There are still a lot of misconceptions about braided line. The biggest fear is that of knot strength. The second is the fear of bending out hooks. This week's video is dedicated to debunking these misconceptions and teaching you how to avoid all of the potential pitfalls.
Learning to tie proper knots for braid to leader connections, braid to hook connections, as well as leader to hook connections, is critical. If you can practice 3 simple knots with 3 variations for different line sizes and types, you'll be able to adapt to any conditions and situations the fish can throw your way. The knots are the Blood knot, San Diego Jam Knot, and Palomar Knot. The video will also break down the variations of all 3 knots I use to adapt to different lines and keep these knots strong.
The blood knot, for whatever reason, has not gained popularity with bass fishermen. It is by far the best knot I've found for connecting braid to both monofilament and fluorocarbon leader materials. When tied properly I can break the leaders over and over again without breaking the connection knot itself.
Another fear about connection knots is that they will be traveling in and out of the guides and "banging". The theory is that this stresses and weakens the line. While this could be true, I've not experienced it. I reel my connections knots in and out of the guides (and even on/off of the reel) hundreds of times each day and have no issues whatsoever. The smaller line diameters in particular (see the pictures for size reference to a worm hook eyelet) create such small knots that they have no problem passing in and out of the reel without making any noise. There is no reason to fear a connection knot if you tie it the way I show in the video.
Dealing with braided line, its lack of stretch, and how this applies to the hooks you choose to use is actually very simple. There is no mystery, no question of whether or knot your hooks can withstand the forces of braided line and big fish, you simply need to adapt. If you're currently using mono or fluoro and want to make the switch, step up your hooks. If you currently use light wire worm hooks, switch to medium. If you use heavy worm hooks, switch to the 3x Owner, ZO-Wire Owner, or Gamakatsu Superline Hooks. If you're using trebles, step up to owner 3x trebles (ST-56) or even gamakatsu 4x hooks.
Give these tips a try and report back with your experiences. Have you found another knot that simply does not break when under stress? We'd love to hear about it!