Line-to-line splice, for joining lines of similar size
Winner: J knot 67%
Eight-turn Blood knot: 63%
Back-to-back five-turn Uni knot: 62%
Double surgeon’s knot: 61%
The Skinny: When you compress monofilament tightly around a very small radius, it tends to crack and fracture. The J knot wins partly because the standing line goes straight through the knot’s initial turns, instead of being quickly forced into a sharp bend as happens with the other splicing knots here.
1. Overlap the ends of the main line and leader by 12 inches.
2. Create a large, open overhand knot. Be sure to pull the leader all the way through.
3. Keep the loop of the overhand knot open as you pass the two lines around the bottom and up through the loop again. Then pass the lines over the top of the loop and back through heading downward.
4. Take one more turn under the bottom part of the loop and up through the loop again.
5. Moisten and then pull on all four ends.
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