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#80 Not Your Typical Braid Knot
Posted by mmagnone, 5/27/2015 12:03:42 AM
In all styles of fishing, whether they are Saltwater or Freshwater, one thing remains true and that is the fact that the deciding factor in whether you're going to land a fish is solely dependent upon the knots in which you tie. One system, in particular, has taken the world by storm and that is the Braid to Leader combination.

Efficiency is the name of the game with this system. Back before braid was developed, anglers spooled up with generic line sizes, but when faced with the rare circumstance where they were under gunned, a lot of heartbreak endured as anglers were either forced to settle with a certain line size for a bait that day, or purchase another reel. Having the ability to quickly change-out the first 5’ – 6’ of fishing line based on conditions or type of cover allows you to be extremely efficient on the water.

I particularly use this system on more than 60% of the rods in my boat. Primarily for smaller reaction baits and swim baits.
While I’ve always been a fanatic about the Albright Knot, here’s a little knot that I’ve simply fallen in love with over the past 6 months and it’s yet to fail me. Some call it a Bob Sands while others call it a Tony Pena. Whatever the name; The knot is rock solid!

Step 1:

Lay your leader material alongside your standing main line. I find that keeping tension on both tag ends aid in the knot tying process eliminating any slack.

Step 2:
Form a loop with your leader material alongside your braid so that the tag end is facing towards your reel.

Step 3:
Pass the tag end from your leader through both the loop and around the braided main line ( 3 ) times with heavier line and ( 6 ) times with lighter lines.

Step 4:
As with all knots, take proper care to ensure the individual wraps lay even alongside one another. Cinch the single Uni-Knot just snug enough allowing the knot to be able to freely move when manipulated. This knot serves as a “lock knot”.

Step 5:
With your fingers, pinch your leader material and standing braid tag end together and begin wrapping your braid away from your locking knot. I typically wrap the braid between 6 and 10 wraps.

Step 6:
When you’ve successfully completed your wraps, pinch the line yet again between your fingers and then begin wrapping the opposing direction back over your first set of wraps and down towards your lock knot.

Step 7:
Once you near the junction of your Uni lock knot, you’ll soon see that you’ve created an opening to tuck your tag end through similar to that of a clinch knot. Pass the tag through the opening completing the knot

Step 8:
Holding your leader material in one hand, the tag end and main line in the other begin cinching the knot down. Tighten slowly allowing each wrap to lay evenly with one another

Step 9:
As you begin to near completion, you’ll notice that it’s inevitable that some wraps will want to jump and overlap one another. Using your thumb and forefinger, feather the knot out preventing this from happening.

Step 10:
Once the knot has snugged into place, but hasn’t fully cinched, grab all ends and cinch down tight. Don’t be afraid to give it some force. What you’re trying to accomplish is eliminating play within the knot.

Step 11:
Grab your leader line and mainline and give it one good hard pull completely the system. Using a good pair of scissors, cut your tag ends as close to the knot as possible. Now you’re ready to fish!

Without a doubt, with any new knot, the ever lasting struggle is in figuring out how to make your fingers work for you. While frustrating towards the beginning, the knot will get easier as time progresses. I highly recommend you giving it a shot.

Category: Fishing Blog
#79 5" Better Bitin' Boot Tail Mod
Posted by mmagnone, 5/20/2015 06:14:23 PM

Well if that isn't a tongue twister I don't know what is!
There comes a time when conditions dictate downsizing tackle whether it be due to un-favorable conditions or in following seasonal feeding trends. In much of the Southern states, many Bass have left the "bed" and are settling into typical Post Spawn feeding patterns. When asking about targeting Bass this time of year, the first thing you'll hear is "Post Spawn Blues". At times throughout this stage, Bass become extremely hard to catch but still remain active. What many people forget is that slowing down doesn't always mean going finesse. 

In the Post Spawn I pick up the 5-7" swim bait and make it a goal to cover water. I'm looking for active fish in a positive feeding mood. With that being said, I try to hit as many spot on spots and play the odds. Fish have specific feeding times and I want to provide them a high caloric meal at the moment in which the dinner bell rings.

A boot style swimbait is a deadly weapon this time of year when fished and rigged correctly. The beauty of this technique is that it not only appeals to larger bass, but still has the ability to draw numbers of Bass. 

Let's get started!

Step: #1
With a hodge podge of baits available with a single click of the mouse, the possibilities are endless in choosing a soft swim bait. I favor baits in the 5"-7" range that have a streamlined design. When rigged, I want the distance from belly to back to be shallow in order for better hook exposure once a fish bites down on it. In this demonstration I'll be using the 5" Megabass Spark Shad.

Step: #2
In most cases the mantra holds true. Bigger the bait; Bigger the hook. As always I want to create the best illusion as I bring my bait through the water. I want a hook that follows the contour of the bait's body while retaining enough bite to penetrate the mouth of a Bass. I'm a big fan of the Owner Twist lock and Beast Hooks when proportioned to the bait. The Weighted Twist lock allows for a streamlined appearance and the Beast provides a bigger bite for over-sized baits. In pairing with the Megabass Spark Shad, the 4/0
3/32oz. Twist lock fits like a champ for a slowed down retrieve.

Step: #3
Assuming you're dealing with a bait that fits the criteria but yet, has a solid body rather than a hollow. While some would simply avoid the concept, there's a simple modification that can allow your bait to collapse on itself providing the same solid hook up as a hollow body swim bait. Gauge the distance in which your hook point will insert the bait and with a sharp pair of scissors, make an incision into the bait a little less than 1/2' from the bend of the hook to 1/4" above the weight.

Step: #4
As opposed to typical screw lock hooks, The Owner Twist lock has a Centering Pin which cures the common mishap of coring a bait out due to multiple rigging problems. Insert the Centering Pin into the nose of the bait and begin twisting as normal.

Step: #5
As with all rigging concepts, take proper care in seating your hook. A bait rigged correctly will perform at its peak performance. A bait rigged incorrectly man swim sideways, track wrong or worse; not swim at all. Allow the hook to hang down the side of the bait and keep a mental note where the bottom of the hook lies. This is the point in which you'll insert the hook point into the bait. Failure to do so will force your bait off travel.

Step: #6
With inserting any keel weight into the belly of a bait take proper care to position it as center as possible. The bait will always roll to the heaviest point. A keel weight off center will force your bait to swim off center. A keel weight centered inline will allow your bait to track true.

Step: #7
Going back to step #3, when compressed in a Bass's mouth, the hook is allowed ample room to move through the bait. If rigged without the "hook slot", the distance from belly to back would yield 1/4 the biting gap the hook has. This could result in a poor hook set and a missed opportunity at a fish of a life time. On some of our crystal clear lakes in Southern California, getting bit is paramount. Creating a natural illusion is sure to put more fish in the boat. The Megabass Spark Shad is extremely soft allowing for the bait to compress easily providing a solid hook up ratio.

And there you have it. A quick and easy boot tail swimbait mod that provides both stealthiness and performance!
Please visit the followinghyperlinks to explore this exciting and productive tecnnique!
Category: Fishing Blog
#78 Natures Angles' of Operation
Posted by mmagnone, 5/13/2015 08:35:29 PM

Throughout the year Bass will associate themselves around critical ambush points based on the seasonal migration routes of their forage. To consistently keep your rod bent, understanding Mother Natures “Angles of Operation” are critical in putting more and larger fish in the boat
Whether novice or advanced, all anglers needs to follow their ABC’s.

A: Associate yourselves with fish holding cover and structure
B: Be around the food source
C. Correctly present your bait at the proper angle and speed governed by current conditions

In the Spring, forage, whether it is Shad, Bluegill, Crappie, Carp or Crawdads follow the same cue to head to the bank in preparation for feeding, spawning and security as the water steadily warms. As a Bass, optimal feeding locations are governed by the forage base, available cover/structure elements and security. Whatever the case may be, Bass know their prey and, like lions or tigers, are machines at the ambush game!

Knowing how the principle forage base is moving, whether it be uphill in the Spring and Fall, or downhill in the Summer and Winter, Bass will strategize and put themselves in a better position conducive to ambush and feed in that manner. In return, as anglers, we need to think less like the predator and more like the prey paying attention to all mother nature’s clues.

Being aware of nature’s “Angles of Operation” is the determining factor between a mediocre and a banner day on the water.

Matt Magnone from patterning Post Spawn Bass with a Megabass V Flat Power Bomb spinner bait

Category: Fishing Blog
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