How The FG Knot Helped Land This Tarpon On 10lb Test

By: Joseph Simonds on June 9, 2015
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fg knot tarpon

The Backstory to how the FG Knot played a critical role in landing a nice Tarpon in Tampa last weekend

Note: You will have the chance to watch Luke land the Tarpon in a video below, but please read the story first because it is critical to understanding why the FG knot was so important in this Tarpon catch.

This past weekend my wife was out of town on a 5-day trip to Boston for her job. So that left me stuck at home with my two little girls that are both under age 4. Needless to say, I was anxiously awaiting her arrival home after 5 days (even though we have a nanny during the afternoons).

Here is one of the daddy-daughter selfies that I sent my wife one morning right after we woke up.

fg knot tarpon

Shauna, me, and little Savannah Simonds

On the other hand, my brother Luke (the other co-founder of Salt Strong) had a spare half day last weekend… and that meant time to go fishing.

And if it seems like it is a trend of my staying at home working while Luke fishes (like last week when he went offshore with his girlfriend – watch that video here), then you are correct.

But as I mentioned in my post about him going offshore fishing without me, as long as he brings back video footage and/or dinner, then I am A-OK with it.

Which brings me back to the FG knot tarpon story at hand.

By Saturday afternoon, my two little girls and I had pretty much gone through every bit of edible food in our house, so it was time for daddy to hit the grocery store. And right after I parked my car I saw my phone light up with a text message from Luke.

Here is the text conversation that took place while I was in the grocery store parking lot:

fg knot tarpon

And yes, I do insert the word “POW” into pretty much every text conversation I have

And then I went back to “Daddy Day Care” and pretty much forgot the entire event ever happened as I was knee-deep in cooking dinners, bathing, reading, brushing teeth, and changing diapers…

That is, I forgot it all until Sunday afternoon when I saw Luke’s video of the Tarpon fight…

After playing phone tag with Luke, I finally got him on the line to hear the tarpon story.

Here are the bullet points on what went down:

  • Luke and his girlfriend Candace went out from the Davis Island boat ramp (Tampa) to see if they could spot any tarpon in the bay.
  • They started seeing a few tarpon rolling, so Luke decided to see if he could catch some ladyfish on his light 2500 series Shimano (Stradic Ci4) for tarpon bait.
  • Luke was using 10lb braided line with 30lb mono leader.
  • He was using a soft plastic tail made by Berkley on a red DOA jig head.
  • He used the FG Knot to secure the braid to mono leader, and he used the Kreh Loop Knot (see the video on how to tie the Kreh Knot here) to tie on the jig head.
  • The artificial lure already had the tail bitten off by a ladyfish when…


  • All of a sudden Luke’s 10lb test line goes sizzling out of the Shimano reel, and he realizes he won’t need that ladyfish anymore, as he is hooked up with a Tarpon.
  • Less than 30 minutes later, an approximate 50-60lb tarpon is landed all while using a 2500 series reel, light tackle rod, and 10lb test line.

Luke’s FG KNOT Secret

So my first question to Luke when I finally got him on the phone was, “Great video man. How in the heck did you land that tarpon in less than 30 minutes on that light rod?” His answer I won’t forget…

“The FG Knot was the secret to landing that Tarpon”

Let me explain Luke’s answer:

  • Because of Luke’s fishing knot contests, he knows that the FG knot actually allows him to put 21 lbs of pressure before it will break when using it on 10lb test PowerPro (see his fishing knot contest results here).
  • All of this valuable knot information enabled Luke to put more pressure on the Tarpon than most people would because he knew exactly how much strength he really had to play with… he maxed the drag after the first two jumps and even started palming the spool for added pressure.
  • This of course saved him time, but most importantly, it helps save the fish in terms of a less worn out fish… as you’ll see at the end of the video…

Luke’s Tampa Tarpon Video

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Your fishing knots can make or break you… especially when fighting larger fish like this Tarpon that put a ton of stress on your line.

My brother Luke always told me, “There are enough things that can go wrong when fighting a big fish, why not at least control as many of the variables as you can?”

Of course, the knot is one of the few variables that is actually in your control. And as you read above, knowing the different strengths of certain knots can be the difference between landing a fish, saving you time, and even saving a fish on a safe release.

Here are links to the two knots used in this tarpon catch:

  1. FG Knot – braided line to fluorocarbon leader
  2. Kreh Loop Knot – fluorocarbon leader to jig head

We haven’t found an overall stronger and thinner braid to leader knot than the FG knot yet. And if someone does know of a knot that can consistently beat it, please let us know.

In the meantime, Fish On!

Go To Our Knot Testing Homepage [Full Knot Rankings]


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Levon DeCarlo
Levon DeCarlo

I realize this is an older video but I’ll ask in hopes of an answer: why do you, and other fisherman for that matter, point the rod at a leaping fish? Thanks in advance…

Luke Simonds

Hey Levon, great question! The reason people point the rod at tarpon is to lessen the odds of losing the fist during their aggressive jumps… their quick head shakes can cause a surge in tension that often causes the hook to pull out or the line to break. It’s so common in tarpon fishing that its act is known as “Bowing to the King” (silver king).


Awesome fish on that tackle. Still using your fg knot. No huge fish but has handled the fish I have caught with ease.


Any recommendations for rods?