Light-to-heavy line splice, for tying on thicker lines such as shock leaders.
Winner: Six-turn Yucatan knot
(doubled line): 157%
Five-turn Bristol, or no-name,
knot (doubled line): 148%
Slim Beauty (single line): 94%
Albright (single line): 94%
The Skinny: You can splice lines of dissimilar size by tying each single line together, which saves time, or by tying the heavier line to a doubled section of the lighter line (made by first tying a Bimini twist, for example), which adds strength. For knots that don’t incorporate doubled line, the Slim Beauty and Albright tested strong. The Beauty is easier to tie. Both doubled-line knots held up better than the single main line of mono, so take your pick. The Yucatan is simpler. (Sufix mono was tied to Orvis Mirage 30-pound fluorocarbon in tests.)
1. Overlap the doubled line (from a Bimini twist) with the end of a heavier leader by 8 inches.
2. Make six turns around the leader with the doubled line.
3. Thread the tag end of the leader through the double-line loop above the wraps.
4. Moisten and pull on the doubled line and the leader; make sure the leader’s tag end doesn’t pop out of the loop.
The Test: To determine the winners I tested a total of 18 established knots on my Chatillon DFE digital force gauge, for which I paid an obscene amount. Basically, two small fixtures hold the line (or knot) and pull slowly apart, while a precisely calibrated gauge records the force at which a break occurs.
Knots often break because they aren’t firmly and evenly tightened, so lubricate yours with saliva and pull them tight. Also, knots that require multiple turns of line must lie and draw up neatly, without line overlapping where it shouldn’t.
Note: Different brands and sizes of fishing line will show different strengths for the same knot. For these tests, I used Sufix Siege 8-pound-test mono. Contrary to what the label says, the unknotted breaking strength of this line tested at 12.47 pounds. The results below, averaged over 10 tests per knot, list what percentage of that unknotted breaking strength the various knots broke at. --JM