The Davy Knot: Is This The Quickest & Strongest Fishing Knot Out There? [VIDEO]

By: Luke Simonds on April 21, 2016
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The Davy Knot

If you are anything like me, you want to know the easiest, fastest, and strongest fishing knots…

And if you have followed us here at Salt Strong for any amount of time, you know that we take our knot contests very serious.

A comment we kept hearing when we did our mono/fluoro to hook fishing knots reviews was how does it compare to the “Davy Knot”?

To be honest, all we really knew was that this “Davy Knot” certainly ranks high due to its minimalist design.

It’s a small knot, it’s incredibly easy to tie, and many anglers claim it is very strong…

But before a choice is made purely on speed, it’s essential to keep in mind that we must always consider a knot’s holding strength because nothing is worse than losing a fish of a lifetime to a knot failure.

And since several members have recommended the Davy knot for testing, this post will examine the Davy knot in terms of speed and strength.

This knot is quite popular around the US and abroad, and the reason for its popularity is the fact that it is super easy to tie and it results in a very small profile knot that .

To reiterate, the purpose of this post is two-fold:

  1. Show you how to tie the Davy Knot the quickest way possible
  2. Test the Davy Knot strength against the winner of our earlier contest for connecting mono/fluoro to a hook (Orvis Knot)

Don’t let the biggest fish of the day get off with your lure/hook!

Check out the post linked below which shows the rankings of the best knots of all time.

Best Fishing Knots Of All Time (Ranked Strongest To Weakest)

How To Tie The Davy Knot [VIDEO]

The great news in learning to tie this knot is that there are only a few moves required.

But given the minimalistic design, can this knot actually compete with others in terms of strength?

When using monofilament line, even a very simple knot like this can still generate enough strength to not slip out, so we’ll first test it to make sure it doesn’t slip when under pressure.

And then we’ll analyze it’s breaking strength to determine if a knot switch is needed.

First, be sure to take a look at the steps… just click on the video image below to see how to tie the Davy Knot:

Note: This knot can easily be tied in under 15 seconds after some practice given how few twist/turns are required.

So How Strong Is The Davy Knot?

As stated earlier, there is nothing worse than losing the fish of a lifetime to a knot failure, so it’s always important to consider a knot’s true strength before selecting it as your go-to knot.

And I’m not talking about the basic “it has never failed” routine… all knots fail once enough pressure is applied, so it all boils down to how far along the spectrum this knot is relative to other options.

Since many people like this knot in terms of its speed, I decided to test it against my personal favorite quick knot for connecting mono/fluoro to a hook or lure… the Orvis knot.

davy knot

As you can see from the picture above, both knots are very similar in size, so I’m very curious to see how their breaking strengths compare.

For more accurate results, I used two different types of line at two different line strengths to make sure that the results were consistent across more than just one line type/brand.

Knot Contest Results: Davy Knot vs. Orvis Knot

To test the Davy knot, I simply tied it onto one end of line, and then tied the Orvis knot to the other end of the same line.

And once both knots were set, I secured one end to a fixed structure and then pulled on the other end until the weaker of the two knots broke.

In order to get an understanding of the breaking force, I attached a scale to the line and filmed it so I could rewind and see the highest strain before the break.

Test 1: 20 lb Seaguar fluorocarbon

The first step involved three rounds of head-to-head battles between the two knots.

  1. Orvis won: Davy broke at 13.9 lbs
  2. Orvis won: Davy broke at 11.3 lbs
  3. Orvis won: Davy broke at 15.6 lbs

Since Orvis won all 3, it’s safe to assume that the Orvis is the better option with this line. But I was curious to see by how much so I tied two Orvis knots on both ends and pulled until one broke to see if there was much of a difference:

  1. One broke at 16.9 lbs
  2. One broke at 13.8 lbs

Now to compare breaking strengths…

The Davy knot broke at an average strength of 13.6 lbs of pressure

And the weaker of two Orvis knots broke at an average of 15.35 lbs of pressure.

So the Orvis knots proved to be 13% stronger than the Davy knots…

Conclusion: The Orvis knot is the better option for 20 lb Seaguar leader material.

Test 2: 30 lb Berkley Big Game Monofilament

The same exact testing procedures were used… here’s what happened:

  1. Orvis won: Davy broke at 29.1 lbs
  2. Orvis won: Davy broke at 33.6 lbs
  3. Orvis won: Davy broke at 32 lbs

Since Orvis won all 3, it’s once again safe to assume that the Orvis is the better option with this line. But I tested the Orvis vs. Orvis with line also to see how much difference there was:

  1. One broke at 37.4 lbs
  2. One broke at 35.7 lbs

Now to compare breaking strengths…

The Davy knot broke at an average strength of 31.6 lbs of pressure.

And the weaker of two Orvis knots broke at an average of 36.6 lbs of pressure.

So the Orvis knots proved to be 16% stronger than the Davy knots…

Conclusion: The Orvis knot is the better option for 30 lb Berkley Big Game line.

Final Conclusion

The Davy knot proved to be very fast to tie while also generating an impressive holding strength (it never slipped out… the break always happened within the knot).

So I can see why it is a popular fishing knot.

But after testing it agains the Orvis knot which is very similar to the Davy knot in terms of how its tied and how fast it can be completed (click here to see the Orvis knot)…

I’ll be sticking with the Orvis knot whenever in need of connecting a mono or fluoro line to a hook or lure.

Note: If using artificial lures that need lots of action in the water, I recommend using a completely different style of knot that allows for more action… go with a “loop knot.

Click here to see a test performed on a variety of Loop knots.

P.S. – The Davy knot shouldn’t be considered for using with braided line because braid needs much more friction than mono to keep from slipping… see yellow box below to learn about top knots for braided line.

Don’t let the biggest fish of the day get off with your lure/hook!

Check out the post linked below which shows the rankings of the best knots of all time.

Best Fishing Knots Of All Time (Ranked Strongest To Weakest)

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^^ike
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^^ike

This mirrors my real life experience. I know this is Salt Strong but I’d like to see this test done with smaller diameter line. As primarily a trout fisherman I most often use <10# test. I most often use the Orvis knot as it is more self contained than the Davy, meaning I can loosen the knot, like on a dropper, and the knot stays intact. I will use the Davy knot with sub-6x tippet where knot bulk can be an issue. The Davy knot can be great if properly tied, lubed and dressed.

Dave
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Dave

Try the Double Davy. My testing shows a stronger knot than the Orvis. Still I may be getting the Orvis wrong. Like to see what you find. Also look up a knot called “Jack’s Knot”, a bit more difficult to tie than some but seems very strong. I enjoy the site, tight lines.

Bruce Morton
Member

I like on a lake and use florocarbon line. There are several different knots that are currently being used with that type of line especially when using it with braid for a leader. Do you have any test using florocarbon line?

Dmytro
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Dmytro

Can’t wait to see the Double Davy knot tested and compared 🙂

Gordon Goodman
Member

Hi there I am in New Zealand and your emails are a highlight for me every week.Wondering if you have a knot to join a trace to a main line such as a long line and all so a dropper rig or a Paternoster rig as some people call it.
My mates and I enjoy your tests and they have sorted out a few arguments re knots.
Cheers for that and tight lines