With hundreds of different knots to choose from, picking the right one for a particular situation can be a daunting task for even the most experienced of anglers.
While there are some all-around knots that can be used in just about any situation, most are designed for particular situations, such as:
- tying two different types of lines together
- tying on hooks
- tying on jigs, lures, or crankbait.
What Are The Best Fishing Leader Knots?
Here are my top picks for the best fishing knots for leaders you need to try.
The Knot With No Name
Best Leader to Mainline Knot for A Beginner
One of the simplest and most common knots used for fishing has no name at all.
The knot with no name is actually a combination of two different knots combined. It is considered to be one of the strongest monofilament to leader knots out there and features an Orvis knot and a perfection loop.
No one quite knows why we refer to it as the no-name knot, but it is one of the first knots learned by beginner anglers. It is quite literally one of the easiest knots to tie and is most commonly used to connect stronger leaders together.
When created perfectly, it forms a sleek, yet strong joint between the monofilament or fluorocarbon and the leader.
Best Knot for A Braided Leader to A Monofilament Main Line
Many consider the Palomar Knot to be one of the most important knots for any angler to learn. It is one of the easiest knots to learn, yet is also one of the strongest.
In fact, the knot strength reduction factor for the Palomar knot is only 5%. What this means, is that when tied correctly the knot maintains 95% of its the line’s original strength.
It can be used to connect just about any fishing line size with another line, or even to tie on rigs, jigs, frogs, crankbait, or any other unusual connection.
Best Leader to Hook Knot for a Beginner
The Orvis knot was originally created by Larry Becker, who later gave it to the Orvis company during a competition the company held seeking the strongest knots for attaching hooks.
There were quite literally hundreds of different types of knots presented to the Orvis company, but only one was strong, light, small, reliable, and more importantly, very simple to tie.
The Orvis knot is perfect for connecting both light as well as heavy lines.
San Diego Jam Knot
Best Knot For a Lure or Jig
The San Diego Jam knot is a very popular knot, that is easy to tie, yet is very strong. It is known by many different names including the Heiliger or reverse clinch.
It grew in popularity among long-range tuna anglers in the San Diego Bay area, which is where it received its name.
Not only is it a fairly simple knot to tie, but it is also a suitable knot for braided, fluorocarbon, as well as monofilament lines.
Compared to many different types of fishing knots, the San Diego Jam knot has a fairly good knot strength reduction factor, which is why it has become a very popular choice for anglers around the world.
Improved Clinch Knot
Best Knot For Tying A Monofilament and Fluorocarbon Leader To A Hook
The improved clinch knot is a general-purpose knot that is great for just about any type of connection.
The improved clinch is a staple connection that is fairly simple to tie, yet provides a strong connection.
As a general rule, it is not as strong as the Palomar knot, having a slightly lower knot strength reduction factor, yet despite this, is a very popular choice when fishing with larger baits.
Since the Palomar knot become more difficult when dealing with larger baits, more and more anglers turned to the improved clinch knot instead.
Berkley Braid Knot
Best Knot For Strength
For years, Berkley fishing has been using the Berkley braid knot when connecting braided lines.
It is specifically designed for connecting double lines with fairly thin diameters. The Berkley braid knot is most known for its high strength and is considered to be a very good all-around knot that works for just about any occasion.
Not only does it provide a good grip, but also resists slippage when used on braided lines.
Best Knot For Tying A Monofilament Leader To Fishing Tackle
The Uni knot is a very popular type of knot used for both braided and monofilament lines.
Although it is considered a much more difficult knot to tie, it is still considered simple enough to tie in the dark.
As a result, it is commonly used when fishing in low-light conditions.
Not only that, it has a fairly decent knot strength reduction factor, which allows it to maintain up to 82% of the original line strength. However, when the Uni knot is used to connect to different lines, it only maintains about 75% of the original line strength.
Double Uni Knot
Best Knot For Tying A Monofilament Leader To A Braided Main Line
Once an angler has mastered the Uni knot, it only makes sense to learn the double Uni knot.
The double knot can be a fairly difficult knot to master, but when properly done it becomes the perfect choice for joining two different lines together, regardless of strength or material.
The double Uni knot is very popular by both freshwater and saltwater anglers.
Crazy Alberto Knot
Best Knot For Tying A Braided Leader to A Monofilament Main Line
When it comes to connecting braided leader lines to a monofilament mainline, nothing is better than a crazy Alberto knot. The knot itself was originally created by Alberto Knie, a surf caster from the Northeast.
Known by many local anglers as crazy Alberto, his intense dedication to fishing can be found in the quality of his knots.
Starting with a traditional Albright knot, Alberto improved the design making it perfect for connecting heavier monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders to braided lines.
It is fairly easy for most anglers to tie, and has a decent knot strength reduction factor, allowing it to keep the vast majority of the original line strength.
Double-Loop Clinch Knot
Best Knot For Tying A Monofilament Leader To A Fluorocarbon Main Line
Known by many names, the double Loop clinch knot is one of the best knots for connecting monofilament leaders to fluorocarbon lines and vice versa.
Most anglers refer to the Double Loop Clinch Knot as the trailing knot and is considered to be a fairly robust and highly reliable knot that can be used in just about any situation.
Not only is it great for connecting two lines together, but it is also perfect for stringing up hooks, swivels, and lures. It is good at slip resistance, and much stronger than the traditional clinch knot.
All in all, it has a high knot strength reduction factor, allowing it to retain a high portion of the original line’s strength.
11 – Snell Knot
Best Knot for An Experienced Angler
Chances are even if you have not learned this knot yourself, you have seen experienced anglers using the Snell knot. The Snell knot is one of the best knots for experienced anglers but is also one of the most difficult knots to tie. It is considered to be very reliable regardless of whether you are using braided, fluorocarbon, or monofilament lines. One of the biggest factors in choosing the Snell knot is that it is perfect for setting the hook. Unlike other knots which wrap around the line itself, the Snell knot wraps around the shaft of the hook. The manner in which it is tied, causes the hook to twist when it is set, forcing it into the mouth of the fish.
What are Other Popular Fishing Knots
Double Line to Leader Knot
The FG knot is a very popular knot used for connecting double lines to leaders. It has become famous for its strength, as well as its ability to run through fishing pole guides. It is also a very complicated knot to learn, which is why there are not many anglers who use it. There are several different ways in which to tie the FG knot, but regardless of the manner in which it is tied, when it is done correctly, it grabs a hold of the line like a Chinese finger trap.
Mono to Mono Knot
When it comes to connecting monofilament to monofilament, the improved Albright has always been a popular choice. However, more and more anglers are opting to use the crazy Alberto knot instead. Nevertheless, it is considered to be resilient, heavy, and will last for a long time. It is the perfect choice when it comes to connecting a fluorocarbon leader to a braided line in order to reduce visibility in clearer waters.
Line Doubling Knot
Whether you need to create a strong loop at the end of a monofilament line or create a double line leader, the bimini twist is a popular choice. It is similar to the Australian braid but is considered to be much easier to learn. However, the strength of the knot is highly dependent on its length, which means that to increase the knot strength reduction factor, the knot will need to be longer in order to transfer the strain along a greater length of the line.
Line Doubling Knot
When it comes to using light tackle with a double line, nothing beats using a spider hitch. While it is not as strong as a bimini twist, it is considered to be a stronger option when compared to the dropper loop the main difference between the two, is that a spider hitch is generally used to create a loop at the end of a length of line, whereas the dropper loop is used to attach multiple hooks along the length of that line. Nevertheless, the two types of knots can be interchanged with one another.
6 Turn Surgeon’s Knot
Line Doubling Knot
One of the quickest knots to tie also has a good knot strength reduction factor. The surgeon knot is an extremely strong option for many anglers, but it is also bulkier as well as unsightlier for experienced anglers to use. It is in all simplicity, a double overhead knot that can be tied in just about any condition. Because it creates a loop, it is a good option for those wishing to attach artificial flies or lures to their line. Its biggest advantage is how easy it is to learn.
What Is the Knot Strength Reduction Factor?
With so many different fishing knots to choose from, choosing the right one for any occasion means choosing one that has a better knot strength reduction factor. This strength is also referred to as relative knot strength, as well as knot efficiency. It is a measurement of the breaking strength of a knot in proportion to the strength of the line itself. The more efficient a knot is, the more strength that it retains when compared to the original strength of the line.
What is the best fishing knot to tie?
For most beginning anglers, one of the best knots to tie is the Palomar knot. It is a fairly easy knot to tie and is also known for its relative strength. While it may be a good option for both monofilament and fluorocarbon lines, it is strongest when used with braided lines.
What is the basic fishing knot?
Perhaps one of the most basic fishing knots out there is the hangman’s knot. In fact, many beginning anglers learn this knot first. The knot itself is the same knot that is used on a hangman’s noose, and when pressure is applied to it, it tightens down. The more pressure applied, the stronger the knot becomes. However, it does not have a good knot strength reduction factor and is known to break when setting the line on larger sport fish.
Which Is Stronger Palomar or the Unit Knot?
There are relatively few things that an angler has absolute control over when it comes to fighting a fish. This is why most anglers spend a lot of time and energy creating the perfect fishing knots. While most beginning anglers learn the Palomar knot first, it is actually the Uni knot that is stronger by about 8%. It is also a fairly simple knot to tie, and for most beginning anglers, it should be the second knot they learn.