Why do I see articles in magazines that say that certain knots actually break at a greater strain than just the line? Is this possible? I thought that all knots are the weak link in any line.
Over the last few months, I have had several people ask me this question, often after reading articles in fishing magazines. My wife even recently said to me, “According to this test, some knots actually make the line stronger. How can that be?”
The answer is that it can’t be, and the testing that was done, and reported on, was flawed.
The problem is that braided line made from Spectra, or Dyneema fibers, is extremely slippery, due in part to its tiny diameter. There are only a handful of line-testing machines that can grip a single strand of braided line tightly enough to keep it from slipping before it breaks. The IGFA had to buy a new, very expensive high-pressure clamping device in order to accurately test Spectra lines for line-class-world-record claims.
Only by tying a Bimini-roll knot or an Aussie-braid knot or by splicing hollow core into double line can most machines test a single strand of this line type to its actual breaking point. Using any other knots will weaken the line. An angler or crew with an accurate spring scale that can tie two good Bimini double lines with several feet of single line between them can get a good idea of the approximate strength of a superbraided line. They will also most likely find out how incredibly inconsistent the true breaking strain of the line really is! The results will vary, and I’ll bet every single break will be well over the breaking strain as shown on the spool and the box the line came in! For more on this topic, check out my column (page 98).