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Capto makes for easier handling

When Vónin's gear designers started looking for a new braided rope to take the place of the Euronete Super-12 that has for years been the company's workhorse in making the large meshes of its pelagic trawls, they again went to the Portuguese manufacturer with their ideas and requirements.

'A few years ago we started using overbraided twine, but we weren't sure that simply overbraiding standard Super-12 was the answer,' Jógvan S. Jacobsen of the company's pelagic gear division said. 'There are plenty of factors to take into consideration, including hardness and softness.

If it's braided too hard, then the twine becomes too heavy and this also pushes up the price. If it's braided too soft, then you can get backlash from it.'

He explained that getting just the right qualities is a balancing act and after a lot of experiments, Euronete came up with Capto, a version of Super-12 with a PE cover that meets all of the requirements and without sacrificing any of the qualities of the Super-12 that has served well for many years and which is still in regular use alongside the new rope.

Better solution
A better rope for the big meshes isn't a question of improving fishing effectiveness. Instead, the main considerations are making the gear easier to handle on deck, as well as improving the lifetime of the rope itself.

Capto is manufactured in red and green for the port and starboard side panels of the gear, yellow for the top sheet and in blue for the lower panels of the trawl, all with white flecks, and with the blue rope also manufactured with a lead content to provide negative buoyancy and to help open the gear.

Unlike the traditional arrangement of ordering ropes and splicing these at Vónin's net loft in Fuglafjörður, instead  the company has sought a different solution from Euronete. 'When we have an order for a trawl with the forward sections made in Capto, we make an inventory of the materials needed, including the number of individual bars.

We can order these ready measured, spliced and overbraided from Euronete. Then when we connect the bars they are joined with a 6 or 8mm Dyneema rope connector looped through the eyes of four bars and tied securely,' he said.The new Capto rope is larger than conventional Super-12 as the overbraiding adds slightly to the bulk, but the rope is also rounder and maintains its shape. As a result, a trawl made in Capto looks bulkier on a trawler's net drum, partly due to Capto rope being a stiffer material. 

Great performance
'There is no change in the gear's performance, and in developing this new rope we weren't looking for something that would fish more effectively, as the trawls already catch well as they are. Instead, we were looking for ease of handling for the crew and a longer working lifetime.

So far we have found that this material is very stable. But it's still very new and if the trawls fish better with it, then that's a bonus.'

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