The Top 5 Braid to Mono or Fluorocarbon Leader Knots

20150827_Leader_Knots

The Top 5 Braid to Mono or Fluorocarbon Leader Knots

One of the most important connections in fishing is between your mono (fluorocarbon) and mainline braid.  Get it wrong and you will either see you busting off on decent fish or watching your expensive lures on a one-way flight to the horizon.  There are many hundreds of knots published in books and on the internet with many more variations to each of these knots.

These connections don’t need to be problematic if you just know how to tie a handful of good knots really well.  I’ve trawled through my bookmarks to find some of my favourite YouTube videos for my top 5 braid to mono (or fluorocarbon) connections.

1. Back to Back Uni Knot

Difficulty:  ♦ ♦

Reliability: ♦ ♦ ♦

The advantage of the uni knot is that the uni knot is quite well known and a very easy knot to tie in challenging conditions.  I’ve had mixed results with this knot particularly with extremely light leader materials.  Without extreme lubrication and a smooth bedding-down the braid can damage light leader material leading to an unacceptably high failure rate.

Advantages:

  • It’s only slightly more complex than a granny knot.  If you can tie your own shoelaces then you should have this one covered!
  • The Uni is a general purpose knot.  Once you know it you can use it on hooks, swivels, rings, lures etc.

Disadvantages:

  • Care needs to be taken to ensure the braid does not damage the mono when bedding down.  Lubricate with saliva and slowly pull the knot tight.
  • This knot can be difficult to tie with medium to heavy or stiff leader materials

 

 

2. Albright Knot

Difficulty:  ♦ ♦

Reliability: ♦ ♦ ♦

The Albright is a great knot for joining braid to a medium thickness leader material.

Advantages:

  • It is a really simple knot to learn
  • It doesn’t require a lot of braid or leader material to tie

Disadvantages:

  • The doubled section of leader can be quite bulky with heavier leaders
  • I’ve found that when casting this knot through the guides the tag end can get pushed back through the knot resulting in the leader (and lure) flying off over the horizon.

 

 

3. FG Knot

Difficulty:  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reliability: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The FG is slightly more difficult to learn and with no knot in the leader it looks like it couldn’t possibly work.  However it is extremely effective and has become one of my favourites for joining medium to heavy leaders.

Advantages:

  • Great for casting heavy leaders through the guides
  • Extremely reliable
  • Looks great and your friends will envy your knot tying abilities

Disadvantages:

  • It is harder to learn and takes longer to tie.
  • It requires more braid to tie this knot that many others on the list

 

 

Slim Beauty

Difficulty:  ♦ ♦

Reliability: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Like the name says this is a slim knot that works really well in light to medium leader materials.

Advantages:

  • Nice and easy to tie
  • Creates a very slim and reliable connection
  • Runs smoothly through rod guides

Disadvantages:

  • Doesn’t work so well with super heavy lines

 

 

PR (Bobbin) Knot

Difficulty:  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Reliability: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Want to earn your Scouts badge for knot tying?  Then this is the knot for you.  While it looks great, works great and creates severe knot envy among your fellow anglers it is fiddly and time consuming.  I learnt it and moved on to using the FG knot.

Advantages:

  • Extremely strong connection to medium and heavy leader materials
  • When done properly it looks fantastic

Disadvantages:

  • You’ll need to invest in a bobbin
  • Quite a lot of braid goes into tying this knot
  • It takes quite a bit of time to tie this knot

 

 

Our Top Braid to Mono (or Fluorocarbon) Tips
  1. Know a handful of knots really well.
  2. A well tied knot looks right. If it doesn’t look right tie it again.
  3. Practice, practice, practice.  Try tying the knot a few times at home first where you don’t have to contend with wind, waves and the pressure to get back fishing.
  4. Lubrication will assist in safely bedding your knots down.

That’s it for our top 5 braid to leader connections review.  Practice them at home and get out on the water soon to test them out.

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5Comments

  • Frank Frok / 16 January 2018 10:22

    Great tuition, thank you.
    Frank

  • Jim / 15 October 2018 8:15

    Will the FG and PR work with braid to mono leader when going from heavier braid 50-65 lb to lighter mono 20-30 lbs. The articles I’ve read about these knots seem to indicate these knots only work when going from lighter braid to heavier mono?

  • Ocean Addiction / 16 October 2018 11:41

    I’ve used an FG knot with 50lb braid to 20lb leader without any problems. You may need to modify the number of wraps used depending on what braid and mono combo you are using as you get huge variance in thickness and slipperiness in different manufacturers lines. In my experience the FG knot will work a lot better in this situation though.

  • Harrison / 3 January 2019 2:19

    Is the slim beauty knot the best for light lines? I am looking to use roughly 8lb fluoro as a leader and 15lb braid as mainline. Cheers

  • Ocean Addiction / 3 January 2019 9:59

    I always use the slim beauty with lighter lines these days. I had the back-to-back uni knot fail many times before I gave up on it. Cheers, David

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John Buchan