Recently I was on a fishing trip here in southern California out of Long Beach on the sportfishing boat “Tornado” in a wide open rock fish bite. I was using a jig bouncing it on the bottom in 170 feet of water with my trusty BV-300 with 30lb braid and a fast taper rod to drive the hook home. The fish were cracking the jig on the fall and I was catching my share when I went to set the hook and it felt like my spool lurched forward. I wound back down towards the water and pressed my thumb on the spool, and set back up with a solid hookset catching another quality red snapper. This same thing happened to me several times and I had never had this happen to me before. The next day I brought the reel back to Accurate thinking something mechanically had to be wrong with the reel. To my amazement the braid was slipping on the spool. I had put braid on a ton of reels over the years for a myriad of species with no problem, but this experience drove the point home to me that if I was experiencing this others must be too. I had always attached the braid with two or three wraps around the spool arbor and tightened the single uni knot securely, putting my finger nail on the knot, pressing it tightly against the arbor.
Jose, our production manager, took the reel and put it on our reel testing machine under load, the whole spool of line was moving, and it was extremely hard packed onto the spool. The key is to securely get the first few wraps of braid on the arbor for holding power. The knot, as well as way you secure it, is extremely important to your success with braid.
This blog is going to show you a couple of ways to secure your braided line to the arbor of your spool so when you wind it on tight with machine or by hand, it will not move during your hookset or fight with a gamefish.
When originally putting braid on a new reel the first thing to make sure is the arbor is clean of any oil or grease that could cause slippage.
There are three basic ways to secure braid onto a reel’s spool and we will look at all three ways.
(Last week we did a video on this and we received a good amount of responses from the general public and these were the more popular responses)
The First way that many dealers and anglers use to secure braid on the spool is tape. There are several different types of tape people use that include electrical, masking, and finger tape for fishing. The key is make sure whatever tape you are using is put onto a clean surface and does not retain moisture once wet. Doesn’t matter what reel, if moisture is held within the line, or retained in the tape, the opportunity for corrosion to start is there. First thing we get a piece of tape. We use masking or finger tape which dries quicker on the arbor like the line, being so porous it does not retain water and it is extremely sticky once wrapped upon its self. Once securely on the arbor of the spool, the braid will dig into the tape holding it securely in place. Once the knot is cinched, the braid will be held into place so you can start winding the braid tightly onto the spool.
The second way that is used by many anglers is tying mono onto the spool first, making sure the knot is securely cinched, then using a Uni to Uni connection to secure the braid to the mono. The piece of mono can be rather short, 12 to 16″ or a few yards long, whatever the angler feels more comfortable with. I see a lot of guys do this not only to get a solid connection for the braid but also fill the spool from the bottom when they have a larger spool to fill with braid. Mono is cheaper than braid and this works very good when trying to get your braid to the top of the spool for maximum performance. This is used a lot by guys going from a full spool of mono to braid. Reels that held 350 yards of 30 lb mono will hold double the line of braid and most of the time it is not necessary to have that much line on the reel. Guys will take off 2/3 to 3/4 the spool then make the connection between the mono and braid then fill the spool.
The third way that had been mentioned was a direct knot to a clean arbor. The key to the direct knot is to tie the knot that works for you. Taking the braid and wrapping it around the arbor two or three times then tying the knot and cinching it tightly down onto the wraps has worked for many an angler. Some of the knots they use is the single Uni-knot, Reverse Cinch knot / San Diego Jam, are a few mentioned. Guys to check with would also be your local dealers to see what they use on the spools knot wise. As mentioned earlier its critical to have the arbor free of grease or oil that might be used to lubricate the reel. Alcohol towelettes or a rag will do the job. The other critical thing it just because you pull up to cinch knot does not mean its tight. With braid always the knot and use your finger nail to apply pressure to the top of the knot pushing it down towards the arbor. It helps if the braid wraps on top of itself like the picture to the left. It will give it more bite for the first few wraps. The key here is to make sure you are putting enough pressure on the line as it comes off spool. In the store on a line machine you will hear the line tinging which might be a little tight but having it tighter than looser is important.
Things to think about regarding the braid connections to spool, and mono to Braid:
- Clean and wipe the arbor off prior to putting line on
- Using tape make sure you do a couple passes around the spool so the tape sticks to it self
- Cinch knot by pulling up and bringing knot right onto spool. Use your finger nail to push down on knot making it secure on arbor
- Using mono you can wrap mono around spool once or twice before tying knot for extra traction
- When tying connecting knots from mono to braid use less wraps on the mono and more on the braid. Generally speaking for the uni to uni we tie four wraps on the mono and at least six on the braid due to the smaller diameter of the braid. Cinch knot securely and trim tags closely.
- Using straight Braid to spool clean arbor as mentioned and wrap line several times around arbor, tie knot cinching tightly around the spool arbor.
- IF you are using line winder put line as tight as you can within reason.
- Winding line at home make sure someone holds spool of line applying pressure to towel on leg or ground so you are getting it on tight. If your arm starts to tired its tight enough.
- Any connections with braid, or braid to mono need to be cinched tightly so use knot pullers, two 4″ wooden dowels with wrapped with tape, or rags on your hands not to cut your self. CINCH YOUR KNOTS
- When fishing with braid be extremely careful with the amount of pressure you are putting on the line with your hands. Braid is very abrasive and will go right through your skin to the bone.
Hope this information helps you catch more fish with confidence.
May all your lines be tight ones.