When I was introduced to light jigging on braided line by a boat captain many years ago I was also taught how to tie the FG knot joining braid to monofilament leader. Since then it’s the only knot I preferred & use even after learning about other braid to leader knots.
I emphasize all information shared in this blog is just my personal opinion & experience which some may beg to differ 🙂 If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them at the end of this post.
Features of FG Knot
- Slim, compact & short…can be cast through the guides with minimal interference.
- First section of knot comprises of crisscross wrappings of braided line biting securely onto leader. These wrappings are the basis of the FG knot giving it a non-slip hold onto the leader.
- Second section comprises of half hitches of braid onto leader adding more bite to further secure its lock onto the leader.
- Third section is where half hitches of braid is tied onto itself the main line providing a kind of mini shock absorber. This last section is optional & nowadays many will leave it out but I still practised it as how I learned this Fantastically Good knot back then.
- Main reason why I like this knot is it can be tied short…1.5 inch or less…in fairly short time & yet can provide a secured braid to leader knot minimizing wind knots due to its short length. Personally I find long knot unsightly, difficult to handle & adds to wind knots.
Why not PR Knot?
- If you analyse the PR knot closely you’ll notice only the 1st wrapping is biting onto the leader while the 2nd wrapping is actually biting onto the braid itself giving no foothold on the leader at all.
- This is likely the reason why the PR knot has to be tied longer to give it more grip onto the leader which I find very unsightly, creates more interference during cast & adds to wind knots. I’ve seen a PR knot tied to about 4 inches long…OMG!
- As the 2nd wrapping goes onto the 1st it becomes slightly thicker in diameter compares to the FG knot which only has one layer wrapping biting onto the leader.
- When it comes to needing a tool to tie a knot (for PR knot) versus using our bare hands (for FG knot) I prefer to trust myself to relying on a tool which can be misplaced or lost easily.
- I’ve heard of PR knot slipping out of the leader as the braid was not tightly swung onto the leader by the tool but I’ve not heard of FG knot slipping so far. In fact when I’ve to break my main line due to a snag it’s the main line that breaks…all the time…instead of the FG knot.
How to tie the FG knot?
It’s best to provide a video on how this is to be done properly but I will attempt to provide some brief steps below. Will try to look for a Youtube clip later or do one myself when I have the time.
- Measure a 2.5x length of braid from tip of middle finger to tip of thumb. Half the length by picking up at the middle of length creating a double line. Wrap doubled line onto your last fingers of left hand forming a short stretch of straight line across your fore finger & thumb.
- Hold leader with right hand & place it below braid at point about 3 inches from tip of leader. Twist your fore finger/thumb 180 deg to form 1st cross below leader. With your right thumb push leader tag below & twist finger/thumb half circle back to original position to form 2nd cross above leader. Then lift leader tag up completing 1 cycle & forming 1 double wrap.
- Repeat cycle 9 more times ie total of 10 double wraps to form 20 crisscross wraps on the leader forming 1st section. Press onto end of wraps to avoid any loosening & remove braid from left fingers. Hold leader spool with feet & leader tag with right hand to start your half hitches onto leader.
- Create 15 single half hitches onto leader forming 2nd section alternating braid tag up (above leader) & down (below leader) so that all knots will align neatly in a straight line.
- Snip off leader leaving a short tag which can be burnt off using a lighter to form a small stub for the purpose of stopping any line slippage on the leader. The B line Cutter II ( eBay ) lighter is specially designed with a metal shield to protect rest of the knot while burning the tag end.
- Form the 3rd section by starting a double (2 loops) hitch of braid tag on main line to secure beginning. Create 12 more single (1 loop) half hitches of tag on main line again alternating braid tag up & down leader. Finish with 2 double (2 loops) half hitches to secure the end. Knot & burn off the braid tag end if you do not like it to fray up.
Hint: Wrap your crisscross tightly & snugly over the leader & pull each half hitch tight holding braid tag to leader tag & leader to mainline. You’ll see some wrapping biting & stretching leader turning it slightly white…that’s fine showing it has securely itself…but DO NOT over pull distorting leader till it’s badly deformed…as advised by a tackle shop owner. Don’t badly deformed it…let the fish do it!
- I’ve found a short clip showing how I do my crisscross wrappings for the 1st section which I find is the fastest & easiest way among all the methods out there. But for the 2nd section of half hitches onto leader I’m using another way (feet holding leader spool…refer above) which I find easier & more comfortable. At the beginning of clip presenter stressed braid & leader used are for freshwater but this concept of tying braid to leader can be used for any fishing application.
FG Knot with Risotto Finish
- Lately some anglers introduced the Risotto finish to the FG knot instead of using half hitches. It’s an ingenious way of finish providing a quick & secured way of ending the wrapping.
- What I like about it is the shorter time needed to complete it compared to half hitches. But I do have some concern as you can see the 5 wraps in the finish are actually biting onto leader with tag tugged underneath without any knot. As leader is pulled hard against braid especially during a fight these 5 wraps will continue to bite into leader continually distorting it at that single point. This is against advice of overpulling which MAY create deformation & eventually breakage.
- As compared to finishing using half hitches onto leader the hitches are tied each with a single knot securing on leader. Thus the pressure is spread over the 15 hitches onto leader instead of just 5 at one point without any knot. Thus I find half hitches to be more fail proof against Risotto…just a personal view.
- I’m not sure if above is a concern in Risotto finish especially since most are using the harder FC leader. But when using softer non FC leader do be wary of this point. Will need more time to test out this Risotto finish especially on thinner & softer non FC leader.
Hint: When I’ve time tying the FG knot I’ll use half hitches eg. when I’m at home before or after a trip. When I’m out fishing when time is limited I’ll use Risotto finish which can be done quickly especially during a hot bite.
- Check out the clip below for a very clear step by step process of ending the FG knot with a Risotto finish. Do note clip is showing a different way of doing the 1st section crisscross wrappings. There are several ways…you need to find one you’re comfortable with.
Happy FG Knotting!
All the best,
PS: Please leave a comment if any information in this site is inaccurate or incorrect…I’m learning too 🙂
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