RP McMurphy

Simple Man's Knot Strength Test?

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Double Uni, Alberto, FG, Albright...

A wise SOL'er once said that the best way to have confidence in your knots is to test their strength.

 

Are there simple, easy ways to measure knot strength?  

I'm thinking there's gotta be a better way than me putting on gloves, wrapping each hand and pulling like hell to see what breaks, the mono, the knot or the braid.

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Just get a barbell/dumbell weight set. These days, used is definitely the way to go. Fix something unbreakable and non-stretch (wire) around a barbell to secure a swivel. Make a handle for lifting. Tie your terminal tackle knot, and lift, repeat adding more weight until it breaks. Start at advertised lb test, since that's always hilariously under-rated. Do this 3-10 times per knot. Find a knot or two you're happy with, then repeat with your line-to line and line-to-leader knots.

 

Or, use a recommended knot that you can tie confidently, and assume it will break at advertised lb test. It will be stringer than that, and for most of us, drag settings will be at most 1/2 of that anyway. I mainly use 30lb braid without about 5 lbs of drag. If that doesn't do it, it gets the thumb until the rod is at its limit.

 

If that all sounds too fancy, get a 5 gallon bucket. A pint of water weighs roughly a pound.

Edited by ermghoti

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Tie your leader to main line knot of choice then tie the leader to something heavy or sturdy. The 5 gallon bucket mentioned is a great idea as is a car hitch a tree a whatever! I like to tied to something away from me to stand and pull like I would fighting a fish from. Then either lift or pull with your rod/reel setup with your typical drag settings. Dial up the drag a few clicks at a time and pull till it breaks or fails. Then you can try another knot, same drag setting other failed at and see if it is stronger or not. 
 

You’ll find it pretty damn hard to break any of these knots with typical drag settings on a surf rod. They break because of wear (casting, dragged by rocks) or are poorly tied to begin (sloppy, tied dry) than anything else. So if you retie occasionally and tie knots well, you really have little to worry about.

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22 hours ago, ermghoti said:

Just get a barbell/dumbell weight set. These days, used is definitely the way to go. Fix something unbreakable and non-stretch (wire) around a barbell to secure a swivel. Make a handle for lifting. Tie your terminal tackle knot, and lift, repeat adding more weight until it breaks. Start at advertised lb test, since that's always hilariously under-rated. Do this 3-10 times per knot. Find a knot or two you're happy with, then repeat with your line-to line and line-to-leader knots.

 

Or, use a recommended knot that you can tie confidently, and assume it will break at advertised lb test. It will be stringer than that, and for most of us, drag settings will be at most 1/2 of that anyway. I mainly use 30lb braid without about 5 lbs of drag. If that doesn't do it, it gets the thumb until the rod is at its limit.

 

If that all sounds too fancy, get a 5 gallon bucket. A pint of water weighs roughly a pound.

Weights and or bucket. Same here. 
 

I use a sturdy nail (no head) in the basement rafters. Biggest swivel I own over that. Tie tests to that swivel and hang stuff at the bottom. 
 

For the opposite side, where you hang the weight or bucket, I usually wrap the line around the handle a bunch and use a little tape so there’s no knot. Sometimes it will break there where there’s no knot. It’s not a scientific method but I’m definitely finding out what is not strong and what is.
 

For example, a uni knot in standard 50 lbs braid is only good to 50-60% once it has been used & tightened down repeatedly. It eats through itself. Palomar is the best for braid to swivel or other terminal tackle. 
 

I also found that there really is braid fresh off a new spool that will break in the middle (no knot) if you approach the  strength limit. (Presumably due to thinner points.)

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1 hour ago, EricDice said:

where you hang the weight or bucket, I usually wrap the line around the handle a bunch and use a little tape so there’s no knot.

thanks for this confirmation - the knots that I primarily want to test are braid to mono (say, FG), so I was thinking that if I tie the bucket to the bottom with, say, a uni, then the weight I drop in the bucket would be testing both the uni and the FG (which would still be some info, but wouldn't isolate the FG, as I'd like to do.)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Tie it off, run the line horizontally over a pulley, tie your test knot and attach a pail or bucket of a known weight. Add more weight to to the bucket till failure.

Edited by cheech

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I use a verified Chatillon with the memory ring to a headless nail . Palomar to a large swivel on the nail side and a #55 Duolock with a Palomar  on the scale side. Crude but it works for me.

Marc

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Posted (edited) · Report post

kbs or knot break strength is a very serious matter.  Just ask Aqua-holik.  Without knowing the break strength of your knot, you're basically fishing blind when it comes to setting your drag.  So many guys say they use such and such knot with such and such line and it's never failed me yet.  That's kind of like the guy who sights in ole' Betsy on a rock at 50 yds. or more likely an undetermined distance and claims she's a tack driver and anything within 500 yds, is dead meat.  Paper never lies.  I'm happy that their happy, but personally such information tells me exactly squat.  IMHO SIMPLE is not consistently accurate unless you do something really simple like buy the same exact scale that Aqua-holik uses which actually doesn't cost that much.  AWS model PK-110.  It eliminates the guess work and provides peace of mind.  I don't mean to come off so serious because creating your own knots and testing them can actually be a lot of fun...........................seriously:)

Edited by bass11
grammar

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On 7/25/2021 at 0:18 PM, RP McMurphy said:

thanks for this confirmation - the knots that I primarily want to test are braid to mono (say, FG), so I was thinking that if I tie the bucket to the bottom with, say, a uni, then the weight I drop in the bucket would be testing both the uni and the FG (which would still be some info, but wouldn't isolate the FG, as I'd like to do.)

I’ll save you the trouble. The FG will NEVER break at the connection if tied properly. The other knots are true knots and will be prone to breakage at their connections despite proper tying. You can test the FG 100 times and it will break on the main line if tied properly 100 times.

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