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artb 07-21-2002 05:41 AM

In watching many of the threads about lines, and leaders, and seeing there is much about knots slipping, I thought I would put in my 2 cents. For years and years I have used the improved cinch knot, and the blood knot. I have had knots slip, and break. A few years ago I started using the uni-knot to tie a fly to a leader, and the surgeon's knot to buildup a leader. A built up leader does collect mung, but so does any knot. I have not had a knot slip since I have been using the uni-knot, whether I use fluro, or nylon. I like the thoughts of being able to have a free swinging fly at times, which also takes up a lot of shock when a fish hits. This year, for instance, I haven't taken the fly of my leader in about 4 weeks, been using the same fly, and have caught about 30 fish to around 30 inches long. I have been dragged around rocks, in the sand. The fluro leader I have been using still doesn't have any nicks that I can feel. The lightest tippet I have been using is 16 lbs. The uni-knot is fairly easy to tie. Just put the tippet through the eye of the fly,bring the tag end up alongside the standing part, make a loop, and take about 6 turns through the loop, wet the knot, and draw it tight, one very strong knot. If you don't tighten it up against the eye of the fly you have a free swinging fly that also acts as a shock absorber when a fish hits, I haven't found a knot that works as well yet.:D Try it I think you will like it. I think of all the good fish I have lost do to knot failure in 58+ years,the big fish always gets away. :(

Slinger 07-22-2002 12:14 AM

Art, been having a lot of trouble with knots this season. Like you all I ever used was a improved clinch and a blood knot, I really have to put an effort in to learning some new ones.
Art, send me a PM with your E-mail, so we can get togather an fish.
Or get me at

Roop 07-22-2002 10:25 AM

Hey Art,

My experience is a fraction of yours of course but I have found:

Blood knot for leaders: will never slip if the material diameter is not drastically different.

I've had surgeons knots fail on me, tha last was in a huge pod f fish when Bob P had to use one of my rods after an untimely death of his. That knot failure, the look on his face and the ensuing BS convinced me to go back to taking my time & tying a blood knot.

Palomar at the fly: 100% - never lost a fish to that know.

Hope to see you soon.


juro 07-22-2002 10:35 AM

Hi Art -

W/o a doubt the surgeons is stronger than the blood, but I don't seem to have blood knot failures and I like the streamlined profile better. I think the tightening sequence is critical for strength of the knot.

For a terminal knot I always use a palomar even though it eats tippet. It's an incredibly strong knot and there's nothing wrong with replacing the tippet often anyway IMHO.

Keep us posted when those hardtails start bustin' down your way Art!

John Desjardins 07-22-2002 03:34 PM

Surgeons knot failures
I go back & forth between the surgeons & blood knots for leaders. What I've found is that I don't tie blood knots that are worth a darn in the field. But if I use a triple surgeons knot, i.e 3 turns of line around the finger, in the field it gives good strength. At home tying up leaders I prefer the blood knot because they seem to lay out straighter.

I find that both are dependent on good tightning technique. The blood knot seems to sensitive to the speed you tighten it at, while the surgeons knot is sensitive to pulling all 4 strands of line simultaneously.

If I had to choose only one the surgeons would get the nod.

At the fly I'm an improved clinch person, but am evaluating others.

JimW 07-23-2002 03:22 PM

Art, I've been using the uni for some time now and have not had any problems. Sometimes I like to use a hard loop knot to let the fly swing but I've had some problems with failure. One of the benefits of the uni is I can tie it at night without even looking at it (once I thread the eye of the hook):rolleyes:
For leader to tippet I use the surgeon. Tying leaders at the kitchen table, the blood knot.

Nooksack Mac 07-23-2002 04:27 PM

I use blood knots for the upper leader sections and the uni-knot for tippet-to-leader. The uni exits inline, unlike the surgeon's knot, and has the advantage of being able to attach any size line to any other size line (if you want to make a simple dirty-water leader of .012"-to-.020" butt, for instance).
My longtime goal is to find a 100% tippet-to-leader knot to pair with a 99% tippet-to-hook knot.

jimS 07-24-2002 12:20 PM

Experience with knots that break (telltale curly cue at the end of the mono), has led me to a knot that test close to 100 per cent:

Non-slip loop. This a knot popularized by Lefty Kreh that tests close to 100 per cent of the unknotted line strength. It is used for loop-to-loop connections (tippet to leader) and for attachment of a fly to tippets with a loop for added fly action. It is not a difficult knot to tie, but I would suggest you get a copy of his book, Practical Fishing Knots. The number of turns taken with the tag end around the standing line is dictated by the diameter of the leader.

Roop and Juro are "spot on" in recommending the palomar knot for tippet to fly connection that does not require a loop connection. It comes close to 100 per cent efficiency when tied correctly.

Two requirements for consistent knot tying is lubricating the knot and steady pressure when snugging the knot tight.

Tight lines and strong knots,


Roop 07-24-2002 12:32 PM

What Jim S said ;) When you coming back up to the Cape?

FWIW: Reading the Kreh/ Sosin knot book the other morning I noted the recommendation that joining material from 2 different manufacturers can lead to failure as well.

jimS 07-24-2002 05:05 PM

Jeff, good point on joining different mfgr's materials - a no-no.

If you are going after the BFTs, suggest you learn the bimini twist, but guess you already know it.

I'll be back on the Cape beginning 14 Sept until the migration ends, or the money runs out. If the market continues to be in the toilet (Dow up 488 today!), I will be back in the job market.

Lets definitely linkup this fall. Got some interesting notes to share with you.


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