The Strongest Line-to-Line Fishing Knot (Mono-to-Mono Knot Contest)

By: Luke Simonds on August 21, 2015
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strongest knot contest

Fact: All fishing knots are NOT created equal… our latest line to line knot contest confirmed that fact yet again…

Before hosting these knot strength contests, I always believed that as long as my fishing knot didn’t unravel or break under pressure, then it was a keeper knot…

However, my theory has completely changed after taking the time to actually test knots against one another, where I was shocked when I watched fishing knots break at significantly different tensions even when using the exact same line.

Sadly, some of these knots that disappointed me in the contest were among my favorites that I had relied on for years… and what I learned from this eye-opening knot contest is that…

The Most Popular Knot Is NOT Always The Best KNOT

best fishing knot

So in this latest Salt Strong fishing knot contest, we focused on connecting two monofilament lines with different diameters together to test their breaking strength. And this knot contest was yet another reminder that the “popularity” of a knot doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the strongest one.

To finalize the knots that I used for this particular contest, I researched line to line connections and pulled the most popular knots that seemed to have the most positive recommendations in fishing forums and comment strings for connecting mono to mono.

Then, I did some preliminary tests and narrowed the field down to just 4 knots… and I also made room for my all-time favorite knot that I’ve used and loved for many years before I switched over to braid for my main line… details and results below:

line to line fishing knot

The Line-to-Line Knot Contest Starting Bracket.

Disclaimer: I’m a huge advocate of using braid as a main line instead of mono for artificial lure anglers due to it’s more impressive strength and durability… braid allows for longer casts given it’s much smaller diameter while also having knots that are significantly stronger than knots with mono of the same listed line strength (click here to see our braid to leader knot contest).

Monofilament to Leader Knot Contest

This line to line knot contest consists of head to head bouts of two knots that are tied onto the same strand of line, which is then pulled until one of them (the weaker of the two) breaks.

All knots in this contest were used to connect a strand of 10 lb Berkley Trilene (XL Smooth Casting) to a strand of 30 lb Berkley Trilene (Big Game), and the same scale was used to measure the estimated breaking strength of each losing knot…

Each bout consisted of 4 match-ups with only the top 3 breaking strengths used to evaluate the typical breaking range.

Here are the knots used in this contest:

  • Surgeon’s Knot
  • Albright Knot
  • Double Uni Knot
  • Salt Strong Knot (I have never seen this knot officially named before, so I call it the Salt Strong knot. However, by no means am I claiming that I invented this knot)

Note: A chart of the match-ups with breaking ranges is shown below.

The Surgeon’s Knot

The surgeon’s knot has really impressed me for both mono to mono and braid to mono connections in these contests. It’s extremely easy and quick to tie, and its breaking strength is very impressive.

Surgeon Knot Pros: 

  • Quick to tie
  • Easy to tie in all conditions
  • Strong breaking strength

Surgeon Knot Cons: 

  • Leader line must be pre-cut and not have anything tied to it
  • Tough for long leaders because leader must be passed through a loop 3 times
  • It’s bulky with tag ends pointing out (not weedless)

How to Tie Surgeon’s Knot (3-turn method)

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Note: See breaking strength test result below

The Albright Knot

The Albright Knot is extremely popular in fishing forums. It’s fairly easy to tie, and it leaves a very small and slim finished product, which likely is the big driver of its popularity since it will allow the knot to easily run through rod guides compared to most others.

Albright Knot Pros

  • Slim knot for casting through guides
  • Fairly easy to tie
  • Good strength

Albright Knot Cons

  • It unraveled in 2 tests (not good)
  • Not as easy to tie as the other options
  • Not as strong as other options

How to Tie The Albright Knot

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Note: See breaking strength test result below

Double Uni Knot

The Double Uni Knot is probably the most popular of all line to line knots. It’s easy to tie, strong, and can be used on any type of line (and even direct to hooks/lures).

Double Uni Pros

  • Easy to tie
  • The “can do it all” knot
  • Good for all line types/sizes

Double Uni Cons

  • Not the strongest option
  • Can be tough to ties on heavy lines
  • Large range of breaking strengths

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Note: See breaking strength test result below

The Salt Strong Knot

This is a line to line connection that I’ve used for ~20 years but have never known the name of it (if it has one). This knot is essential a unique combination of two different knots (Perfection Loop and Orvis knot) that can be used on lines with extremely different diameters.

Note: I’ve never seen anyone else use this connection style, so of course don’t know if it has a name… it’ll be referred to as the “Salt Strong Knot” for this post.

SS Knot Pros

  • Easy to tie
  • Very strong
  • Great for lines of very different diameters

SS Knot Cons

  • Not good for casting through guides
  • Takes a bit longer to tie compared to surgeon’s knot
  • Requires knowledge of two knots

How to Tie the SS Knot

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Note: See breaking strength test result below

Mono to Mono Knot Contest Results

The results of this contest were surprising… I certainly didn’t expect the two least popular knots (Surgeon’s and the no-namer) to be in the finals.

As shown in the contest bracket below, the Albright knot turned out to have the worst breaking strength (6 to 8 lbs) with the Double Uni knot placing in 3rd with a breaking range of 7 to 12 lbs… which was the most inconsistent of them all.

And the two lesser used knots had significantly better results… both had the exact same range of 13 to 15 lbs with the slight edge going to the 3 turn Surgeon’s knot since it won 2 out of 3 in the final round.

mono to mono knot contest


Given how close the Surgeon’s and the Salt Strong knot ended up being in the final face-off, they both can certainly be great options to use.

When in a rush, the Surgeon’s knot is the winner since it’s extremely fast to tie and very strong. However, the Salt Strong Knot is a bit slimmer, about the same strength, and it’s much more versatile since it can be used for leaders of all lengths and it can be tied to a leader that already has a lure/hook attached to it.

If you are not yet using either of these knots, then I highly recommend giving them both a try and choose the one that fits your needs best.

Note: This contest is by no means finalized. We’ll update it as more knot ideas come in, so be sure to let us know if your favorite mono to mono knot isn’t included and we’ll test it out… just leave a comment below or send us an email.

And if you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions on this knot contest, please leave a comment.

Go To Our Knot Testing Homepage [Full Knot Rankings]


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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Luke SimondsJasonAnonymousAnonymousJim Garrison Recent comment authors
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the albright broke at 6-8lbs? unless i understood that wrong, I’ve caught big yellowtail with that and had no problems with the knot

Jim Garrison
Jim Garrison

Do you know any knots that can be used for mono that will serve like a taut line hitch, not for fishing, but for ha gung decorations ?

Ryan Bender
Ryan Bender

What knot would u suggest to connect 12lb mono to 20lb mono for a mainline ?
Thank you


So it seems that the strongest knots are bulky and leave nasty tag ends. My buddy surf fishes with mono and is convinced a double improved clinch is the best connection for his shock leader. I find that hard to believe. What would you suggest? Thanks


When I discovered the Double Davy knot and tested it a little bit, it became my favorite knot which I use always exclusively now for terminal connections on mono line. It’s the strongest AND the easiest to tie of all knots that I’ve tried so far. Works well for line up to 0.6 mm in diameter (haven’t tried thicker lines yet), both nylon and fluorocarbon. Its only disadvantage is that it comes out stronger than the braid-to-leader connection (no matter what knot is used there, with the freshly and correctly tied FG knot being the only exception) which results in the loss of the leader as well as the lure on dead snags.

So no wonder that I tried a Double Davy to Double Davy to see if this combination is going to work as a main line to leader mono-to-mono connection. Apparently, it is. I haven’t tested it with scales, but just tried in hands it seems pretty strong. A drawback with it, though, is that the knot comes out pretty bulky and won’t pass through smaller guides.

Worth trying anyway. Any knot lover will find it interesting.

(having said that, I’m still looking for something that can be used for the purpose, being strong, preferably–easy to tie, compact, and able to be tied on a single end of the leader without the need to pre-cut the latter. none of the knots in this article did I like.)


J Knot
The J Knot starts out similar to the Surgeon’s Knot but the wraps alternate, which may put less stress on the lines. Field and Stream tested the J Knot to be slightly stronger than the Surgeon’s Knot, Blood Knot and the Double Uni Knot.

William DeWeese

I’m a new member and you’ve given me a lot to think of. I too found that many of the popular knots, the so called.tried and true, are actually not that good – especially some of the freshwater knots I learned since youth. I will have to try the FG knot for sure. I have been working over the last two years on settling on the smallest set of universal knots that are 100% knots, regardless of complexity, and just get them down to muscle memory. I usually actually tie leaders while on conference calls during the workday when my hands are not needed and my mind is occupied as it helps me get faster. I also did a similar ad-hoc pull test to rule out ones that significantly derate the line.

I am interested in your use of the Perfection Loop. I am a big loop and loop-to-loop lover. I stumbled onto the Perfection Loop for fly fishing and was amazed at how easy and uniform to tie it when you need a loop quickly. It quickly became my default loop. Then I discovered that the derating of line strength with the Perfection is significant. For example my 17 lb Cajun Wire line would consistently break at around 12 lb and it always broke at the knot. I reluctantly bailed on the Perfection, though I still use it in a pinch when a fish is in sight and I just need to rehook/releader very, very quickly. I would love to hear more of other folks results.

So knots are like religion but, for the moment at least, I terminate all of my main fishing line with a Bimini Twist loop. That loop can go to leader or be quickly looped around one end of a barrel swivel if I am throwing a spoon, trolling or using something that spins. The more you tie it the easier it is to tie and it is a 100% knot. One trick for smaller inshore gear and lines though. Though tying the Bimini is easier with a large loop, you can carefully pinch and slide the whole twist down the line to make the loop smaller as desired before locking the knot in place with the half hitch maneuvers. My Bimini’s attach to leader or swivel so the are typically smallish loops similar to what you would do with a Perfection.

To attach as leader to the Bimini I have been using an Aussie Quickie as it matches well with the Bimini (the Aussie needs a loop to terminate too) and the result is still two 100% knots. When I strength tested a segment with a Bimini on each end and a Bimini, Aussie, Bimini, they both broke nearly 100% of spool rating and broke in the middle of the line and not at any of the knots. Like your FG, the Bimini/Aussie is a very compact knot and can be trimmed very closely so to slide through the guides friendly.

For leader end to tackle termination I have been using the Palomar. It’s fast/easy, works in almost all cases, and is also a 100% knot. The bummer is it tends to tangle with the treble hooks when tying to a lure, but after the knot is tied it is perfect.

So far these three knots deal with just about every situation. I have two round reels (Shimano Calcutta and a Cardiff) that I use Power Pro on and two Spinning reels (Battle 3 series and a 25 y/o Penn 4500SS) in which I went back to Cajun mono two years back. I can’t recall specifically, so I should probably retest, but I think the Bimini/Aussie combo worked well when terminating braid to fluoro and mono to fluoro.

I will try the FG for sure as your video was great and the knot looks amazing. I am also thinking of moving the spinning reels back to braid when the Cajun is done for and give the newest Spiderwire a try.

By the way as a life long boater and also teaching knots in Boy Scouts and now Trail Life for years, the focus is always on a small family of knots that can work all day and be easily untied at the end. That is why those communities focus on the square, figure eight, bowline and the half-hitch based variants of knots. Other than the half hitch and taught line hitch, they don’t care about constrictor knots and don’t care about knots where line crosses line.

With fishing knots, we rarely if ever care about the handy ability to untie a knot and the cutting action of line crossing line is very bad as that causes the cutting action that derates the line strength. This is why we love constrictor knots as the hold fast and don’t cut. The FG, Bimini Twist and Aussie Quickie (among others I am sure) are constrictors that avoid line crossing knots so they are great to get to know.

Kenneth Bement

Luke – a couple of questions –
1 – With the SS Knot above you use the perfection loop and the orvis knot. In you test of loop knots the rapala knot came out on top. Is there a reason to not use the rapala knot and the orvis knot?
2 – Instead of tying a “snug” knot (orvis) to a loop have you used a loop to a loop? Is there a reason to not use a loop to a loop?


did you try the FG knot in mono to mono brake test?


just watching the albright knot and the ss knot. I fished with a guide that used something like that called it a worm knot. It had two parts the loop and then i think he tied an albright. He fishes for macks so right on the bottom get hung alot. Watch him brake off some gear the knot held and the leader gave. This is what lead me to the FG knot trying to find this worm knot not sure on that one. Thanks MIke

Jeb Britt

I’m surprised you didn’t test the blood knot, or the worm knot (reverse albright) in this test. Secondly I have a knot I would like to submit to the next knot challenge, it’s similar to the uni knot in that it can be tied by itself or to join two lines. It also can be used with mono or braid. Would like to know how it tests against some of the others.


I had terrible luck with Albright knots using fluorocarbon. I always use uni to uni. I’ll have to try the ss knot.

Josh Shoemaker

Try the fg knot, alot of people in Florida are using it and it seems to be a great pick

Dan Ayo

I use the Huffnagle tied with a Bimini Twist. In my testing, over the years, this knot is 100%. It will not break…


Your ss knot are really two knots, even tieed i two different places. Anyway wich of the two knots gave away I presume it was the orvis because it was tied in a thinner mono. Interesting challenges keep them coming.

Cody Lahocki
Cody Lahocki

Just a thought, what about testing these same knots again under salt water preferably the ocean or bay water??
Because if they were tested dry the results may not be accurate, and the salt water would reduce friction as it lubricates the knot under stress.:)