Advancements in tackle and technology continue to offer anglers a truly unfair advantage. But with all of the added innovations brought to us over recent years it’s still the basic knots we tie in monofilament, fluorocarbon and braided fishing lines that make the difference in the outcome of any encounter. Selecting or creating an incorrect knot will make the challenge of subduing powerful game fish both frustrating and futile, no matter the rod and reel or targeted species.
Because knots are crucial to your overall success on the water, it’s critical you master the fundamentals of knot tying with both braid and monofilament fishing lines. It’s good practice to perfect a few knots and know when to put them to good use before you attempt to learn the entire gamut. When it comes to drawn out battles with powerful predators, anglers often look to knots that maintain the highest breaking strength of a line’s original rating.
No matter what knot you choose to attach your leader, the connection is only going to be as strong as the weakest link in the chain. If the double line breaks, all bets are off.
One popular connection that continues to trouble many is attaching fluorocarbon or monofilament leader material to a double line. Double lines like the Bimini twist and spider hitch are often created above the leader to create a stronger attaching point, or to connect fluoro or mono leader to braided main line. Beware that it’s critical you select the proper knot for the specific application and the variance in diameter from leader to mainline or you’ll be in for a sad surprise.
When attaching a length of leader to a double line there are several knots that can be utilized. Created by legendary Florida Keys guide Captain Jimmie Albright, the aptly named Albright knot is a commonly employed connection that’s used for attaching leader to a double line of greatly varying diameters. The Albright is also an excellent knot for attached mono leader to wire. While the resulting knot is streamlined and slips through guides with ease, the knot is slightly bulkier than a no name knot and can fail when slippery fluorocarbon is used as leader material and the variation in diameter is extreme. The double uni and Yucatan knot are additional knots that can be used to attach leader material to a double line, but you’d be hard pressed to find a connection as simple, quick to tie or strong as the no name knot.
Start by tying a double line. You can choose whatever approach you prefer, just make certain your final double line is reliable. No matter what knot you choose to attach your leader, the connection is only going to be as strong as the weakest link in the chain. If the double line breaks, all bets are off. While a Bimini twist is a better option than a spider hitch, a perfect spider hitch will hold better than an improperly tied Bimini, so tie what you know best.
Once you’ve formed a double line, pass your leader material through the loop, making sure to leave a long enough tag end to work with. From here, start wrapping the leader material around the double line, wrapping up and away from the end of the loop. If you are tying a monofilament double line to fluorocarbon leader, 4 to 6 wraps will suffice. Connecting mono or flouro leader to a braided double line requires 7 to 10 wraps. Once you’ve made a sufficient amount of wraps, take the tag end and insert it in the gap between the double line and leader. Moisten the knot and slowly cinch tight by pulling on the double line and leader simultaneously. Do not pull on the individual strands of double line or on the tag end. Make certain all wraps are uniform and tight. When completed properly, the tag end should rest at a 90-degree angle.
Sometimes referred to as the Bristol knot, the no name knot is a jam knot that is relatively similar to the Albright, but arguably the strongest connection for joining a doubled main line to leader material. While there are several variances to the aforementioned technique, remember that practice makes perfect. If the finished knot doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t right!