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How to rig your gear for Steelheading fishing, Questions and answers...about methods, equipment, and steelhead fly fishing gear.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
by Troutfisher » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:05 am
Looking back at all the steelheading I did on New York's salmon River this year, I see I lost an extraordinary number of fish due to tippet knot failure. Sometimes, the breakage occurred on the initial strike, but more often than not it happened while I was fighting a fish. One day that sticks in my mind was 14 fish hooked and only 6 landed.
I used 3-X and 4-X Rio, Airflo, Orvis and Segaur flurocarbon along with 100% knots like the Trilene, Orvis, 16/20 and Palomar. I lubricated each knot with syliva and tried to tighten them as carefully as possible. The knots that failed were probably equally divided between the fly and the swivel connections. Although it's no longer required in the regulations, I still use a tiny swivel as a part of my terminal tackle rig because I feel it makes tippet replacement easier.
I've been steelheading since the early 1980s and know that some breakage is to be expected. However, my hooked-to-landed percentage appears to be way too low which prompts me to ask the following questions of other Great Lakes steelheaders:
What is your average hooked-to-landed percentage or number? I've often suspected that some leader material has better cold temberature knot strength and wonder what kind, brand and pound-test you are using? What knot are you using to tie your flies to the leader?
by staffman » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:49 pm
I do not fly fish,but while pinning I have a low breaking problem fishing 6 pound Drennan leader material. I land at least 80% of the fish I hook. I use the San Diego Jam Knot which you can find at www.netknots.com it is the best knot that i have used and is simple to tie.
by Troutfisher » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:49 am
Staffman: One of the advantages of pinning and spinning is that the stretch factor of the line acts as a shock absorber. This is known as "elongation" in the tackle industry. Unfortunately, with fly leaders...especially tippets... being much shorter, this advantage is lacking.
As to the Drennan leader material, I have several spools of it but find that its labeled breaking strength is less than other manufacturer's material having the same measured diameter. I might be wrong for not liking it because of this as it's possible that its knot strength is better. That's the purpose of this post...to find out what others are using successfully and learn how to prevent knot breakage.
Lastly, thanks for the link to the knot which I'll definately try.
Id love to hear more opinions from other steelheaders.
by Fishndude » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:17 am
It has been my experience that flourocarbon tends to get brittle, and break a LOT more easily, once it is a year or more old. I just tossed spools of 8# and 6# flourocarbon around Thanksgiving, because I was breaking fish off that shouldn't have broken off.
by buckeye17 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:41 pm
Troutfisher, 10 or 12 lbs Berkley Vanish Florocarbon. 8lbs is as low as I go. Hooked to catch rate is much higher. IMO, floro is almost invisible under water, and I generally fish larger rivers with some stain, so going small on the tippet only puts you at a disadvantage. Another issue may be how your drag engauges, not sure what you're fishing though.
by Steel-Addicted » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:03 am
For the past several years I was using PLine floro rated 6 & 8 lb. Their actual breaking strength is about 2 lbs heavier than that. This year I switched to Seaguar floro in 8 lb. Both brands work well and I've never felt the need to go heavier unless swinging flies for steelhead in warm water. Ninety % of my knot failures are on snags, not on fish. I used to use the Palomar knot, but have switched to the Clinch knot as it's easier to tie on small flies. Below I've posted my hook to land ratios for the last few years, but I think there's too many variables for them to be meaningful. The first 3 years, I was using a noodle rod that had a LOT of flex to it. You can see that the hook to land ratio was much better then the later seasons. Starting in the 2007/2008 season, I switched to a moderately fast action fly rod and the ratio went down. I also had a tendency to "horse" the fish with the stiffer fly rod and I pulled the hook out of them more frequently, but the knot wasn't the point of failure. This was probably the result of the no stretch fly line paired with a stiffer rod.
Not sure, but maybe the solution is to go with a lighter rod and set the drag at an appropriate resistance. Or if palming the reel instead of using the drag, maybe a little gentler touch? Maybe you just had a spool of crappy line. It doesn't hurt to buy new floro for each season.
by stonethrower » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:33 pm
No offence meant to anyone but berkeley vanish and seagar didn't hold up for me. Ive heard good things about p-line but haven't tried it. I fish the SR and use Maxima flouro or brown usually 8# but drop down to 6 when conditions dictate. I use the improved clinch, I know that there are better knots out there but i can tie that one blindfolded. My hook to land ratio is low but thats due to my fighting style, I put the wood to the fish and don't land fish hooked in the soft lip tissue and I'm not loosing my flies to the fish unless I can't chase them down and have to break off intentionally. I also pull in quite a bit of others lost gear with the maxima 8#. JMHO GL on the river.
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