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Heaviest lb topshot knottable? Setting up a 70VS

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Heaviest lb topshot knottable? Setting up a 70VS

Old 08-01-2020, 08:24 AM
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Default Heaviest lb topshot knottable? Setting up a 70VS

Im setting up a 70VS, my other smaller reels (30s, 50s) have 80 or 100lb braid to 80 or 100lb mono topshot, bimini to bimini catspaw and haven’t had any issues.

I was going to do 150-200lb braid but I just realized the knot is going to be huge on the mono over 100lbs. Should I go hollow core? Is 125/130lb doable with a knot? Yucatan knot maybe?

Last edited by madmanmarz; 08-01-2020 at 08:34 AM.
Old 08-01-2020, 09:17 AM
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Have you looked at using an FG knot. Its incredibly strong and small. You can use any size mono or fluro topshot you want. You can also splice in a loop if you like on your top shot. With the splice bigger is better. Having said that unless I'm HST I wouldn't use a topshot any larger than 130# and prefer 120 to 100#. Of course, I fish in very clear water and stealth is important.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironworker View Post
Have you looked at using an FG knot. Its incredibly strong and small. You can use any size mono or fluro topshot you want. You can also splice in a loop if you like on your top shot. With the splice bigger is better. Having said that unless I'm HST I wouldn't use a topshot any larger than 130# and prefer 120 to 100#. Of course, I fish in very clear water and stealth is important.

Im in se fl but this setup would be primarily for HST. I guess I could also forgo the topshot.
Old 08-01-2020, 09:42 AM
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For trolling hollow core brings far more to the table than the ability to splice & serve the topshot. I would not even consider solid core for HST applications. Splice & serve connections are smaller, stronger and more durable than any knot.

I ran braid-to-the-swivel for about 1/2 season, it didn’t work as well as a mono topshot. My hookup ratio diminished, and I lost some fish I would have otherwise boated. The screws vibrated out of my swivel roller tips as well. Nobody else has reported this so maybe it was just me.

Last edited by Lone Ono; 08-01-2020 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by madmanmarz View Post
Im in se fl but this setup would be primarily for HST. I guess I could also forgo the topshot.
For HST, I always use a spliced loop on my mono topshots and I'd absolutely recommend the topshot. I generally use 150' or 200' mono topshop and use 150# mono. You need the stretch that mono gives when that Hoo strikes. No stretch and you can break the braid if the drag is set too tight
Old 08-01-2020, 06:32 PM
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As others have stated hollow core splice is ideal. However, if you already have solid core braid and want to use it as you described, the size of your guides will be the limiting factor. If you have large roller guides and marry 100lb braid to 130 mono with a perfect Yucatán knot you will be in business. I used to use that combo on my boat to land giant BFT before hollow core became popular, worked great.
Old 08-01-2020, 06:38 PM
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My 50TRX reels are loaded with 150# solid to an FG of 200 or 300#. Plenty fine for HST and pulling marlin lures. Don’t overthink it. Your not chasing a fish that has a very big brain
Old 08-02-2020, 05:52 AM
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So this is more of a curious question to y'all rather than seeking advice. I'm 100% confident in my mono to braid connections. No I haven't made the switch to hollow core. But for all my connections I double the braid with a 30 twist bimini then for mono 80# or less tie a uni to uni for mono over 80# I cats paw a stainless 180# swivel to the double braid and crimp the mono to the swivel. I'm sure many will disagree with my swivel & crimp method but the reality is that it's much smaller than any knot that can be tied in heavy mono & goes thru the rod guides without issue. I used to floss the cats paw & crimp for even more streamlined thru the guides but not really necessary. So the curious question is why are swivels acceptable for wind on leaders where fish are close to the boat & under extreme pressure but not several hundred yards on the spool


Last edited by Timex; 08-02-2020 at 06:11 AM.
Old 08-02-2020, 06:26 AM
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A Bristol knot to a Bimini loop in the braid or a spliced loop if hollow works well. I prefer to use a loop to loop with a topshot otherwise. All serviceable on the boat should the need arise to change a topshot (although that would seem pretty rare).
Old 08-02-2020, 12:47 PM
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I say watch some vids and try an FG knot and then try and break the knot by pulling the heck out of it. I think you will be impressed on the size of a FG knot, and IF you tied it right you will also be impressed with the strength.
I have done 85# braid on to 130 Mono and never had a issue. I would think it would scale up to the 150# class no problems. I changed over to the FG knot for trolling just because of it's size and ease through the guides. Now I use about 100' of topshot and never have needed to replace the main line.
Old 08-02-2020, 02:31 PM
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Thanks guys Ill try the FG and a couple other ideas mentioned. I really didnt wanna go hollow because I like having it all serviceable, plus my first time swordfishing we lost a big one close to boat due to the hollow/wind on connection slipping, and capt said hes had issues with them before, meanwhile my braid/mono cats paw connections have never failed over the years.

Ill avoid going straight braid but does the shock leader not afford enough stretch? I really do like having the topshots though as I have them colored for port/starboard and different lengths for stagger etc for normal trolling.
Old 08-02-2020, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by madmanmarz View Post
Thanks guys Ill try the FG and a couple other ideas mentioned. I really didnt wanna go hollow because I like having it all serviceable, plus my first time swordfishing we lost a big one close to boat due to the hollow/wind on connection slipping, and capt said hes had issues with them before, meanwhile my braid/mono cats paw connections have never failed over the years.

Ill avoid going straight braid but does the shock leader not afford enough stretch? I really do like having the topshots though as I have them colored for port/starboard and different lengths for stagger etc for normal trolling.
Serviceable? Not sure what you mean by that. You lost a big fish due to a leader you spliced or one you bought? If you learn the proper way to splice mono into hollow core to make windons they should be rock solid.
Old 08-02-2020, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ptag View Post
Serviceable? Not sure what you mean by that. You lost a big fish due to a leader you spliced or one you bought? If you learn the proper way to splice mono into hollow core to make windons they should be rock solid.
it was my first time swording (reluctantly as it just doesnt appeal to me) & on someone elses boat. The splice came in and out of the guides a bunch of times and finally let go. I think he said he spliced it but has been pretty successful although has had others fail and even has a 500lb fish under his belt.

I meant repairable. I can tie a knot or two and keep fishing whereas a splice not so much. Just seems simpler and less expensive although I know it’s not the latest and greatest way.
Old 08-02-2020, 09:23 PM
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Hollow core lays down flat, like a ribbon. The overlapping ribbons make it difficult for the line to cut into the spool. A hollow core splice & serve is simply the very best connection out there. Hollow core can be knotted just like solid core so if you feel the need to “service” it on the water it’s no different. I run 200 yard topshots and have never broken a topshot far enough back to need to swap it on the water. A splice & serve takes about as much time to do as an FG knot. It’s no big deal once you have the technique.

If your sword was deep-dropping it likely was solid core braid, hollow core isn’t used much for deep dropping. Your captain may have spliced some hollow braid to the solid braid to make the connection. That’s subject to failure if the technique is bad.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:14 PM
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Building spliced mono/fluoro topshots/leaders requires a fairly significant amount of testing. You just don't stuff random size mono into random size hollow, tie a serve, and think it's going to hold. Some 60lb hollow will hold 30lb mono tight, others will let 40lb slip out. Some 60lb hollow will allow you to insert 100lb mono, other 60lb hollow will barely let 60lb mono fit in it.

Making your own wind ons and spooling your reel with hollow is two completely separate things. Personally, I think everyone should buy hollow core for this reason above all else. If you ever lose a significant amount of braid to a cut off or if gets wrapped in the prop.... instead of respooling the reel again or tying a braid to braid knot (weak link), you simply splice new hollow into the hollow on the reel and top the reel back off. The hollow to hollow connection is a seamless 100% connection. It's actually a 200% connection. Even if you never use loop to loop or splice I would buy hollow for that reason alone and keep tying your knots.

That said, if I didn't plan on making my own wind on leaders and topshots I would get Doug (@texasblue) from blue action tackle to make them for me. He does extensive testing to ensure what he makes is top notch and won't fail like what your buddies did. Then you simply do loop to loop connections. In the event your mainline get's cut off you simply resort back to using the FG or whatever knots you were using before.

In the long run hollow braid is a better investment..... my $.02
Old 08-03-2020, 08:31 AM
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I wouldn't consider anything but HC spectra in that size.

1) Serve the mono into the spectra. With that, it's going to be close because 100 lb mono ideally serves best into 130 lb hollowcore. So if you go with 200 lb HC and want to serve in 100 lb mono, it won't be the right fit.

2) Use pre-built topshots with loop to loop connections.
Old Yesterday, 05:56 AM
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on my 70's I run 300 yards of 130 hollow core backing, to a 2 ft bimini twist, then a Bristol knot to my 80 lb mono

used to use the PR knot, but it is such a pain to tie, time consuming , bristol is much easier and you can tie it on the boat
in an emergency.

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