Saturday, June 24, 2023

Hard Nylon eel traces

Making hooklinks on the bank, in the dark by the light of a headtorch, isn't the easiest thing to do! So much so that I've packed an LED light to put on my camera tripod for my next session. It'll only be needed if I run out of the spares I'll be making at home!

Years ago I bought a spool of Mason Hard Type Nylon to make leaders when I was fly-fishing for pike. Leaders, not tippets, the flies were attached to wire which was attached to the leader. It's strange stuff. Very tough, very stiff, and very 'coily'. It's also difficult to get hold of in the UK. Mine came from Veal's, and while they still have it listed on their website it is currently out of stock and has been for some time. There must be an alternative but buying unseen could lead to a lot of money going down teh plug hole. Is the stuff carp anglers use for Ronni Rigs the same? 

Other than the nylon everything else is simple. One hook, two double barrel crimps, a rig sleeve.

Not all of the tools shown below are essential. In fact the crimping pliers are the only ones you cant do the job without. I use the lighter to put a blob on the tag end of the nylon before pulling it snug into the crimp at the hook. It isn't a big deal to leave it sticking out without a blob. Crimped correctly the line won't slip. The tag end can be left longer at the loop end as that will be sleeved over.

The nail clippers are what I use for trimming all nylon lines. they're especially good on tougher and thicker monos I find. The knot testers are used to test the connections, and have the added benefit that when doing that the curve in the nylon is pulled out.
Just a close up of the jaws of the pliers. 

The crimp should be placed 'crossways' in the groove of the pliers, so it squashes the two barrels together flattening each barrel. Ideally the crimp should stick out of the jaws at the loop end to give an angled transition for the nylon. I suspect this is more critical when using heavier gear to big game fish than it is with this sort of tackle. The crimps I'm using are very small and fiddly enough to align correctly in the pliers without having to get a bit to stick out - the crimp length being the same as the width of the jaws. There's no chance in the dark! To give an idea of size these are one inch squares on the cutting mat.

I'm using quick change swivels on the end of my mainline hence using a loop on my hooklinks, but a swivel can be attached just as easily. Crimping is ideal for people who have to have all their hooklinks exactly the same length. Much easier than trying to do that with knots - although having a loop at one end works.

These are only used with worms or other non-fishy baits. Anything that I think has a greater chance of being picked up by a pike is fished on wire.