I wouldn't mind hearing your addition to the NER instructions, Knot--that's what I was using when I failed my practice attempt. I used a piece of 1/2" db of unknown make, extracted the cores, had a difficult time of getting the cover into the fid, then just couldn't get the fid tip to the extraction point--way tight in there. Tried pulling the other core out more to make room, but no go.
I'd like to do it myself for the usual reasons, but also so I don't have to schedule someone 2 or 3 weeks out.
Tom, what kind of line did you purchase? There should be as much material in the core as there is in the cover. Any typical Double braid should work. But there are some types of rope you might have trouble with.
What kind of Fid are you using and what diameter is it? I have made my own Fids but Sampson or NER both are pretty good.
When I attach the Fid to the line what I do is cut the end of the line at an angle about 1/2" to 3/4" long. Then I take a short piece of tape and wrap it tightly so as to make a point. I insert this into my Fid. It can be taped at this point so it doesn't pull out too easily.
I really don't know why you would be having so much trouble passing the Fid through the line.
Are you bunching the line up to increase the diameter when pushing the fid through. Try pulling out a whole bunch of the core. That will bunch it up for you.
As to my little addition to the splice instructions, it's a little difficult to understand until you get to the point of making the final marks on the cores and covers.
If you follow the instructions to the letter, then when you have milked everything back in you will most likely have little hollow spots where there is nothing inside the cover.
That won't really hurt the strength of the splice. It just makes it look crappy.
The key is to make the marks a little closer to the end of the parts you are going to cut off and taper. About a thumbs width.
Remember it's real important to milk everything back into shape before making these final marks.
The reason for the difference is that before cutting and tapering, the core and cover are overlapping at their original size and causing the diameter of the cover at that point to be greater. When you have made your tapers the overlapped area should be the same diameter as the rest of the rope and will have there for gotten longer. The marks you made when the line was shorter would be a little off.
I know that is confusing, Sorry.