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How to stop wind knots: There isn’t a greater feeling than turning up at your favourite location ready to fish. You’ve found out where those bass are feeding. They are just waiting to pounce on whatever lure you choose that might just take their fancy. The wind is howling, and the weather is a bit crap. Then all of a sudden, you notice an unusual noise when you are casting. Then as you reel back in again you see that knot of doom rearing its ugly head out of the water. Let’s be honest, getting a wind knot can be a session wrecker if you are not prepared, it can be game over.
- Why am I getting wind knots?
- What causes wind knots?
- How do you stop wind knots?
- Is my reel the problem for getting wind knots?
- Is braid better than mono?
- Would my reel make any difference?
In this section, we go through some of the frequently asked questions about wind knots and more importantly, how to prevent them.
Let’s be honest getting a wind knot is a pain in the arse. Personally, I haven’t had a bad wind knot for ages, but trust me I have had some howlers in the past. I can remember standing up to my nuts in water with probably one of the worst wind knots in history lol. The Bassman was adamant that I wasn’t going to fish again that evening. What I didn’t tell him was I had a backup spare spool just in case I couldn’t untangle this horrendous mess.
To cut a long story short I did untangle the knot of doom and eventually carried on fishing. I even lost the lure of a Komomo II Joker (Flashing Plate). I Think the Bassman trod on the mile of loose line and it cut the braid on the rock.
What causes wind knots?
Typically, you are more likely to get wind knots when the wind is blowing to the point where it affects your cast. I can’t stand fishing in the wind anyway, to be honest. Normally, if we’re fishing our regular hotspots and the wind is blowing against us the clarity is murky. But that’s where we live on the South East coast. If the wind is in the wrong direction there is sometimes a window to fish further down the coast.
But sometimes the wind can be variable and this can affect the way the outline lasts in the wind. This can also affect the way we work the lure. If there is a bow in the line it’s not always going to be in touch with the lure.
Also, If the line isn’t always wound on tight there is a chance the line may come off the reel inconsistently. It didn’t mean you have to guide the line when reeling in that’s a bit counterproductive. Just make sure you try and keep the line consistent when you’re reeling in.
How do you stop wind knots?
Sometimes if you look on top of your spool you may see that the line has missed the spool. Ultimately, this will cause the line to loop and is a major reason why that dreaded wind knot happens.
This can happen when your lure first hits the water. When you turn the handle on the reel to engage the line, it catches on the top of the spool (see diagram).To eliminate this make sure you clip that bail arm over manually and pull the line tight. More importantly, make sure there’s no loop, job done.
If you make a habit of this I’m sure your wind knot dilemma will almost end for good.
How To Stop Wind Knot
Is my reel the problem for getting wind knots?
This is one of the main reasons why I was experiencing a fair few wind knots before I worked out what the problem was, my reel. Apart from my mate’s reel being £600 more than mine, I had noticed the line lay of his reel was absolutely perfect. Whereas, mine, there was an angle to the line lay on the spool. this would mean the line would sometimes throw out wound line too early. This would definitely cause a wind knot….a bad wind knot.
If you look in the pic you can see the line lay on my cheapo Shimano Exage
Braid versus Mono?
Well as far as lure fishermen go this is almost a no-brainer. For standard bait fishing on the beach, most anglers would opt for a 12-15-foot rod with a precision multiplier. Abu and Diawa have pretty much been the leading multipliers over the years, although Penn has some serious reels to their arsenal.
Abu has the likes of the classic 6500c and Diawa, the millionaire. We not going to be going through reel spec although those reels have probably come a long way since I was familiar with them. Magnetic brakes and super fast retrieve for getting you out of the nasty snags that can happen sea fishing.
Ultimately, the braid wouldn’t be suitable for our good friend the multiplier unless you’re on a boat of course. Although beach fishermen nowadays sometimes opt for up to a 16-foot rod and a big fixed spool.
The beauty of braid is that a 15lb breaking strain braid is going to be a lot thinner than a 15lb mono. What this means is that the casting difference in distance is substantial. You would obviously need a shock leader but with a 16-foot rod and a 6oz weight, you’re probably not going to need a boat lol.
When I first went lure fishing back in the eighties the guy who took me to used mono. I was none the wiser, to be honest. The mono was a line called Maxima. The quality of this line was really good. It was brown and just looked good it’s that simple. I must have been using a pretty crap line before and didn’t think it made any difference.
We would fish at our chosen bass venue using carp rods and these lures by Yo Zuri called Arc Minnows. We did have some success back then, in fact, my friend had a bass of 12lb a fish of a lifetime.
Back in the day
Apparently, the fishing back then was a lot better but I beg to differ. Knowing what I know today and the gear we use now, we would have rinsed them out. What was so frustrating was once you caught a bass, that was it, you just didn’t get anymore. What was even more bewildering was the fact my friend always seemed to get one first or second cast. Yes, I had caught Mackerel and Garfish but that was it.
You see the lures back then wouldn’t get a look in today. As lure fishing has got more popular the design of lures and technology has got better. Some are lethal. For an in-depth lure, guide click this link.
Braid Versus Mono
What are the Pros and Cons of Using Braid
Yes, braid is a lot more hard-wearing than mono. It basically lasts a lot longer than mono so you could say it’s worth the extra cost.
This can be a huge advantage of fishing over rough ground where there could be snags. Because it doesn’t stretch you are more direct to the tackle you are fishing. This means you’ll get a direct yank rather than an elasticated feel like the mono.
As we just mentioned above, that direct no-stretch braid has the same feel for bite detection too. With a braid, you can feel the slightest of twitches from any tentative bass that’s chasing your bait.
it’s definitely a lot stronger than mono. You’re more likely to lose a finger trying to snap braid with your bare hands ( not that you’d try). I used a 10lb Spider Wire braid fishing from the harbour at Broadstairs. I was fishing a long way out with a fixed spool reel and a 15 Penn rod. Surprisingly enough I didn’t lose any tackle that night, the braid just seems to work out of the snags. I’m not sure a 10lb braid would hold over rock and kelp areas but certainly held its own off of the pier.
Unfortunately, the braid is a lot more expensive than the mono. You can purchase a reasonable braid for around the £20 mark. But there are braids out there that can be around the £50 mark. Don’t think that makes those mega braids wind knot-free, it doesn’t.
Yes unfortunately because there is no stretch to the braid this drastically reduces the knot strength. Realistically, you would have to make sure your knots are way up to par. If you imagine a blood knot with mono you would normally twist the line around about 4 or 5 turns. With braid, it would be about 12 turns to probably stop the knot from slipping. When we are lure fishing we will tie a section of mono that attaches to a lure clip. The knot from the braid to the mono has to be extra strong. There are some amazing knots that you can learn to utilise for this task (if you can be bothered). There are also some time-saving tools like the Sokuo tool that is a massive time saver.
The fish can see braid:
Some fishermen just tie the braid to the lure. Unfortunately, the fish can see the braid. It doesn’t always mean you won’t catch (there are bound to be some stupid fish out there) it just will not be as productive. Hence we tie on the point, the length of fluorocarbon mono that attaches to our lure clip.
A nightmare if tangled:
Please, this is a proper pain in the butt if you get in a tangle. Wind knots are one thing but sometimes when you are fishing, if you accidentally cast over your mate’s lure in the water the two lines tangling together can be horrific, especially in the dark. Remember we really don’t want to put our lights on for no reason, we will frighten the fish away. Just try not to invade your fishing partner’s space.
What are the Pros and Cons of Using Mono?
With Mono, or Monofilament for all you technical junkies out there, the knot strength is far superior to braid. The reason is because of the stretch in mono the knot will always hold tight. But make sure you tie the knot correctly in the first place. And always wet that knot with spit before pulling the knot tight. Because of braid no stretch qualities it is the total opposite to mono. Click here and check out some a safe knot for braid to mono on Youtube.
Mono is always going to be the preferred choice across the board for anglers all over the world. One reason for this is it is a lot cheaper than braid. Even if you compare the most premium of monos they are still nowhere near as expensive as a braid. Yes, nearly every lure angler I know uses braid but there are thousands of other methods of fishing that favour the mono hands down.
Probably one of the more important aspects of our fishing is knowing the fish can not see the line. So mono is the clear winner in that department. Obviously, we use a leader when we are lure fishing to counter the chances of the fish seeing the line. We call this leader the ‘Point’.
You’re probably thinking ain’t that a con? But no, getting a bird’s nest with mono is not the end of the world. I have had some absolute howlers and still managed to get them out. In fact, the night I caught my PB 11lb Bass I had an absolute belter of a bird’s nest. The fishing went a bit frantic, to say the least. You could hardly blink without getting a thumping great bite. More frustrating was missing them lol. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.
Anyway, to cut a long story short I had psyched myself up for another bite, then, as I struck the spool release button clicked on my jacket. Then the line just exploded into a ball of nylon. The more annoying part of this story is the fact that this epic bass action may only last a short time. So picking out that bird’s nest while the Bassman was hoofing them out wasn’t much fun. But, good things come to those who untangle! The next cast I had the biggun so happy days…Oh, and it’s still the biggest bass of the year around our area so…unless you know different??
With mono, you would have to change it far more often than braid, especially if you were fishing in rocky areas. It just doesn’t stay glossy and shiny and deteriorates which in some fishing scenarios would out more expensive than braid. But then again you wouldn’t use braid to fish off the rocks with a multiplier. Fixed spool yes.
Yes much thicker than braid meaning you can not get as much line on your spool. You may think this doesn’t matter but seriously I have known fish to empty spools lure fishing so the more line the more chance of stopping that train. Incidentally, going off the road a bit, the quality of the reel can make a huge difference for this scenario. The Bassman has been smashing the bass all summer whilst others have been failing to catch anywhere near the numbers he has been catching. He does this year in and year out I am very fortunate to be able to go with him lure fishing.
Anyway, one of our locations there is some serious structures where fish have one the day by snapping you off round a big rock or groin. Now the bassman was telling me he has a Daiwa Exist Reel that’s his latest addition. Now because of the drag on that reel, he can power that bass in and steer them away from trouble. I had trouble personally trying to stop fish that have been nowhere near as big as the fish he has consistently caught this year 2019. The point is that quality must make a difference. It’s just the price that seems hard to bear as far as I’m concerned.