Whether you chase the thrill of fighting big sailfish or tuna or spend your weekends muscling monster bass on your local lake, you’re probably already familiar with the advantages of running a leader on braided main line.
And for many applications, fluorocarbon simply can’t be beat as leader material.
The problem is that both braid and fluoro are notoriously slippery, defying most knots on their own and nearly all knots when you try to connect the two.
The solution is the FG knot, probably the best option for connecting a fluorocarbon leader to braided main line.
Table of Contents (clickable)
Related: Best Fishing Knots
How to Tie the FG Knot
- Start by leaning your rod away from you to create tension on your braided main line.
- Hold the tag end of the braid in your mouth.
- Cross the braid with your fluoro leader from left to right.
- Pass the tag end of the fluoro back toward your rod and around the braid for one loop.
- Pull the fluoro tight and parallel to your braid.
- Repeat this process on the opposite side of the connection, toward you.
- Repeat this process back toward your rod.
- Do this again and again, for a total of 20 to 25 passes. Make sure that you pull your fluoro tight and straight each time. Make sure, too, that each coil is tight and stacked above the previous one--never crossing or bunching.
- With the tag end of the braid, loop both lines and pass the tag end back through the loop.
- Repeat this hitch knot up to 3 more times.
- Trim the tag end of the braid.
Advantages of the FG Knot
- No tool needed - The PR Bobbin may be a slightly stronger knot for making this connection, but you’ll need a tool to tie it. And even the pros pre-tie the PR Bobbin at home.
- Strong - The FG knot, tied well, will exceed the test strength of your line. It’s that good! Pros rely on the FG because it delivers when massive fish are on the hook, and you can pretty much guarantee that knot failure won’t cause you to lose a trophy or tournament.
What’s Not to Love About the FG Knot?
- Slow - The FG isn’t an overhand knot, or even a Uni, Improved Clinch, or San Diego Jam. It’s painfully slow, and needing to tie one when the pressure’s on can be frustrating, to say the least.
- Difficult - To get the most from any knot, it needs to be tied well. And the FG simply isn’t easy to get right without practice.
The FG Knot in Fluorocarbon and Braid
Fluorocarbon and braid are relatively new materials in the world of knots. And while all knots hold well in hemp rope, the slicker the material, the more clever the knot design needs to be to create bite without concentrating pressure.
In the angling world, most knots are designed around nylon monofilament, which provides plenty of friction against itself. Mono holds most knots like a miser holds hundred-dollar bills, but the same can’t be said for fluorocarbon and braid.
Fluorocarbon and braid are slick and hard, respectively, creating two very different knot problems that add up the same thing: a knot that holds well in mono will rarely do so in fluorocarbon or braid. And joining the two is even worse as they work against each other--the braid is as slick as a seasoned politician, and the fluoro is as hard as granite. The result is that they won’t bite each other or themselves, and strong knots just slide apart.
Often, the solution is a modification that creates more points of contact, increasing friction and spreading the load to prevent failure. But the very best options are knots designed around fluorocarbon and braid, and that’s just what the FG is.
The FG knot works by wrapping the braided main line around the fluorocarbon leader, creating a continuous point of contact for an inch or so. That adds up to more friction than either material can shrug off, and you end up with a knot that simply can’t slip loose no matter how much weight is applied--the line will give before the knot does!
But be warned! The FG Knot can only be used for braid to fluoro leader connections. Using any other combination of lines will result in knot failure!
When Do FG Knots Fail?
A properly tied FG knot is as slim and strong as they come. Each of those passes with the fluorocarbon coils the braid around it, creating constant contact that is locked down with a few hitch knots.
It’s ridiculously strong, and test after test demonstrates that your line will surrender before this connection does!
But this knot can fail, and these are the most likely culprits:
- Tying the knot in frayed or damaged line - We’ve all been guilty of this, and failing to strip tattered line until we’ve got fresh material to tie a knot is a sure-fire recipe for knot failure. Always inspect your line, and when in doubt, strip.
- Improper technique - The FG Knot is not easy, and without practice, you will get it wrong more often than you get it right. And when it’s not tied properly, it’s going to fail. Practice, practice, practice!
- Tying the FG with mono - This might seem like a no-brainer: mono holds better than fluoro or braid, so why not use the FG to connect a stout mono leader?
- The answer is simple: the braid will compromise the mono, and the knot will fail.
- This is a braided main line to fluorocarbon leader knot only!!!