Good morning brothers.
I was sitting up last night tying rigs. We’ve had yet another cold snap here in Illinois, with nighttime temps dropping below 30 degrees. There is an upcoming prison ministry trip scheduled for Friday, so it looks like things have been postponed just a bit longer… no matter… this too shall pass.
I was thinking about the rigs that we had modified or created within the last 12 months after going through The Trophy Room, looking at examples of each one working…
First, we have the F4 Rig, which is super-versatile and allows you to quickly switch between a Carolina, Texas, or in-between rigs, with or without a clackin’ sound.
Then we have the Pop ‘n Drop, which allows you to combine a popper with a trailing stickbait that stays off the bottom or suspends subsurface over deep weeds.
Whenever I share these in a video, someone comments, “oh shoot – I need to try that!”
(Yes you do – and you should let me know how they work for you, and if you have any suggestions!)
Later this year, we’ll reveal another combo I’m working on, called The Snakebite Rig. The Snakebite Rig is meant for fishing largemouth bass in areas with a combination of muck and tall, slender weeds (think grass or even cabbage) from the bank or the boat. Every part of the rig has been designed to be as weedless and muckless as possible.
One extremely important element of that rig, is the combination of knots. Knots are important for a variety of reasons. Certain knots work well with specific line types (uni-knots can “burn” and fray fluorocarbon lines, reducing their strength). Different knots have different breaking strength (often fishermen will tie leaders using a knot with a lower breaking strength by the bait, so if they snag the rig will break there, and they can simply tie another bait on, not be forced to retie their entire leader).
Knots all have a tag end that can cause issues
I know… I used to ignore this as well… but when I was working on The Snakebite Rig it forced me to look at every single part of the setup, because I was sick and tired of pulling weeds and muck and crap off of my line every cast. It’s a waste of time. It forces you to lose focus. It’s annoying.
This leads us to the question: what is the best knot for attaching fluorocarbon leaders to braid?
The answer, is The Alberto Knot.
What!? Why!? Why not the popular FG Knot?
Great question! For starters, you need to be a rocket surgeon to tie an FG Knot. And three hands. This is not ideal for retying a leader on a windy day when you’re on the water. But, if it were the best option, it would still be worth the effort to master the technique. However, look at the direction of the fluorocarbon tag end when you tie an FG Knot.
It’s facing forward, and it will pick up weeds & muck as it comes through the water that direction.
That can be a BIG problem.
Check out The Alberto Knot, and notice that the braid tag end is the one that is facing forward – but braid is supple, and if you leave a quarter or even a half inch tag on said braid, it will fold back nicely and lay flat, making the Alberto Knot much more weedless… or if you’re in the Midwest like me… much more muckless.
That gray tag end you see above is braid, and it will fold back easily as it comes through the water. That means on the front side of our connection, we have some rounded fluorocarbon, and some rounded braid.
Combine this with a Weedless Uni-Knot (the tag end on a weedless uni points back, not forward) at the bait connection, and we’re in business! Oh… speaking of Uni-Knots…
What ABOUT Uni-to-Uni-Knot connections?
Great question. I use these often, because they’re easy to tie… but they do have three major problems:
- The hard fluorocarbon tag still points forward
- This connection is slightly bulkier than The Alberto Knot
- It is very easy to burn your fluoro if you cinch your braid down a bit too tight before you pull the knots snug with one another
So to recap – these are the main reasons why I think The Alberto Knot is the best knot for braid to fluorocarbon leaders:
- The Alberto Knot is easy to tie
- The Alberto Knot won’t burn your fluorocarbon
- The Alberto Knot has a low profile
- The Alberto Knot is strong
- The Albert Knot is very weedless, with no forward-facing hard tag end
Now… if you want to get super-fancy…
The Improved Alberto Knot
… you can improve The Alberto Knot by adding three extra wraps before you end the process and cinch down, like this:
I strongly recommend you take this extra step if you are using heavy fluorocarbon leaders!
Give it a shot and let me know how it works for you. Ultimately when it comes to knots, confidence and reliability are key – if this is something new, tie several in the garage prior to hitting the water – test them, and repeat the process until you get ’em right.
Once you do, it’s simple and effective.
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.
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