We are anglers and we all do things slightly differently - I understand that. There are so many ways to skin the proverbial cat with fishing and its many techniques and methods, but one thing I will never understand is why an angler would spend money on a modern braided mainline and then tie it to a leader with anything other than the best modern knots that have been specifically developed for just that purpose - to be the strongest possible way to tie braid to leader…….
And if there is a stronger way to tie braid to leader than the FG knot then I have yet to come across it. I have talked about this incredible knot before on this blog, and all the details on how to tie it can be found here on my website if that helps. Bang on all you like about uni to uni, the Improved Albright or whatever - and they are perfectly decent knots of course - but they don’t come close to how good a connection the FG knot is if you tie it correctly. Does it matter for our bass fishing? Perhaps not a lot of the time, but my argument is still the same - why not? Why not use the best connection?
Anyway, over a few years now I have occasionally emailed back and forth with a guy in Europe who deals with Sufix lines - and yes, I love Sufix lines. There are plenty of good braids, monos and fluoros out there these days, but for all that I try, I keep coming back to Sufix because I trust their lines completely. As I said the other day on here, I am genuinely over the moon that Sufix lines are coming back properly into the UK. So I was on a Skype call to this bloke earlier in the week to yap about Sufix lines, and whilst I know he’s heavily involved with Sufix, I then found out that he is actually Mr. Sufix, as in it’s his company. He designs and makes the lines in a couple of factories that he owns, and believe me when I say that I could have stayed on that Skype call for hours with the number of questions I wanted to ask. I got a fair few in, but Mr. Sufix has kindly said that I can fire any line related questions I want at him and he will do his utmost to answer me - and he’s perfectly happy for the info he gives me to appear on this blog.
We talked briefly about such subjects as how fishing lines are rated here in Europe and then over in the US (there is no logic to the US system, put it that way), how many factories there are that can make (extrude) monofilament line around the world (lots!) compared to factories that can produce genuine fluorocarbon (five), how braid suffers abrasion internally over time (fibres rubbing together and flexing over rings, roller bearings etc.) which can often be a cause of your braid suddenly starting to snap for no apparent reason (and how their Sufix 832 with its single Gore fibre is Sufix’s attempt at alleviating this problem as much as possible), how it’s scientifically impossible for a mono line to be coated with fluorocarbon as some lines are marketed, and also the FG knot………..
OK, so I know the FG knot when tied as per this video here is damn strong anyway, but I didn’t know that if you tie it correctly then it’s a 100% strength join between braid and leader. How do I know this? Because Mr. Sufix has tested it on a professional line testing machine. If you think about it, technically it’s not really a knot as such, hence the strength, because when you put an actual knot into braid, you weaken it - as with all lines. You might be using half-hitches to finish the knot and stop it unravelling, but the actual securing of the braid to the leader is a kind of wrap/clinch/grip thing rather than a knot as such - and because you are not trying a knot in the braid, you retain its linear strength. That is my understanding from our conversation.
And if it helps, with the kind of lightish braids that we use for our lure fishing (when compared to the lines used for say GT fishing), I put thirty over and under wraps in there before that first half-hitch which as you know you need to then pull really hard on both ends to secure the “knot”. I then put a further three half-hitches in, cut the leader tag end nice and tight, put three further half-hitches around the braid mainline only and then tie a three turn locking knot to finish it off. Tie the FG knot correctly and it’s a 100% join, but how you now tie your leader to a lure clip or direct to a lure is going to impact on the overall strength of course. Those thin lines we use that connect us to our fish are amazing if you think about what we put them through as we fish, so surely it makes sense to try and maximise their potential?