Unravelling The Knottiest Problems

A familiar site
A familiar site

FOR as long as there has been fly fishing, there have been snarls, tangles, snafus and the resultant bad language. No matter if you have been fly fishing once or a lifetime, you know what I mean. Some days it just seems like you are cursed.

For years I have been telling fly fishing, in the shop, on river banks or in boats _ often in studiously calming tones _  ” It doesn’t matter whether you are a novice or a guru, stuff like this just happens.” Anecdotally I knew it was right too, but now some University of California, San Diego, physicists have proved my observations right. Thanks to Marshall at Midcurrent.com for digging it up.

I can imagine flyline, leader, tippet and line management device companies are going to be poring over this research but there is no magic answer. According to the Live Science report “to avoid tangles, keep a cord or string tied in a coil so it can’t move.”

Researchers took lengths of string, of varying lengths, thicknesses and stiffness, stuck them in a box and tumbled it.

“Surprisingly little disturbance or motion is even needed” . “It’s quite easy for something to get knotted.”

The best knotting came from very flexible, long string contained in a large box. “A highly flexible string placed in a very large container will have a higher probability of becoming knotted than a stiff one that’s confined in a smaller container.”