Good Knots, Bad Knots, Old Knots

June 18, 2003 By: Marshall Cutchin

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to land a big tarpon on my 16-year-old Sage RPLx 1190. Sticking to the 15-minute rule (fish to the boat) was challenging, and I had to seek endorsement for various special time extensions from my poling partner. It made me wonder: were 11-weights ever suited for big fish? Do rods get softer over time, as some of my anglers once suggested?
The fight ended when a the 6-year-old nail-knot attaching my butt section to the flyline pulled–last thing I would have predicted, and a good lesson about knots and age, since that knot had held for many, many fish.
One day, after the kids are grown, I plan to re-tie the knot with my wife. I don’t expect it ever to break, but there will be exhilaration and exultation in snipping the old one, perhaps tossing it into a box with the long-suffering first shoes of our son, and testing out the new one (I always stand on my butt section knots and pull as hard as I can).
Here’s to good knots and the pleasure of tying them.