Fingertrap your Top-Shot with PowerPro’s Hollow Ace
PowerPro introduced a new line about 5 years ago, called Hollow Ace. Different from traditional PowerPro braid, the hollow core as the name implys, allows for some very interesting uses.
First, Hollow Ace can be used like any other spectra line on the market. It ties the same knots, and has the same basic functionality of all braided lines with it’s thin diameter and zero stretch. Where it get’s interesting is that by its very nature of being hollow, we can splice lines together, create spliced end loops, as well as insert monofilament lines into the hollow center for knotless connections.
Usually when connecting monofilament and spectra, some sort of knot needs to be used to join them. There are a bunch of great connection knots out there for making this junction, but they all have two inherent down sides. First, there is a knot, which by its very nature reduces some of the breaking strength of the line. Second, because there is a knot, you will feel it go in and out of the guides as you bring line in or let line out, and if it’s bulky enough, can even hang up as it moves through the guides. This is where the superiority of the hollow spectra line really shines. It takes both of these negatives away, by having no knot at the junction, and boasting no reduction in the breaking strength of either line when they are joined with a inserted connection.
The principal behind this Spectra to mono or fluorocarbon connection is like that of a Chinese Finger Trap. Basically, the hollow core spectra line grips the monofilament that’s inserted into its core, and the harder you pull, the tighter this connection becomes.
Another benefit of using Hollow Ace to build leaders and top shots is you can splice a loop onto the end of the line on your reel, then build leaders/top shots with a loop at their end. You can then change leaders and top shots simply by adding or changing them via a loop to loop connection.
Building these connections takes some pre-planning, so be aware these connections are hard to accomplish on the fly, but with a spliced end loop you can pre-build leaders at home and then change them as need be on the water.
To build leader systems with Hollow Ace you need a few supplies. Here is a list of the tools you’ll need to accomplish the build:
- Hollow Needle Set
- Latch Hooks
- Sharp Scissors
- Super Glue (I really like Zap-a-Gap for this)
- 20-pound Solid Spectra
- Nail Knot Tool
- A Dowel to tighten the Nail Knot
The hollow needle set it a set of needles with pointed tips and hollow cores, used to insert monofilament line into hollow core spectra. It’s important to have a needle set where the diameter of the needle is close to the diameter of the monofilament you’re inserting, otherwise the mono wants to pull out the end of the needle as it’s inserted into the Hollow Ace.
Latch Hooks, are needles with a hook on the end that have a latch that closes. These are used to pull loops of spectra through itself to form spliced loops, or to splice lines together. They are made in several diameters, and should be smaller than the diameter of line you are working with.
Basically, the connection is made by inserting the mono into the Hollow Ace three to five feet, and then a dab of super glue is added to the point where the mono enters the spectra line. This keeps the spectra from being able to loosen its hold on the mono. A nail knot (a uni knot will also work) is then tied over the same spot. The nail knot is the insurance to make sure the hollow ace can’t slip which would loosen the hold of the finger trap. The dowel is used to tighten the tag ends of the nail knot as tight as possible. They should be pulled until the solid spectra turns clear. Another drop of super glue should be added to the finished nail knot, and the leader is ready to fish.
Give this new connection a try, and see if it doesn’t enhance the way you fish!
John Childs is a Shimano, G. Loomis pro staffer and owner of Fin Addictions Guide Service in Oregon.
Listen to John Child’s conversation about the PowerPro Hollow Ace Fingertrap with Lance Fisher on the NW Outdoor Show here…..
Download MP3 file