The Saltwater Magazine for Gulf Coast Fishing!




How to Connect Mono to Spectra

(From the Winter 2004 Issue of Gulf Coast Fisherman - Rod 'n Reelin' Dept.)
by Patrick Lemire




The Tony Pefia Knot - Lemire Modified...
The question that I'm asked most often about my tackle when fishing offshore is "What kind of knot do you use to connect your Spectra to the mono leader?"
For years, I used back to back uni-knots, then, around the late 1990's, I discovered the Tony Pefia knot. This knot was developed by renowned California offshore specialist and writer, Tony Pefia.
It's strength and small size make it a must for any fisherman needing a Spectra to mono connection. It's a 100% strength knot that I've used over the years, the last three in a modified form, all without a single failure. There are other knots to make a reliable Spectra to mono connection, this one is smooth through the guides, and its strength is second to none.
Tony Pefia's knot doesn't have the 1/2 hitch and 6 turn lock as in the illustration, that was my idea. These last steps don't make the connection any stronger, they just smooth out the overhand knot in the mono side of the knot. California anglers historically have used rods with rollers or stainless steel ring guides for the most part. The original Tony Pefia knot works well with these rods but gives a burnp/jolt to ceramic or silicon carbide insert type guides on the retrieve. The inserts may be loosened and possibly knocked out of their guide's frame. This modified knot virtually eliminates that ring shock problem. I have knocked out a couple of ring inserts from the guide frame with the original Tony Pefia; this is why I started putting the smoothing six turn lock knot against the mono's overhand knot.
This knot is not only strong and smooth but it's easy to tie with a little practice. To start, tie a loose, overhand knot in the mono leader as shown at the top of the illustration, leaving about 12" of a tag end at (#1). Insert the Spectra from your reel through the overhand knot (#2) for 12" or more. Firmly snug, but not tighten, the mono's overhand knot around the Spectra. Form a loop, (#3), in the Spectra, hold with your left thumb and index finger. Next, wrap the Spectra around the mono 10-12 times as in the illustration, then pinch at (#4) with your right thurnb and index finger; hold the Spectra wraps, releasing your left hand grip, then make an additional 10- 12 wraps back toward the Spectra loop next to the overhand knot in the mono. Run the tag end of the Spectra through that Spectra loop to the point shown. Holding the mono tightly, well outside of the Spectra double wraps, slowly pull on the Spectra from the reel (#5), not the Spectra's tag end.
Wrap your Spectra around a gloved hand for safety's sake and watch the Spectra spiral around the mono and toward the overhand knot as you pull the Spectra up snug tight. Next, tighten the "firmly snugged" overhand knot in the mono; now give the final tighten to the Spectra wraps by holding onto the mono and again carefully pulling on the Spectra from the reel. This is where my modification of the Tony Pefia knot begins; the lock knot that allows for smooth passage of the overhand knot end of the Pefia knot through your ring guides. The half hitch and 6-tum lock (#6) & (#7) are shown around the Spectra from the reel and the mono's tag end.
Do the half-hitch first and hold it in place with your left thumb and index finger while forming the lock knot. Tighten the lock by carefully holding the Spectra to the reel (48) and slowly pulling on the Spectra's tag end (#9) to tighten the lock knot, then cut off close. The next to the last step is to cautiously apply a small drop of liquid superglue to the lock knot where the tag end of the Spectra was cut off with scissors. The final step is to carefully cut off the mono's tag end at a slight angle, close to the outer end of the lock knot.
While tying this knot may sound complicated, I assure you that it isn't; following the text and the illustration will give you a foolproof, 100% knot strength, slick through your ring guides, easy to tie, Spectra to mono connection.
This knot can be used for just about any Spectra to mono connection where a small, high strength knot is needed. With mono of 1004 or more; use a double overhand knot in the mono instead of a single. Also increase the Spectra wraps to 15 to 25 around the mono. On my reels used for red snapper, kingfish, ling, wahoo, cobia etc, 100# Power Pro Spectra is used with an 80# Izorline mono leader. Drags are set at 15# at the strike position, giving 25# at the full position. The 100# Power Pro is the size of 20# mono and is much easier to untangle a backlash than say, 5 0#. The other benefits of the 20# mono size of 100# Power Pro are all related to keeping a larger spooled line diameter on the reel. This allows longer casts and the drag works smoother and cooler since the spool turns less per foot of line pulled through it. You also get more line back on the spool per turn of your reel handle and this lets you greatly increase your reel's line capacity.
My line preference is PowerPro Spectra in Hi-Vis Yellow or white. Using these colors give you two important advantages; you can monitor your line's position and others near you can do the same. This helps avoid tangles, cutoffs and lost fish. With a 15 to 20' mono leader, the colored PowerPro isn't going to be seen by the fish, even in clear water. If you have a concern in this area, camo 15 feet of the Spectra with a blue Marks-A-Lot. Simply cut a slit in the marker's felt tip and run the Spectra through it, suddenly, it becomes almost invisible in blue water. Using a 15 foot 80# mono leader gives you a mono length that allows many chances to re-tie at its outer end due to cutoffs, lure or hook changes, etc. The mono is also much safer to handle while bringing a fish aboard than the thin Spectra.
While this knot may look complicated, I assure you that it isn't. Following the text and illustration will give you a foolproof, 100% knot strength, slick through your ring guides, easy to tie, Spectra to mono connection. It's a snap to tie the "Lemire Modified Tony Pefia Knot" correctly - it's "experience tested", and the edge you may be looking for.

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