Best Fishing Knot for Braided Line [Braid to Leader Contest]
By: Luke Simonds on January 10, 2015
Of all the many variables involved with landing the biggest fish of the day, the fishing knots we tie are the only ones we have absolutely 100% control over, so it’s on us to make time to learn the best fishing knot for all of the needed connections.
To help the Salt Strong community always feel confident in knots while pursuing the biggest, baddest, and saltiest fish in the sea, we decided to start this head-to-head tournament style contest where the most popular knots are put against each other so that we can determine which knot is truly the best-of-the-best for those of us who use braided line fishing line.
We specified this analysis towards braided line because it is the best option for inshore anglers who need to make long casts while still having the strength needed to bring in the big ones.
So let’s dive in to the results of this testing of the best fishing knot for braided line when tying directly to a fluorcarbon leader.
Braid to Leader Knot Contest
Of all the knot connections, this is by far the most important to master because it will almost always be the weakest link in your system due to the fact that you’re using the lightest/thinnest line possible (light braid) to maximize casting range while beefing up the leader material to be able to handle the line shearing jaws of the biggest, baddest, and saltiest of predators you come across out on the water.
Here are the knots that we used in this analysis:
FG Knot – The Winner of the Contest
The ‘FG Knot’ completely surprised me. When seeing that the leader line didn’t even bend back as all other knots do, I thought that it wouldn’t stand a chance at even being considered for this contest. However, my feelings about it quickly changed after tying it for the first time and watching it beat my most trusted and dependable knot (which was until then undefeated). Considering how small it is along with how easy it is to tie (if using a trick I just found), this is a must-know knot for anyone who uses braided line.
Here’s a video showing the shortcut method to tie this awesome knot:
Improved Albright Knot
The ‘Improved Albright’ knot is very popular on the online forums. I found that it was easy to learn and tie, which likely explains its popularity. In testing different variations of it, I received the best results when using a full 15+ twists and having the main line and tag end on the same side of the leader loop (see 2:32 mark in video below).
Slim Beauty Knot
The ‘slim beauty knot’ was lower on my list for line to line knots. The fact that you have to thread the braid through two very small holes in the leader’s tightened granny knot makes this one very tough to tie in low light conditions, and the strength of it was not quite as high as the others as well. That being said, I found that the strongest way to tie it was in doing 8 wraps up the main line, and then only 4 in the second round going back over the first towards the connection (compared to the 7 and 7 combo that most people seem to use).
Given its performance and relative difficulty to tie, I recommend not using this one so did not include a how-to video.
Double-Double Uni Knot
The ‘double uni knot’ is a common knot that many people trust for their line to line connections. Basically, the double simply signifies that you’re tying a uni knot twice… one at the end of the main line, and another at the end of your leader. In testing with braid to fluoro connections, I found that tying the braid side with a doubled over line increases it strength… which is why I’m refering to this version as the “double-double uni knot”. The video below shows how to tie them both, and it even shows what happens when you test their strengths against one another… spoiler alert – the double-double wins every time!
As you see in the diagram below, the FG knot won handily with an average break strength of 20 to 23 lbs… extremely impressive given that the weak line in the connection was only rated at 10 lbs. Needless to say, the FG Knot is a MUST-KNOW for anglers who use braided line.
This diagram shows the head to head matches that took place as part of this analysis. The test consisted on 3 rounds… 3rd round was the winning knot tied against itself to test its strength. The red values below the names of the knots represents the amount of pull strength that the knots where able to withstand in each round. Lines used were 10 lb PowerPro braid and 30 lb Ande Fluorocarbon.
This knot testing is continuous… we’re always seeking out better styles/methods, and we’ll of course update this page as new/better knots come to light.
If you have a great line-to-line knot that is not included here, please leave a comment below about it. We’ll include it in our testing and let you know how it compares to the others.
Note: I sure wish that I would have started testing lines sooner because it was extremely surprising to see my most trusted knots from before proving to be weaker than other knots that I simply never bothered trying.
If you want to skip doing the testing yourself, then click the link below to see the full ranking list of knots that I’ve tested out so far.