Going after big, toothy game fish requires a leader to avoid getting a bite through your braid. But what’s the best and toughest fishing knot to connect leader and main line? Paul Worsteling, host of the popular IFISH show on Australia’s Channel 10 and the IFISHTV YouTube channel, sets out to find the answer. See what wins out as he tests the strength of four famous fishing knots.
4 Fishing Leader Knots Face Off
Worsteling announces the four contestants for his test of strength: “We’ve got the FG [Fine Grip], the Melville Island Special, the Slim Beauty and the old Back-to-Back Uni.”
For the experiment, Worsteling hangs an IGFA-rated crane scale from a timber beam and sets a GoPro camera to record the scale’s output. To test the knots, a bucket is suspended under the scale from each length of knotted fishing line in turn. Worsteling fills the bucket with water, gradually increasing the weight until the knot reaches its breaking point.
Worsteling controls for other variables by making each setup exactly the same—minus the knot. “80-pound mono leader, the same leader and the same length,” he describes. “Then there’s our four knots as you can see, and then exactly the same length of 45-pound braid.” The braid is wrapped around the scale’s hook so all the pressure rests on a single point of failure. Then, Worsteling dons his protective glasses and starts to fill the bucket.
Which Leader Knot Will Break First?
Except for a few minor hiccups, the experiment is a success. Even the weakest knot manages to suspend 10.1 kilograms (22.3 pounds) before breaking. The winning knot is 43% stronger than its weakest competitor according to Worsteling’s results, so make sure you watch the whole video to untangle your options for fishing leader knots.