alan tani @ fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Nub Nail Knot Tutorial
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Author Topic: Nub Nail Knot Tutorial  (Read 327 times)
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« on: December 01, 2017, 12:17:13 PM »

Nub Nail Knot Connections

A recent 10 day trip on the Vagabond Sportfishing boat proved to be the acid test for the nub/nail knot I learned from reading posts by Larry Teraoka of Accurate reels.  I became intrigued by his technique and have used it consistently for the past four years on most of my reels (from 30#-100#) to connect hollow spectra to monofilament.  No knot or serve connection is as smooth through the guides to me.  In the past I have used the bimini-Albright, worm knot, uni-uni knot and the RP knot.  I still use the RP knot when lack of time and or a reel loaded with solid spectra dictates its use.  For this trip to Guadalupe Island the ticket to getting a big yellowfin was 80 or 100 mono, so nub nail knot was my choice.  The result was on very fine 138 pound fish with my tag number.  

I lost a kite fish to a great white and broke another fish off on 80# Izor blue at gaff.  The nub nail knot held just fine. A deckhand screaming about losing the last fish to a shark convinced me to go well past the drag pressure I thought was appropriate, oh well.  The fish I caught was caught on 100# Izor mono connected to hollow spectra using a nub nail knot.  I fished a nice chunk and an 8/0 Super Mutu.  The nub nail knot came into view many times under serious drag pressure as the fish gave me line and took it back.  The knot proved to be the least of my worries as it just held perfectly tight and slid through the guides just like the spectra or mono – NO BUMP.

Here is how to tie one.

I make nail knots “to go” that look like this: a straw with a nail knot around it.  The spectra used it 30# solid spectra, this time JB green.  I will purchase some 20# solid spectra soon from Charkbait for future rigging. As you can see there are loops tied at each end to use when tightening the nail knot.

Here is each end in close up; the two sides are different.  This end has a loop of spectra going over the straw.  The nail knot slides off of this end of the straw.

This is the other end with a single strand of spectra coming out of the straw.  Do not slide off the nail knot in this direction.

I make different types of “pullers” to help me tighten the knots, here are the ones I make and use for nub nail knots – they are smooth and short.

Start by measuring out 15” of 20#-30# solid spectra.

Tie a TIGHT double overhand knot using as little spectra as possible, but make the opening to fit the pullers.

Trim the knot close

Do this on both ends to yield something like this.

Bend the spectra leaving about an inch of overlap and hold it to the piece of stirring straw.  Be sure to use straws with a single opening (not double).

Wrap the longer end away from the center tightly toward the end of the straw and the loop. I make 9 wraps.  Mine loosened as I made the photo; normally quick work and holding it in your hand keeps it tightly coiled.

Insert the other loop into the end of the straw while keeping the coils tight.

Pull gently to tighten the entire knot and center the coils on the straw.  I store 30-40 of these on fishing trips in case I need to change out a top shot.  I need at least three per connection.

I prepare the mono by sanding the end so it easily sides inside the hollow spectra.  You could use a threading needle instead of sanding.  The photos show the end of the mono before and after sanding.

Insert the sanded end into the nub nail straw, be careful not to catch the spectra.  Slide it forward to your desired length you want inside the hollow spectra.  

There is much discussion on how long this needs to be and for this tutorial I picked a very small 14” length, I usually use 24”-36” for safety. Carefully slide the knot off of the straw; it must slide off of only one side namely the side TOWARD the loop of spectra.

Use pullers to very slowly tighten the knot, watch that the coils don’t fold over other coils.  If they do, slide the entire knot off and start again with a new straw.

As the knot looks good and gets tighter pull in gentle outward bumps rather that one giant pull.  The knot looks like this near the end.  The spectra seems to change color at this point (a good thing).  The knot flattens out and the coils of spectra look like a tight spring if done correctly.  This takes practice!

Trim the knot closely. This helps it slide inside the hollow spectra without catching internal fibers.  

You have just completed the “nub” part of a nub nail connection.  The nub is a nail knot on the mono in a specific place.  You may wish to open up the hollow spectra with a doubled piece of 27# wire before you insert the mono with the nail knot.

Slide the hollow spectra inside TWO pre-prepared nail knot straws.  Be careful not to disturb or pull the loop end of the straws.  They slide easily to me.  I slide them up 4’ and get then out of the way.

Insert the polished end of the mono (with the nub on it) into the hollow spectra. You pull the spectra onto the mono not push it through.  Do this until the nub is 1” inside the frayed end of the hollow spectra.  Smooth out the spectra with the mono inside.

Slide one of the two nail knot straws toward the nub.  Again, be careful to keep the coils tight.  Bring is just past the nub.  The goal is to slide the nail knot off of the straw just next to the nub.  In the photo below mine will slide off to the right.  The nub has a black indicator above it in the photo.

Here it is with the straw removed and very close to the nub, but not close enough.  The black indicator shows the location of the nub (inside the hollow spectra).

Slide toward the nub and tighten using pullers to yield contact.  

Bounce tighten with increasing outward pressure until the spectra breaks.  Trim the ends.  Notice that you now have a nail knot right next to a nub – a nub nail knot!

I go further and add a second nail knot close to the frayed end of the hollow spectra.  Slide the second prepared nail knot straw toward your nub nail so that when you remove it from the straw it will be STILL ON THE HOLLOW SPECTRA.  If you end up on the mono you will most likely not get it back past the frayed end.  The photo below shows a nail knot off of the straw in the right place.  Practice and slow down for this step.

Bounce tighten and trim the second nail knot.  Notice the nub on the right followed by a nail knot close to it and one near the frayed end.  The second nail knot appears black and not green (a good sign of a very tight knot).

Apply thin CA glue to the nail knot near the fray (don’t wet the fray – thanks Blake Wasano of the Royal Star for the great advice) and to the right for one inch past the nub.  The distance I glue is indicated by two black bars.  The nub seems to appear through the hollow spectra when wet.

I use and like Tacglue CA glue. (they don’t pay me, I buy their stuff at retail prices).  My shop has 10-15 bottles of various brands of CA glue I use for finishing pens, but for fishing I use Tacglue.

Here is a completed nub nail knot connection indicating how much mono is inside the hollow spectra – 14”.

I tested the connection using a spring scale; mine goes to 50#.  The connection held to 48# without a whimper or even a bit of slippage.  That will work here in the shop or on a fish on your next trip.  Almost no fisherman other than a super skilled, strong deckhand uses that much drag pressure on 80# test mono.   

What about using fluorocarbon you might ask?  It slips is my answer.  For monofilament it is golden every time.  I have never had a failure using this nub nail connection.  If I learn of a technique that keeps it from slipping I’ll share it.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 02:57:27 PM by mmayo » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 07:40:57 PM »

Thanks for sharing Mark, great documentation and detailed photos.

Dan from Philadelphia...

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