Line Strength and Knots - General Review

We wanted to share some data/info from our lab testing today. As we continue working on new products, we are always doing a lot of testing in the background. Today we tested for 4 hours straight. We continue to find that the advertised label "rating" or pound test/breaking strength of line is often misunderstood. The spool labels represent the breaking strength of the line, without any knots involved. These lines are tested in a pull tester without any knots present. Knots generate heat and friction, which results in the strength loss. Many types of line are tested in a wet or soaked setting vs dry tests. Our tests typically show an average strength reduction of around 10-15%, loss per knot. A 2 knot leader will typically reduce your strength by 30%. Today we found numerous fluorocarbons that proved this to be true. Many 20# fluorocarbons will break closer to 14# with 2 knots. Mono showed similar results, but fared a little better. Different knots do perform better than others, but out of the 3 primary knots we use, the variance between them is minimal. Same thing with wetting the knots. Wetting them shows almost no increase in overall strength. Wetting the knot makes many of them easier to tie, but our tests show negligible results in any increased strength via wetting. Certain knots test better on braid vs fluorocarbon vs monofilament. We also found that certain knots are great for larger diameter lines but not smaller and vice versa. With all of this said, keep in mind that test lab settings are not the same thing as on the water real fishing scenarios. Stressing line on a machine isn't the same thing as bringing a fish in, while under water. An 8# walleye isn't the same thing as testing on the machine to 8#. The amount of pressure a buoyant and swimming fish puts on the line is much less than the machine in a dry setting. An 8# walleye being "pulled" in may be closer to 3 or 4# of resistance, where with the machine, 8# is 8#. On another note, the Berkley 12# Big Game was also tested today and it is much stronger than the label claims, which is not typically what we find during these tests. With 2 knots made in each test, the 12# Big Game held an average breaking strength of 13.73# with the Palomar knot. Even with the strength loss that the 2 knots create, it was still stronger than the label rating, which is surprising and very cool to find! Just figured we would share some general information as we collect a lot of it!