The Strongest Surgeon’s Knot Strength Test [For Mono & Braid]

By: Luke Simonds on August 24, 2015
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Surgeon's Knot

“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.

Conclusion

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!

Fish On!

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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Gary scalf
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Gary scalf

Hi Luke,
l enjoy watching your how to videos. i grew up in South Florida on Snook and Tarpon. but now i live in Kennesaw, Georgia where i drive weekly to the Tennesee River for Stripers (Rockfish). I use a 9-6 Surf Rod, Penn slammer iii 5000; Conflict 2 5000, Quantum Smoke 50; spooled with 30 lb. Power Pro Hi-Vis yellow so I can see my line in the river, therefore i have to use a long mono leader at least 3 to 4 ft. of 30 lb. test and am throwing 1 1/2 to 2 oz. Buck-tails. Our fish range mostly 14-30 lbs. Luke, I have always used 30 lb. braid to 30 lb. mono tied with a 3 wrap surgeons knot and it will hold big fish fish over 30 lbs. including including 5ft. long Paddle fish. The problem i have with the Surgeons knot is that the more wraps you tie the bigger the knot gets, and with a long leader, like what I use up here 3ft. it can do a lot of damage on the eyes of a Rod. But if you tie a Surgeons Knot with 3 wraps and leave a significant amount on the tag end to cinch it tight and then trim it, you shouldn’t have any problem with a 3 wrap Surgeons knot breaking. Anyway Luke. love your videos and just thought I would give my two cent field advice on my favorite fast and easy Mono to braid knot; the Surgeons Knot.
Thanks once again, for the “how to” videos.
Gary

Sam
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Sam

I’ve used the 6 loop knot to connect braid to a flouro leader with great success. I have caught multiple Yellowtail, rock fish, Calico bass… So easy and it works. Not as low profile as some other line to line connections, but the easiest to tie and it performs very well. Thanks!

John Martin
Member

Hi Luke ,
Surgence Knot sure easier than FG knot to tie, but I know I have not brock off a line for 30 fish caught this season in grass and
potholes . Nice to know both knots . Using 10 LB Spider Braid and 30 pound Berkley fluorocarbon . Spanish Mackerel on 1/4 ounce Johnson Silver/ Bronze spoons used lately.work magic on the Spanish… Will be trying ProLine 10 IB braid soon Luke.
Cheers ,going to be selling my 1998 Yamaha 60hp 2 stroke and controls soon on craigslist.Going to buy a 40 hp 4 stroke .
Cheers always Luke
John Martin

Richard Fiorentino
Member

I have seen people put crazy glue or nail polish on line to leader knots. They say it helps if the knot goes through the guide. What do you think?

gatorjjj@gmail.com
Member

This is very helpful! I’ve been using braid for several years now and still struggle with knots. I like the surgeon knot for its speed and simplicity, but I have trouble with lighter lines. 15# PowerPro and 20 to8# 40 pound fluoro is a snap and three turns work reliably for me. When I go to lighter lines, like 10# PowerPro and 12# fluoro, 8# PowerPro and 12# fluoro with a three turn surgeon, the leader breaks at the knot. I’m eager to try more turns on the surgeon with the lighter lines. My biggest challenge is 5# PowerPro and 12# fluoro – about the only way I can get any knot to hold is to make a double line with a spider hitch and then use a double uni for the braid to fluoro. Any suggestions?

Blesson Varghese
Member

Just curious why you did not pull on the tag ends also at the end of the knot? Will that not help to cinch the knot tighter .

Marty B
Guest
Marty B

I just wanted to say thank you for a well thought-out comparison of knot performance, and videos on how to tie them. Since I’m taking the plunge and I’m trying braided line for the first time, your comparison of knot strength taught me a lot.
Wishing you continued success
Marty B.

Joseph Espinosa
Member

I’ve had real good success with the alberto knot. Its quick easy and for braid to mono 7 wraps cant be beat

Robert
Member

I fly fish and have also tested. For me, a 5 loop mono to mono s.n. = a barrel not. 0 failures!

Joseph Simonds
Admin

Good stuff Robert, and a big thanks for sharing. I will pass this on to Luke to add to our knot contests. Fish on !

Harold
Guest
Harold

Hi Luke, Thanks for a great show. I’m not at all surprised by the results of the Surgeons knot. A few years ago an Australian by the name of Mad Dog Roiter visited South Africa (S.A.) to promote the Berkley products and he swore by this knot. He landed a monster GT using this knot. This knot is used extensively by the fishing guides in Mozambique. In S.A. a popular knot is the double figure of eight. It would be really great to test this out with the Surgeons knot. I could send you instructions on how to tie this if you need it. Regarding the Allbright would ending of the knot with a half hitch or two not improve the strength? I have used the Yucatan knot to join mono to mono of uneven diameters previously because it forms a small knot that is guide friendly. Any views on this?
Regards
Harold