couple of rip rollers or something like them) don’t really work for the bridle, so you need to be able to connect them confidently.
    Just curious - do you have some observations / experiences that made you come to this conclusion?

    I only have a few data points, but my experience was that the bridle worked fine with an 11 inch knife jig....two solid hookups. The 130 lb...when it hit the deck... had the circle hook where it should be, and the 11 inch jig was completely inside the mouth & throat.

    The jig was more "pointy" at the top, than a rip roller. Not sure if that had anything to do with it (or maybe it was luck 😁 )
     
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    TOTW

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    Just curious - do you have some observations / experiences that made you come to this conclusion?

    I only have a few data points, but my experience was that the bridle worked fine with an 11 inch knife jig....two solid hookups. The 130 lb...when it hit the deck... had the circle hook where it should be, and the 11 inch jig was completely inside the mouth & throat.

    The jig was more "pointy" at the top, than a rip roller. Not sure if that had anything to do with it (or maybe it was luck 😁 )
    A few observations of seeing several fish only hooked on the bottom hook. I suppose that it’s still possible that the fish inhaled the jig and a top circle would have worked. Also, I think they’re more likely to really suck it down on the sink. If they bite on the grind, it seems less likely that the circle will have a chance to do its thing and catch like it should. I just have more confidence knowing that both ends are covered, especially with the long jigs.
     
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    nicodemus

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    Man, that was perfect advice. Bridling allows you to fish lighter line, which is key sometimes. I do like a bigger Jobu hook on the back, either 10/0 or 11/0.
    Wait. How do you bridle - like 2rotten's first pic - AND use a hook on the end? You wouldn't want to hook up on the J hook with the circle connection to the lure.
     
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    2Rotten

    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
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    Wait. How do you bridle - like 2rotten's first pic - AND use a hook on the end? You wouldn't want to hook up on the J hook with the circle connection to the lure.

    You are correct. When you bridle (top picture) there is nothing on the jig. Great presentation. Corner of the jaw hook sets. Almost brilliant!

    Knife jigs are too long to bridle; the Tuna may not completely swallow the longer jig. When I fish big knife jigs I have to use a 300# fluoro bite leader. With knife jigs (bottom picture) I use 2 Assist hooks, top and bottom, trying to increase my chances of getting something to stick. I never quite trust the Assist hooks no matter how well they work; that is why I also have a 9/0 swiveled Jobu hook on the bottom of the jig. The split rings top and bottom are Owner Ultra, 420#.
     
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    nicodemus

    Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
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    You are correct. When you bridle (top picture) there is nothing on the jig. Great presentation. Corner of the jaw hook sets. Almost brilliant!

    Knife jigs are too long to bridle; the Tuna may not completely swallow the longer jig. When I fish big knife jigs I have to use a 300# fluoro bite leader. With knife jigs (bottom picture) I use 2 Assist hooks, top and bottom, trying to increase my chances of getting something to stick. I never quite trust the Assist hooks no matter how well they work; that is why I also have a 9/0 swiveled Jobu hook on the bottom of the jig. The split rings top and bottom are Owner Ultra, 420#.
    Appreciate the detailed info! afraser's post had me confused, but I think he must have been referring to the two ways to rig a jig (or different jigs), not using both methods on any single jig.
     
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    Juanba

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    I’m pretty sure the bottom hook being a huge treble hook sticks in the gills and makes a bigger fish much easier to land. The top hooks seem to help hold the lure in place if it’s inhaled.

    Hooks in the corner of the mouth do hold but seem to allow a much stronger fight from a bigger fish. I’m a believer in
    big treble hooks
     
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    effigy

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    Which one? Too many....
    A few observations of seeing several fish only hooked on the bottom hook. I suppose that it’s still possible that the fish inhaled the jig and a top circle would have worked. Also, I think they’re more likely to really suck it down on the sink. If they bite on the grind, it seems less likely that the circle will have a chance to do its thing and catch like it should. I just have more confidence knowing that both ends are covered, especially with the long jigs.
    Now that (in bold) makes sense. Thanks for the comment.

    Both my hookups referenced (bridle, 11 inch jig) were on the sink. To add to your point, I think the specific "grind" technique may come into play. If it's...10 turns and stop / dead stick, that is different than continuous grinding & pumping.
     
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    Ksurg

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    Now that (in bold) makes sense. Thanks for the comment.

    Both my hookups referenced (bridle, 11 inch jig) were on the sink. To add to your point, I think the specific "grind" technique may come into play. If it's...10 turns and stop / dead stick, that is different than continuous grinding & pumping.
    I’m planning an assortment of Shimano flat fall and SK jigs from 250-350g. Still deciding on what rigging style I’ll do. A bite leader makes sense to me because having heavier line near the tuna’s mouth is security even with a circle hook, especially when the fish changes direction or wraps the line. Always did the same with chunking rigs for the similar reasons.

    Lots of great info, thanks!
     
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    effigy

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    Which one? Too many....
    I’m planning an assortment of Shimano flat fall and SK jigs from 250-350g. Still deciding on what rigging style I’ll do. A bite leader makes sense to me because having heavier line near the tuna’s mouth is security even with a circle hook, especially when the fish changes direction or wraps the line. Always did the same with chunking rigs for the similar reasons.

    Lots of great info, thanks!
    Yes, when fishing "normal" method....J hooks, on cord or swivel / rings, the heavy bite leader is the standard. On my last trip, in addition to the bridle rig fish, I got a 185 & a 165 on an 80 lb rig......80 lb braid, a 35 ft wind-on leader I made of 80 mono, tied to a 4 ft 300 lb fluoro bite leader. One lone hook at bottom of jig.. This is how they like to do it on the Vagabond (but they prefer a 100 lb mono topshot.....they gave me a ribbing about my 80). That 25 - 30 ft of mono is your stretch....your shock absorber. Fluorocarbon in the heavier tests has almost zero stretch.
     
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    Ksurg

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    Yes, when fishing "normal" method....J hooks, on cord or swivel / rings, the heavy bite leader is the standard. On my last trip, in addition to the bridle rig fish, I got a 185 & a 165 on an 80 lb rig......80 lb braid, a 35 ft wind-on leader I made of 80 mono, tied to a 4 ft 300 lb fluoro bite leader. One lone hook at bottom of jig.. This is how they like to do it on the Vagabond (but they prefer a 100 lb mono topshot.....they gave me a ribbing about my 80). That 25 - 30 ft of mono is your stretch....your shock absorber. Fluorocarbon in the heavier tests has almost zero stretch.
    Interesting! My “normal” will be braid to 100lb mono to swivel to 200lb fluoro to flatfall. The bite leader will be crimped with chafe springs. There will be a large mustad southern style 9-0 or 10-0 J hook on top and bottom connected by home brazed 14 gauge stainless rings. Might use a large treble on smaller jigs on the bottom. The BD inspired jigs will be bite leader to some iteration of a bridled large circle hook.
     
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