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Thread: Leader Knots

  1. #1

    Default Leader Knots

    I've always tied my leaders with blood knots. I tend to put as much time into tying the knot as I do tying the flies that go on the end. It's worked well so far so I'm probably not going to change, but as a matter of idle curiosity, a fellow I've been acquainted with for a long time and know to be a fine flats fisherman recently told me that he has switched to tying uni to uni knots on his fluoro leaders. He believes it makes for a stronger leader. Does anyone else tie theirs like this? I use the uni often for tying on flies. 95% of the failures happen with the initial tug test. If it passes that, it's a solid knot, quick, very easy to tie, and it uses only a minuscule amount of tippet. I much prefer it to the clinch knot. It would be interesting to see if anyone has done testing on uni to uni knots for leaders vs. blood knots. Anyone know of anything out there?
    Last edited by labradorguy; 01-07-2017 at 11:52 AM. Reason: typo
    "In Heaven the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, and the women are Italian. __________________ In Hell the police are German, the cooks are British, the cars are French, and the women are Italian...."

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    D'Iberville Ms
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    519

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    I have used uni-uni connection for leaders, I also use surgeon knots. I haven't noticed any appreciable difference. I don't tie blood knots. These days I usually use Rio's saltwater tapered leaders and add new tippet as needed.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northwest Territories
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    620

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    Labradorguy, when I fish for bones I use a tapered mono leader and tie on fluoro tippet. On my first salt water trip a guy at the lodge I went to advised using the uni knot(s) for tying fluoro to mono--he claimed that the fluoro could cut through the mono if tied in a blood knot. I've used uni knots ever since and never had a problem--when my leader has broken, it hasn't been at the knot. And, as you say, it's a relatively simple knot to tie and doesn't use a lot of leader/tippet material.

    Coincidentally, there's a recent post on the Deneki blog that addresses this exactly:
    https://www.deneki.com/tag/bonefish/

    Scott

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    Thanks for the link Scott. I'll check it out. I'm always game to try something new.

    I only fish hand tied leaders. My average bonefish leader length is 18'. I've not been able to find anything other than hand tied that will give me consistent turn over and accurate casts at that length. I fish 100% fluoro too. I've heard about fluoro digging into mono before and I agree with you, it makes total sense that it would do that. What intrigued me was this chap uses 100% fluoro too. If it is indeed stronger in an all fluoro leader, I'm all for giving it a go.

    Like I said, blood knots have worked well, but it's 2 degrees and windy out and I have an itch to tie something.... lol

    Off to Deneki.

    As an aside..... I like them, but have they ever reviewed a product that they didn't like???
    "In Heaven the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, and the women are Italian. __________________ In Hell the police are German, the cooks are British, the cars are French, and the women are Italian...."

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    Like Lab, after years of experimenting (starting of course with Nylon) I too hand tie all-fluorocarbon long leaders for the flats. And I use blood knots which I hard tighten. In the last half dozen years I have been successfully experimenting using the Ligature Knot just for the tippet. It is slightly bulkier and more complex to tie but seems unbreakable. It might work well for fluro to Nylon too, which I honestly do not recommend. And the non-slop loop is the ONLY knot I ever tie a crustacean imitating fly on with.

    Ligature Knot


    Shrimp Cocktail

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    +1 on the non-slip to Mr. Crabs. I didn't mean to imply that I use a uni for that. Not in this lifetime. Non-slip loops are the only way to get that true crab action out of a ball of feather and rubber legs.

    I saw the ligature before. It looked like it would pick up more turtle grass, so I avoided it. Thoughts on that?

    I used to hand out leaders every day. You're only as strong as your weakest link. Bob Marley said it best: "No mono, No cry..."

    ---------- Post added at 12:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:35 AM ----------

    Scott..... Did you see the "spey casting on grass" link at the bottom of the page you referenced? Pretty cool.
    "In Heaven the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, and the women are Italian. __________________ In Hell the police are German, the cooks are British, the cars are French, and the women are Italian...."

  11. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kincardine, Ontario
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    253

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    Seems not too many people use the knot to join lines... I always use uni to uni knots to join two pieces of line, mono or flouro. Cinched down good I've never had it fail!
    Danny

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Northern California
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    296

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    I tie my own leaders but they're almost exclusively for freshwater. I use back-to-back nail knots for the butt sections and blood knots for the smaller sections. I use knot tying tools which makes the job quicker and easier. When I'm on the water, I use the triple surgeons knot to tie on replacement tippet sections which I can tie without the tools. They work great, with the possible exception of largemouth bass leaders where the knots really tend to pick up too much algae/weeds.

    Tom

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northwest Territories
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    620

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    I really should start tying my own leaders. The only reason I don't is that I'm lazy, frankly. That and the fact that most of the fly fishing I do is for salmon and steelhead and other species where you can just use a straight piece of 12-15 lb. mono for tippet and leader.

    Labradorguy, if you can cast an 18' bonefish leader I'm coming over for lessons. That's impressive. Longest I've cast is about 13-14', not happily, and that's pretty much the outer edge of my feeble casting ability.

    Non-slip loops are fast becoming my favourite tippet to hook eye knot for pretty much any wet or streamer fly.

    I did see that "spey casting on grass" link and might try it when the warmer weather comes. We don't have a lawn but we do live real close to a park. Thing is, we live closer to the lake, so if I ever want to practice I can just walk down there.

    Scott

  14. #10

    Default Re: Leader Knots

    Bass to bones, I use the uni to uni for leaders and tippet. I tie mono or FC leaders to braid with it also (within reasonable size limits.). I know that I should tie the blood knot to be official, but in the wind when I'm in a hurry, with cold hands, the uni works well and I haven't had it fail yet. I've seen lot's of lab tests. I'm OK with them.

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