The Strongest Surgeon’s Knot Strength Test [For Mono & Braid]
By: Luke Simonds on August 24, 2015
“Like a Surgeon, tied for the very first time”… sorry, I couldn’t resist.
In all seriousness, we’ve had quite a few questions coming in about the Surgeon’s knot since we posted our most recent knot contest in which the Surgeon’s knot performed extremely well. So I decided to do some deeper analysis into this Surgeon knot to see just how many wraps are needed to make this fishing knot the strongest possible.
And since mono and braid have such different characteristics, I ran multiple tests on each type of fishing line to determine the most effective method of tying the surgeon’s knot for braid and for mono.
My ultimate goal was finding the most effective amount of wraps to make the Surgeon’s knot the most powerful for mono to mono connections as well as for braid to mono…
Surgeon’s Knot for Mono-to-Mono
Monofilament line has a higher friction coefficient than braid so requires fewer turns in almost all knots compared to its braid counterpart.
When researching the surgeon’s knot for mono to mono, I saw that most videos showed the “Double Surgeon Knot” version… which is simply the Surgeon’s knot with two turns vs. the “Triple Surgeon” that I used in the prior contest.
So I decided to test 3 different variations of the Surgeon’s knot to see which one is best: The Double, Triple, and Quadruple Surgeon’s Knot.
Note: All tests were with the same roll of 10 lb to 30 lb Berkley Trilene fishing line.
Here are the results:
- Double Surgeon knot – broke/unraveled in the 6 lb to 11 lb range
- Triple Surgeon knot – broke in the 11 lb to 15 lb range
- Quadruple Surgeon knot – broke in the 11 lb to 16 lb range
So the results show that increasing the amount of turns in the knot increases the hold strength, but the increases start to become less noticeable once getting in the 3 to 4 range.
After doing this testing, I recommend using either the 3 or 4 turn surgeon’s knot for mono to mono connections because it was significantly stronger than the 2 turn while still being easy and quick to tie.
How to Tie The Triple Surgeon’s Knot
Note: Adding even more wraps can certainly increase strength, but it’ll be tougher to tie, and the increased wraps can increase the odds of the line immediately coming out of the knot to get compromised during the final cinch.
Surgeon’s Knot for Braid-to-Mono
Braid has much less line friction compared to mono so requires more turns in order to not unravel compared to what is needed with a “mono to mono” connection.
So I started this analysis at the Triple Surgeon Knot level and they all unwound once placed under medium pressure… and the same thing happened for the Quadruple Surgeon, so I skipped up to a 6-turn version from there.
Note: All tests were with the same roll of 10 lb PowerPro to 30 lb Berkley Trilene fishing line.
Here are the results:
- Triple surgeon knot – all unraveled in the 6 lb to 7 lb range
- Quadruple surgeon knot – all unraveled in the 7 lb to 9 lb range
- 6 turn surgeon knot – all broke in the 13 lb to 19 lb range
How to Tie The 6-Turn Surgeon’s Knot
Note: Adding even more turns can certainly increase strength, but it’ll be tougher to tie and the increased wraps can increase the odds of the line immediately coming out of the knot to get compromised during the final cinch.
The Surgeon’s knot is an easy knot to tie and it has a very high breaking strength when tied properly according to the amount of friction that the lines possess…
For mono to mono connections, using 3 to 4 wraps is ideal…
And when braided line is involved, then it’s smart to use at least 6 turns in order to ensure that it won’t slip when under max pressure.
Hope you got something out of this, and I would really appreciate any feedback, comments, questions, or alternative knots that you want me to test out.
P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing groups would like this, please Tag them or Share this post with them. It would mean a lot to me!
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.