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Discussion Starter #1
So I just lost my loop welding virginity. Have a few post coitus questions.

I tried doing this with a 20lb airflo ridge running line for first time practice. I used the lowest setting and went very slow being worried I would burn it. Perhaps the light was too low to see but there are still the vague remnants of a groove between the strands in a few places, though they are definitely fused.

(1) Is this ok as is, or would it be advisable (or even OK) to put new shrink wrap on the end and have at it one more time?

(2) Exactly how hard is it to go overboard and degrade the line with heat?

(2) Does anyone just leave the shrink wrap on? Not sure if it is the same stuff, but the factory welded end definitely has something like shrink wrap left on on the other end.
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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I don't know if you smoke, but a nice smoke afterwards and rehydration are recommended :chuckle:

Ridge is PVE, and therefore has a lower melt point. The best weld will be a full marriage of the two parts, and it's best to slip some tubing over and hit it again if you have an incomplete weld.
OR, snip it off, clean the end of the line with an alcohol wipe to remove stuff that might impede bonding, and go again. Be honest, do you need the full 100 ft?:chuckle: I don't. You could try 25 times and still have a usable shooter.

You'll know that you've gone overboard if the line puffs up under heat, which is a sure sign that the coating has delaminated from the core.

I've tried leaving the shrink tube on, but it just leaves a hinge point to create the next crack. If you feel like reinforcing a welded loop -and I often do- just put a whip or nail knot at the two ends of the weld, and it's secure forever. I've never broken one.

Most important, don't be afraid to blow it. Welds on shooting line can be harder to get right at first because the amount of line coating is so thin. So go ahead and cook the bejeebers out of it a couple times and observe how that happens. Like I said, you have plenty of shooting line to practice with!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. This turned out to be great advice. I did both. I redid the old one, then I cut it off and did a new one. The third time I clearly say the point where the plastic melted. I think I could probably do it right first try now on my Nextcast line tip.

The shrink wrap I am using seems hard to rip off. Possibly it is my technique.

I get it about the nail knots, but that is more or less what I have been doing up to now without fusing the line, so seems like it defeats the point. What kind of line do you use to tie the nail knot? Mine always seem to leave too much of a lump. Do you use any knotsense on it, or something equivalent?
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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to make the shrink tube easier to remove, use a little longer piece of it and don't heat/shrink the two ends. This is easy if you have a concentrator on your heat gun. Then, when the weld has cooled, you can take some fine scissors and put a start cut in the two open ends. I strip the tube from the loop end back.

If you overdo everything like I do, the whippings make sense. I use a tiefast tool and light tippet material, with the ends trimmed close. Even 4# will do it, but I usually use 8# test. Works for me OK, been doing it for years with no problems.
 

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Get a "Seam ripper" from a sewing store, It will split and peel the shrink tube off with very little fuss.
cheap, easy to use, lasts forever. Buy a couple , put them in with your welding kit.
 

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I got all excited to weld my own loops. I had busted the factory loop on a big redfish (my fault) so got a variable heat gun and a bunch of clear shrink tubing.

Well after about a dozen tries on various lines with only one successful weld I have gone back to the whipped finish loop. No matter how I tried it failed.

Low heat setting and I just could never get a good weld.
Higher heat setting and by the time the weld would start to form it would burn. Tried and tried. I am sure its me and I would just have to have somebody who really knows the trick to show me but for now I have given up. I like the welded loops a lot better but not if I don't trust it.
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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Trust is important in all good relationships :hihi:

Saltwater lines, particularly warmwater salt lines, are harder, meaning less soft than coldwater lines. The coating formulations are different.

I'm at the very limits of my knowledge with this, OK? so maybe someone with more knowledge on it can chime in. But one thing to remember when welding is that the shrink tube acts as an insulator during the process.

Harder lines have to be heated veeeery slowly. As the heat penetrates the tubing it will heat the line slowly, transmit it slowly, and -important- release it slowly. I've noticed when welding on a couple of my harder, older lines (read less plasticizer in the coating) that I have to pause frequently while heating and let the heat seep in, and not overheat because the core can actually delaminate AFTER removing heat, due to delayed transmission. This could be where your burns are coming from.

sing "happy birthday to you" during the initial, constantly moving heatup, then remove the heat for ten seconds and evaluate/heat it a bit more. ten on/ten off. Keep the heat moving, hitting all sides of the line.

Be sure to clean the last foot of line thoroughly with rubbing alcohol before looping and welding. Some "slick finish dressings" can prevent lines from bonding even if heated to the point of liquefying. Which is too much:saeek:

A good confidence builder it to weld a nice, fat PVE line. Low melt point, smooth as butter. Then work your way up to the hair-pulling, fetal position inducing ones. Don't give up, just go ahead and ruin some cheap lines first!
 

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Thanks for the input SpaySpaz. Maybe I will try again and go even slooooower. I tend to do things a little quick....just ask my .......never mind. :chuckle:
 

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JD
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Airflo lines are PVU (poly vinyl urethane) not PVE. The best thing I've seen for welding loops is a variable heat hair straightening iron. These things get expensive if you have to buy them new. :Eyecrazy: But, who knows what might turn up in the thrift stores? One guy I know filed grooves of different diameters into his. With the exception of the above, I've used just about every heat source out there. Just go slow, over a low heat & roll the weld against a flat surface.
 

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Steelhead are cool!
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Remington has a digtal adjustable hair straightening iron for $14.95 on Amazon.
The one I have is shiny purple!
 

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Spey Is The Way
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Every now and then you get a real OMG or an aha moment here. Do you know how often I have poked myself with scissors trying to get the shrink tubing off. I have to get me a seam ripper, what an idea. The flat curling iron/hair straightener is interesting as well.
 

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JD
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Remington has a digtal adjustable hair straightening iron for $14.95 on Amazon.
The one I have is shiny purple!
On order. Will arrive next Friday. Thanks for the heads up
 

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The best thing I've seen for welding loops is a variable heat hair straightening iron. These things get expensive if you have to buy them new. :Eyecrazy:
I thought that if you need to buy it it costs what it cost but if one day that kind device appears to your home it might cost you a fortune... :rolleyes:
 

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JD
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I stand corrected

I thought that if you need to buy it it costs what it cost but if one day that kind device appears to your home it might cost you a fortune... :rolleyes:
Wow, either technology is advancing at the speed of light or someone in some far away place has some munchkins churning these things out for peanuts. The last time I checked in a store, they were up around a C note. :eek:

Or, maybe I'm reading this wrong? Like the S.O. questioning said expenditure? :tsk_tsk: No problem. :lildevl:
 

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Their are many flat irons available for less than $40. It is a game changer, I can finally weld lines.... And sink tips if you buy Meisers zinc product.
 

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Dom
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Forget what everyone told you to do or not...

For lines that are thin or hard to weld... Weld your loop so that it holds the shape making sure not to burn the core. Take of the shrink tubbing carefully not to split barely welded loop and coat it in Aquaseal or even better Seamgrip. It takes a day to dry but loops are bomb proofed.

I make my loops via two step process and I can duplicate Rio or Airflo jacketed loops with tubbing that I recently came across. I have a short supply of it but I might get more soon.
 

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JD
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Not sure about the "vinyl"

oops. yup, you're right JD. Thanks.
Got to thinking about that. Might be just poly urethane.

Yes you can weld PU, PVC, T-stuff & Z-stuff. Peter S-C has a nice sbs on his blog. Never have figured out how to weld bare mono. :Eyecrazy:
 
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