Thursday, 16 October 2014

Matchman made even easier...

At times like this, when I can't actually get out and fish, I can spend the evenings (and the odd hour during the day) trying to improve my knowledge. I can also end up spending money! Another £2.20 has just been invested in the ever growing armoury of weapons, employed in making it easier for me to spoil a fish's day. A Matchman hook tier. This looks like the bea's knees of gizmos, and the price is incredible as that included the postage!

Now this looks interesting...
Eager to get going, I found a hook and some hook-length monofilament line of a suitable diameter (.12mm) and set to work tying knots in the line and missing the hook... Hmmm.

I had several goes and then bingo! I realised where I was going wrong and the job was a gooden'.

A further problem I found was keeping the tension in the line. I tried holding the spool between my knees but that was awkward. A quick rummage around the workshop produced a rare-earth magnet a very nice 25mm steel ball bearing and a nice lump of mild steel rectangular bar. You know the sort of thing everybody has laying around... Problem solved!

Spool holder
Rare_earth magnet attached to the block of steel
The rare-earth magnet sticks to the mild steel with serious intent. The spool then fits over it. It doesn't matter that the hole in the spool is larger than the magnet as the ball bearing will centre the spool  as it is attracted to the magnet. The art of this is to ensure the ball cannot actually touch the magnet. Using a different size ball-bearing will alter the pressure being applied and hence the amount of drag being applied to the spool. The line can now be pulled from the spool under constant tension making it much easier to use the Matchman.

The spool is placed over the magnet and the ball bearing is dropped on top
This set-up works fine. I do realise that not everybody has this sort of stuff laying around but a similar jig can be made using a lump of wood with the magnet glued to it. The magnets and ball bearings are readily available on eBay.  The basic idea could be adapted to suit the spool by adjusting the height of the magnet's surface by shimming it with either thinner magnets and/or steel washers.

Works a treat!
It will even work in the vertical plain if you so wish, although I have not thought of a reason for using it in the manner - yet. The little blob of Blu-Tack is used to secure the line to prevent it unravelling after use. 

It will even work in the vertical plain
The Matchman is a really handy little gizmo and with a bit of practice I can now tie spade hooks to line with ease. Best couple of quid I have spent in ages. I thought the pellet bander was a good buy, and it was, but this is right up there too.