When finesse presentations are being made for largemouth bass, you will see that the majority of anglers (pros and amateurs) have turned to braided main lines attached to fluorocarbon leaders.
This choice is unquestionable in its effectiveness, provided you know how to tie a fishing knot. The simple laws of physics are working against you. The knot connecting your mainline to your leader and your rod will be the weakest link in your chain linking your rod to the monster.
If there is one frustration that bass fishermen share it’s the problems with their leader knots leading to break-offs.
We are here to help. Below, we will discuss the most popular and well-respected bass fishing knots that can be used to make this connection. We might surprise you with what we found, so keep reading!
Leader Knots: Which Knots are Best for Bass?
The 5-Turn Surgeon’s Knot
The 5-Turn surgeon’s knot (5TSK), is not well-known for its effectiveness in bass fishing. This is because so many anglers have shifted away from mono. This knot is effective in salt fishing, where braided mainline and mono or fluoro leader are dominant.
It was originally used to connect mono-to-mono lines. The 5TSK is strong and fast. It relies on friction between the lines, which makes it less effective for braid.
Note my careful use of “generally …”
The 5TSK excels at joining braid to a stronger leader. Five turns instead of two or three allows for more load distribution and provides more friction. This knot can hold between 10 and 15-pound PowerPro, or 30 to 40-pound fluoro. It is made up of five braided wraps.
Don’t believe us?
You can see that a 10-pound braid has a breaking strength of 10 pounds.18 pounds you can!
You may not be able to cast a long leader with a knot as small as the FG.
Verdict: The 5TSK is a great choice if you want to add strength to your braids. It can be used in the real world and is very easy to use. However, it can catch on your guides and affect casting, just like the Double-Uni. However, this is not a problem that can lead to knot failure in my experience.
The Alberto (modified Albright).
The Alberto is a popular knot for hard-core anglers. It’s a great knot that can be tied well. It’s probably the most popular option to join braid to fluoro among bass anglers.
Although it’s very strong, it can be difficult to tie. It also takes a lot of practice. While some people can tie it on the water, it is better to do it at home. I think that this is a bad idea for any knot. It increases the chance of you needing to tie a leader again while fishing.
It’s easy for a novice to make mistakes with this knot. A poorly tied knot is worse than a well-timed one. You can have trouble with the Alberto with a relatively small-diameter leader such as 4- to 6-pound P.Line Floroclear. Braids such as PowerPro will also struggle to grip and bite.
It wraps the thin braid around the thicker fluorocarbon and then bites into it. It bites harder under load and this is similar to a Chinese Finger Trap. However, if the leader is slick and hard, this bite can be compromised. Therefore, it is important to choose the right line for maximum strength.
Alberto’s strength is its ability to create a small and compact knot that can be cast through guides. This allows for a longer leader. It’s a worthy competitor for the FG Knot. This is something to think about. The cast is also much easier than the Double-Uni and 5-Turn Surgeon.
The verdict: The Alberto knot is great for long leaders. It is slim and can easily pass through your guides. The Alberto is also a popular knot for casting long and accurate casts, which explains its popularity among bass anglers.
It is not an easy knot to tie. It is important to choose the right line. You can also test your knot strength at home using your fluorocarbon.
The (Double-Uni) Double-Uni Knot
Although the Double-Uni is most well-known for its strength offshore, it’s not a knot that should be ignored by bass anglers.
It’s strong enough to join lines of different materials and diameters. It is also very easy to tie, and relatively fast, especially when compared with other worthy options. This makes it an excellent knot for use on the water. Although I like knots such as the Alberto or FG, they are difficult to tie in real life without a lot of practice.
As you can see, this knot is a favorite of mine. When used correctly, it’s one of the best.
Although it is not small, it can bump or nag your guides if they are using a long leader. It won’t cause a failure in my experience. However, it can affect the accuracy and distance of your casts which is not ideal for targeting bass using finesse techniques.
The Double-Uni’s physics means that even small diameter braids, less than 10 lb., can be used to cut fluoro leaders under load.
The verdict: Bass anglers I know prefer this knot to the Alberto. It’s easier to tie and is more consistent. It’s a great knot. However, I prefer the 5TSK because it is easier to tie and stronger overall.
Casting won’t be affected if you are willing to throw a shorter leader. It is possible to cast it but you should expect some bumping in the guides. However, this shouldn’t affect the strength of the knot.
Here’s a video of Steve, into the Blue, tying the double-uni in real-world conditions.
And this is a knot tutorial demonstrating how to tie the Double-Uni with a modification to maximize braid-to-fluorocarbon strength:
The FG Knot
The FG knot has quickly become the preferred way to attach the braid to a leader in offshore and inshore fishing. Bass anglers should pay more attention to this little-known option.
A properly tied FG is probably the strongest knot we have discussed. It creates a strong connection between your mainline leader and you’re mainline. It is also compact, even smaller than the Alberto, making it easier to cast. It can be difficult to tie and, like the Alberto, it can cause problems on the water if you have to re-tie your leader.
You can tie the knot at home, which is a good idea. However, if you need to tie your leader knot again on the water, I prefer the Double-Uni or 5TSK.
The FG knot is specifically designed to connect braid to larger-diameter mono/fluoro connections. It distributes load and friction like the Alberto. The FG wraps the braid around a larger leader to give it a bite. If used correctly, it will not slip under load.
This knot must be held in place with pressure. It will be stronger the tighter it is.
It is, however. Will notHoldFor mono-to-mono/fluoro connections and should be used only with braided mainlines.
Even though it is slimmer than the Alberto it can be loosened by slamming into guides. This is the best fishing knot, there’s no doubt about it. However, if you have to use it for casting, make sure you have a short leader so that you don’t accidentally pass it onto your rod. You may need a longer leader. However, you should be aware of the impact on your knot.
The verdict: The FG is the strongest and most effective knot for casting and should be considered a replacement for the Alberto. The FG is better than the Alberto at casting, and this knot really is our favorite.
These are two methods to tie the FG: