Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

To glue or not glue your leader knots ?

My mate Del recently learnt how to tie this "new" leader knot that I have started using and blogged about here, here and here a while back - I am not personally aware of any more insane lure fishing for wrasse than they get over in the Isles of Scilly and Del keeps me regularly up to date with his fishing, and between these storms he is currently catching silly numbers of big wrasse on the plastics, in very shallow water and at very close quarters. How could any angler who loves their fishing not enjoy this kind of stuff ? Anyway, Del is finding that when he snags up, things aren't like they used to be............

As much as I never had any kind of problems with my "old" leader knot, I always expected that if and when I snagged a lure/hook/weedless hook up good and proper and couldn't get the stuff out, it would be the leader knot that broke and I would then tie on a new one and get on with my fishing. Leader knots are meant to break and we are all used to it are we not ?


For a fair part of this year I have been fishing with 20lb Sufix 832 braid and the 16lb YGK Nitlon DFC fluorocarbon, and then dropping down to 12lb Nitlon fluoro on those calm, hot and bright days we had so many of this summer - seems an aeon away now !! I have noticed that when I carefully tie this "new" leader knot before I go fishing and then glue it with this rather awesome gel-type superglue stuff here, if and when I snag up, as good as every time the leader now breaks just above the knot to the lure clip instead of where it connects to my braid. None of us like snagging up lures but of course it has to happen from time to time - it's great when you can wrench the thing out, indeed with a "mere" 20lb braid tied to a leader via a decent knot like this it's pretty incredible how much grunt you can exert, but when your lure won't come free, I am really liking not needing to tie on a new leader because of it.

I know that Del fishes soft plastics for wrasse with the ever-dependable PowerPro braid in the bright yellow colour - he uses the 0.15mm 9kg (20lb) stuff to great effect along with a 20lb fluoro leader, and although a Texas rig is remarkably weedless (or "rockless" ?), you're going to snag the thing up sometimes if you fish it through the kind of ground that wrasse love. Del tells me that he is now able to use a longer leader thanks to this "new" knot (and yes, he is gluing it), and like I have found, on those occasions his end gear jams up good and proper it isn't his leader knot that is breaking - so he can tie a (longer) leader on before he goes fishing and for the most part trust that he won't be tying another one on for a while. I do like the idea of this for wrassing on plastics.

When you snag up good and proper, something's got to give eventually. I personally believe that there are very few bad braids out there now, rather there are bad anglers tying bad knots in more modern lines that perhaps benefit from a more modern approach to one's knots. This leader knot that I am now using basically all the time has shown me yet again how good these modern braids are that we use, and if you are not dealing with the sharp edge of some unseen snag, how much grief you can give a hooked fish without every worrying that your mainline is going to break. Another great excuse to get the pliers out and tighten up my drag even more.............


I was on the fence for a long time when it comes to gluing or not gluing leader knots, but as ridiculously strong as this "new" leader knot is without any gluing, I have to say that I think it is even stronger with a touch of decent glue. I must thank a certain Welshman who is living in France for putting me on to this specific superglue here, because it works great and it's cheap as chips. I squeeze a bit of this gel-type glue onto my knot, "massage" the glue up and down and into the knot and then quickly wipe my fingers on a cloth so they don't stick together. Don't blame me if you give it a go and end up having to cut your fingers apart though. I don't do health and safety, indeed I think it's about the most evil phrase to come out of the last ten years or so, but I'll leave my feelings on that for a Friday Rant.

I hear some anglers say that putting glue on a knot is completely unnecessary and can even weaken the thing, but if this Welshman says he's been using the stuff for a while now and doing great with it, then with the fishing he does I am more than inclined to take his advice and give the gluing of my leader knots a decent run. But on the flipside it bothers me not for one second if my knot doesn't get glued. Have a good weekend all of you and may you find clear water and a few fish.

Henry Gilbey8 Comments