Knot strength tests

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by CatBobJimFish, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Well, got a little bored tonight after cleaning up some of my fishing gear and decided to put some of these knots that we all swear by to the test, I only fish mono and flourocarbon, so I have no idea how any of these would perform with braided.

    The test equipment.
    bargain basement generic 12lb test mono
    cheap made in china 50lb fish scale
    a hook

    The method.
    tie one end of the line to an imovable object
    tie the other end to a hook with the knot you are testing
    pull on hook with fish scale
    keep pulling until the line breaks and read the number it broke at
    rinse and repeat one more time to make sure the results are consistant


    The contenders

    Improved Clinch - Touted as being a strong knot which retains nearly 100% of line breaking strength, yet is not perfered for heavier lines due to it's tendancies to try to untie itself..... personally this has always been my favorite knot for tying on swivels, and I've had good results all the way up to 30lb test, I use 6 winds regardless of line weight. The trick to tying this knot properly is after you've slipped the windings down to the hook or swivel eyelett, give the shock line one final tug until you feel the knot *pop*, the windings will open up a bit, just push them back down to the hook or swivel eyelett, and the knot will be far less likely to untie itself. For the test I used 6 wraps.

    Palomar - Supposed to be a strong knot.... looks like a strong knot, very simple to tie, and one of the few knots you can use with braided lines.

    Hook Snell - Ideally this should be a very strong knot since it is a type of slipknot and at no point strangle itself off as with an overhand(granny) knot, the only real problem I've ever had with hook snells is that they start pulling apart after a few fights, for this test I used 8 wraps.

    Double Snell - This is my own version of the hook snell, I was going both for more strength and less of a tendancy to unwrap itself(and it actually stays together pretty good), the method for tying this knot is exactly the same as with the standard Hook Snell, except you double the line over before you start.... since the line is doubled over you can't use as many wraps as you would with a standard hook snell, I used 6 wraps.



    The Results.

    Improved Clinch - The strength of this knot honestly surprised me, no matter what I tried I could not get the line to break at the knot, the break was always atleast a few inches away from the knot, not even a hint of the knot attempting to untie itself, this knot proved to be strong enough that it is the knot I used to tie off on my desk for the tests..... the line broke at 14lbs(but no where near the knot).

    Palomar - This knot surprised me as well, but for a different reason, it's actually alot weaker than it looks, both times when the line broke, the knot was left holding on with only one strand, so I have to assume that the knot itself caused the failure, it's still well within the breaking strength of the line however, and due to it's rediculous simplicity and speed with which it can be tied, I still believe it's a viable knot..... the line broke at 12lbs(point of failure seemed to be the knot).

    Hook Snell - For such a complex knot that requires a bit of practice to get it right, I'm a little disappointed with this knot, both times the line broke off right at the knot, not only is it hard to tie and has a tendancy to unravel itself after a few fights, the line breaking off right at the knot is also an indicator of the line being *choked off* at some point inside the knot.......the line broke at 11lbs(directly at the knot).

    Double Snell - Well, I guess it's back to the ol' drawing board on this one, it does hold together better than the standard snell, but suffers the same *choking off* effect and causes the line to break off right at the knot......the line broke at 12lbs(directly at the knot)



    Conclusion.
    Imroved Clinch seems to be the best knot for tying on tackle in =<30Lb mono(and probably up to 50 pounds if tied properly and the tag end left long enough), I'll personally be using it for everything I can from now on.
     
  2. skyhead

    skyhead New Member

    Messages:
    111
    State:
    Iowa
    nice job on the tests... ive grown up tieing a knot what ive always called "the fishermans knot" Its the only knot i trust when tieing my line and was going to bring it up in this topic. well after just now doing some research, it is the improved clinch knot that ive always used haha.

    Just now thinking back and looking up the regular clinch knot... thats the one i started with, but with after finding out it can unravel itself causing you to lose fish, i thought i threw in my own little trick by adding the last step into the improved clinch.... i dont feel so special now :smile2:
     

  3. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio

    Yeah, I've been using it forever as well, started off pretty much the same way as you with the regular clinch, and then later stumbled on the imroved version, but until now I really had no idea just how strong it is. Over the past few years I've been using the improved clinch for tying on swivels, a surgeons loop for connecteing my leader to the swivel, and a double snell for hooks.... from here on out it's gonna be improved clinch improved clinch improved clinch:wink:
     
  4. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the tests! I love the improved clinch knot myself. That was the first fishing knot I ever learned and I have used it ever since. I never have problems with it. I learned to tie all of those knots but I have never had the improved clinch fail me.

    Since I am a technical person by nature I would think you need to adjust the tests a bit to get more accurate results. We would also need a test for jerking and see if the knots hold the same going from no pressure to a lot of instant pressure. Also how do those knots hold up in a situation where they are under a lot of stress but not enough to break the line? Like a 50LB line that has had pressure on it for 20 minutes for example. Another question is how do they hold up under water?
     
  5. ec43146

    ec43146 New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    Ohio
  6. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    All good points, to get a really good idea of the big picture all the bases need to be covered, my tests were about as simplistic as it gets, tie a knot and pull the line till it breaks.... even still it was enough to convince me of what knot I should be using.:wink:



    Good find Ed! Unfortunaly though I was able to find a serious flaw in the way they conducted their tests.... at no point in any of those clips did I see anyone pick up the swivel and try to determine where the line broke, if the line gives at the knot, it's pretty safe to assume that the knot itself was the cause of failure, if the line gives somewhere away from the knot and the knot remains intact, it could simply be because the breaking strength of the line was reached..... some of the winners and losers in their tests could simply have been due to inconsistancies in line thickness. These guys are pros, you'd think they would have conducted their tests a bit more scientifically than they did.
     
  7. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    I watched a few of those videos they were very intersting. It seems like there are quite a few knots stronger than the Improved Clinch, but by how much. The Improved Clinch seemed to break at 20 and the winner "the fishing fool knot" broke at 21.6. I wonder is that a noticable difference on the water?
     
  8. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio
    Things to consider in your tests are the eye of the hook, was it closed all the way or did the line break where it meets the shank. This is often the case, so make sure you try to tie your knot so it cinches up on the opposite side of the eye. You may want to try your tests with 40 lb. big game line and see what you get, since most of the catmen and women prefer that size. It may change your results with the different diameter.

    Great tests on the 12lb test though!
     
  9. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
     
  10. katsandsuds

    katsandsuds New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    North Caro
    Good thread guys. The palomar knot won the first knot wars, and the fishin-fool, which was not in the first go year, won the second year, beating the palomar. I have used the fishin-fool for years, and my biggest complaint is that it has a tendancy to burn the line on bigger mono. I don't have a major issue with line <20lb, and yes I moisten with spit before I tighten it down (I know someone will ask this, lol).

    I have been snelling my hooks and it has improved my hookup ratio, I use circle hooks 95% of the time. The theory is that it does not allow the hook to twist as it does when pulling from the eye of the hook, but keeps it more in a straight line when the hook is sliding out of the throat and into the lip, because it is pulling from the shank and not giving a bendable joint like a regular knot does. It seems to work well with circles and is plenty strong. I tie fishin-fools on my swivels.

    I go to great lengths with my knots and terminal tackle, because like knot wars says "No good fishing story ends in a broken knot." I always retie my main line swivel after each trip, on all my rods, no exceptions. I make up leaders early, and if one is frayed, or at all questionable, it gets replaced. At the end of the trip, I pull the leaders off the rods and they get broken down, and retied with fresh line before they go back in my tackle bag. Each time I real my bait in, fish or not, I check my knots. Lastly, having the drag set properly means that if I am using 30lb line, I cannot put 30 lb of pressure on my knot. Make sure your drag is set correctly, and if the knot holds up to the roughly the line strength, you will not have a problem. I don't flathead fish much, if I did I would push the limit on the drag setting so that I can winch them out of cover more without stripping drag. I would say that I typically have my drag set too loose and work the fish more patiently to the boat, but with blues in open water or channel cats, this is not a problem. Good test, you have proved to yourself that you are confident in a certain knot, and confidence is a major factor in fishing success.
     
  11. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Good post Scott! I too go to great lengths to ensure good knots and I re-tie after each and every trip. After every fish caught....the line is checked and if I even think I feel a fray or stretched spot.....its re-tied. Take no chances when hunting for trophy fish! A buddy of mine has been tying snell knots and he likes them a lot!
     
  12. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    Thanks for posting your results.
    I have done a few tests also. What I have found is that by increasing your line length (giving you more stretch) you can actually get higher readings.
     
  13. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Thanks for the input guys.... if anything this was just a quick and dirty test to satisfy my own curiosity(and boredom), Just thought I would share my own findings with you guys.:wink: