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> > Which is stronger, a blood knot or an improved clinch??, Page 2

MartinlfMay 29th, 2011, 12:44 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3017
Kurt, good points on the way people tie knots differently. I did lose a nice fish with flourocarbon tied with a double surgeon's knot years ago, and on the advice of a guide went to the triple surgeon's. Now I use a triple surgeons, or a ligature knot when I have the time to tie it. The ligature seems to me the very strongest tippet knot. But, as you said, each person has to find the knots that work best for her or him.

As for small diameter tippet, for 5X and smaller, Enrico Puglisi Powerfull Tippet is exceptionally strong. See I tried Stroft tippet this season, and don't like it quite as much as the Puglisi, so I'm going back. I use Rio for 4X and above, sometimes using Fluoroflex plus when I want fluorocarbon. It doesn't break down in the environment, so I try hard not to leave any of it out there when I do use it.

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
AdirmanMay 30th, 2011, 8:35 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 478
The only time I use the clinch knot is for tying on flies to tippet and also, for attaching tippet lengths to multiple flies via the hook, say, on a 2-3 fly rigup. I rarely use blood knots because I find it takes longer to tie 1, especially when using 5x and smaller tippets and will instead, opt for the surgeons knot for attaching tippets to leader. Blood knots will probably go through the guides a little smoother as they have a more level knot but if you're reeling up that far after a hookset, you probably could have your fish netted already!!
EntomanJune 3rd, 2011, 11:25 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Guys -

Jonathon -
To be prefectly honest, the blood knot is pretty much fixed in my "muscle memory", it's something I can do without thinking...
Yeah, that's what I figured. When the light is failing and you are reducing or adding tippit for a better drift over some big buster, which knot are you going to use? Rhetorical question. Having said that, I have to agree with most that have found the blood to be a pretty poor tippet performer - especially when matching different brands of anything and a potential disaster with nylon to floro. The only popular material that truly loves the blood is Maxima and there is nothing wrong with using it even for tippits when you can get away with sizes above say 4x. Maxima is all many serious West Coast Steelheaders use. No experienced Steelheader I know uses the floros or modern co-polymers any more (unless nymphing) for a couple of reasons. Both seem to behave squirrelly in cold weather and are far too strong in the sizes needed for proper performance. There was a group of us from a flyshop I was affiliated with a few years back that experimented with different types of stuff pretty extensively. Besides being frustrated by the erratic behavior it exhibits with exposure to cold air, when we used the 8 to 12 lb range its extreme thinness worked against they fly to make it very weak after extensive casting. Moving up to similar diameters as Maxima to avoid this, it is so powerfull that the weakest part of the rig is often the flyline or backing knot. Bad enough to lose a fly to a rock or a big fish that breaks you up as you try to stop him from "going over", but snapping or losing a $150 spey line?
BTW Kurt, this happened when only the fly was stuck and the rest of the leader was definitely not wrapped around the branch.
I was afraid of that. Hoping to save you some dough with that thought which is why I threw it out there for consideration. This stuff isn't cheap, and I would replace all the non-matching with a single brand. Especially if using the blood knot. Last hope - it doesn't have to be wrapped, just "leaning" on other limb(s) to change the angle enough that some of the pressure is applied further up the leader. Due to leverage? Anyway, try that test I mentioned before throwing it out and buying a bunch of new stuff. Just in case...

Louis -
As for small diameter tippet, for 5X and smaller, Enrico Puglisi Powerfull Tippet is exceptionally strong.

Never tried it, though I like their tying thread in the small sizes. How does it hold up to scoring? There are some brands out there that are strong as hell, but the first fish turns them into a curley que. For me this is more important since many of the top brands are so remarkably strong now. For the small stuff, I like Umpqua because it matches the soft olive color of the Maxima it's tied to. Rio is ggod stuff, but I don't like the harsh "clear" color for spooky fish. Since I never noticed a big performance difference between the two, I went with the esthetic. Frog Hair is really strong and knots well, but I found it to score easier. Orvis? Used to be OK, but the rest have left it behind. Just one fisherman's opinions.


"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
MartinlfJune 4th, 2011, 12:36 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3017
Kurt, one guide who uses the Orvis knots told me he doesn't like Pugilisi because it can curl when pulling a knot closed. I found this with only one knot I used at times in the past, the Swisher Swirl knot. I'm using the Davy Knot and Trilene knot mostly now, and haven't noticed any problems. Nor have I noticed curls after a big fish stresses the line in a straight pull. Tippet may be like knots as someone above (perhaps you) described previously--there is no one best tippet; it depends on the way a person uses it. I use Pugilisi 5X-8X for dry fly fishing, and like the way it helps avoid break offs with bigger fish. Fishing Tricos in low clear water I've landed some 14 and 15" browns on the 8X pretty quickly, getting them back on their own fast to avoid too much stress. That's what I'm looking for. And with flies caught up in trees I've bent hooks straight with the 5X. If you dry fly fish small flies to bigger fish, you might give the Pugilisi a try. Everyone I've talked with who has likes it.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EntomanJune 4th, 2011, 2:58 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Sounds like good stuff, Louis. I'm gonna get me some 7X and check it out.

Yeah, the curl above the knot is a common problem whith knots utilizing a long "draw up" that are tightened too much away from the fly, pulled up too quickly, or not properly moistened. I suspect your use of proper technique is why you haven't noticed it. You really see this with guys that pull on the tag end of a clinch an inch or two above the fly and tighten it up pretty good before sliding it down. They often moisten the knot ok, but out of fear of getting their dry fly wet, they neglect to moisten the big loop they've created. Some materials are more sensitive to heat scoring, some to stress scoring. I suspect a tradeoff? Perhaps this material is more sensitive to the former which is preferable because it's controllable.

Anyway, thanks for the tip off.


"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuAugust 18th, 2011, 12:19 pm
Posts: 560
Here is why..Your clinch knot is generally stronger than your blood knot. What happens on a snag, and it happens in my driftboat a lot if casts to the bank are not accurate, and end up in the weeds or bush limbs...If you straight line pull using a steady pull until the leader breaks it will most often break at the blood knot. The leader stretches, and thins in diameter out past the fly, and the blood knot breaks. A technique that will save you from the tippet breaking, and have the clinch knot break is to tighten up, and quick "Pop" the leader, rather than steady pull until something breaks. Neither knot is worrisome for breaking when playing a fish is the snags that you want to break off from. And if you were in a boat, and had that happen?...casts made towards the bank and downstream from the boat most often glance off the streamside vegetation, and the preferred casts to make. If you cast straight across, or worse, up river, the fly will snag a lot on streamside vegetation. Now that I think about it, the same thing applies to wading if you are casting to the other bank.

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