How to Splice a Mono Top Shot with Hollow-Core Braid Backing

Increase reel capacity by using hollow-core braid backing and a monofilament top shot

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One way to greatly increase the line capacity of an offshore reel is to use a backing of hollow-core braided line. Pound for pound, braid has a much thinner diameter than monofilament, so it’s possible to pack a much greater amount of it onto the reel. Monofilament is then used as a top shot to fill the remainder of the reel. Usually the first half of the spool is braid, with monofilament filling in the rest.

By splicing the two lines together, it’s possible to create a smooth transition from one to the other that’s also rated at 100 percent breaking strength. The key to the splicing system is the use of hollow rigging needles. Find one that has the diameter closest to that of the monofilament and use it to carefully insert 10 to 12 feet of monofilament inside the hollow braided line. This acts on the same principle as a Chinese finger trap: As pressure is added to the ends, the middle of the splice locks down even tighter.


Once the monofilament is inserted in the braid, make a small exit hole, remove the needle and trim the mono before pulling it back into the braid. Then use rigging floss to whip a 3-inch section to cover the transition. Starting about an inch and a half above, whip down using a series of half-hitches, tightening each knot as you go. Then finish with three inside hitches and gently pull tight before trimming the tag end. The splice will easily pass through even the smallest roller guides.


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