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Brandon Khoo

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The majority of local anglers here tend to use a bimimi double to a twisted leader but there is a small but growing group that are using the frictions knots developed and popularised by the Japanese with single strand leaders.

The purpose of this thread is not to compare the advantages/disadvantages of twisted leaders versus friction knots. Rather, it is to provide a guide to friction knots and how they can be tied. Like with any connection, it is really important to learn how to tie these knots properly.

Frictions knots are not difficult to tie but they do require a lot of practice to get right and in the case of the PR knot, you do need a bobbin. Even if your standard approach is to use twisted leaders, it is useful to learn how to tie one of the friction knots properly. I particularly like using single strand leaders when I am using stickbaits.

The three most common friction knots are the PR knot, the midknot and the FG knot. I use the PR and the FG knot myself as I can see no reason to use the midknot as I do not believe you can ever get the wraps on the midknot as tight as the bobbin will with a PR knot. Still, each to their own.


The PR Knot

The PR knot is generally regarded as a jigging knot although there is no reason whatsoever why it cannot be used as a popping knot and many people do (myself included). I think this may have arisen from the fact that the PR knots is often tied as a very long knot. I've seen some amazing PR knots in the past which were some six to eight inches in length. All I can say is that is a wste of braid. I've tested the knot to breaking point extensively and I've found that a PR knot of some two inches is adequate. You just need to make sure that the windings are tight. Like with any new knot you tie, test it to breaking point. That is the only way to learn. The last place you want to find out the knot is no good is when the fish is swimming off with your popper!

The best guide I've seen to tying the PR knot was put together by Chris Wong, one of our members here so credit to you, Chris.

http://www.jigsdirect.com/eMerchantPro/pc/fishing_knots.asp


The Midknot

As I've already said, I'm no fan of the mindknot although I can tie one well enough. The reason I don't use it is because to me, you might as well use a bommin and tie a PR knot if this is what you want to use. I accept the knots are not identical but the principal is very much the same and I can actually tie a midknot with a PR knot bobbin! Still, I accept that many people do use this knot and that it works.

refer to midknot instructions on this site

http://gtpopping.com/midknot.php


The FG Knot

The FG knot is now my preferred knot for popping for the simple reason that I can tie it the fastest and it is the shortest and smallest knot. That said, it is also the trickiest to learn to tie properly but once you learn how to tie it, it is a very quick and reliable knot.

I started using this knot quite a number of years ago when one of the tackle shops in Singapore was kind enough to teach me how to tie it but what happened was I lost an absolute monster fish when the knot failed and I dumped it for a few years. Of course, it was nothing to do with the knot and simply the idiot who tied it but .............

It wasn't until I saw Kenji Konishi tie one in literally one minute (completed knot in that time!) that I thought I better relearn it and properly this time. This knot, more than the other actually does need you to observe soemone tying it as there are little subtleties to the knot that are very hard to pick up from the instructions and which are very hard to explain.

http://goodcatchfishing.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40&Itemid=33


Half-hitches

Traditionally, all friction knots are completed with tying a short series of alternating half hitches to the burnt end of the leader and then down the mainline. The conventional wisdom is to pull the half-hitches till you're blue in the face but after extensive testing, I no longer believe this is necessary. I do pull them tight but no longer to the point where I am blue in the face   :D  I've tended to use a small braid tightening tool to help with the tightening as I feel more comfortable with this but I have conducted enough tests where I am only pulling it tight with my teeth to know that the latter is adequate.

I've also tried both the FG and PR knot without tying the half-hitchs down the mainline and this doesn't seem to be problematic but some tests which I conducted with Rob Ciotucha indicated that the half hitches seem to improve the strength of the overall knot. I don't have any conclusive views in this area at this stage.

For the advanced, it is possible to finish your friction knot using a rizutto finish. This results in an almost invisible finish to the knot and it is strong enough - I've tested it.



I hope the above is useful to you.

Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 03:03:44 PM by Brandon Khoo
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Andrew Poulos

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Thanks Brandon for that.....I started using a long PR knot and found it didnt work for popping. Now am using a smaller one and its fine.

One thing I noticed, is that the type of leader makes a difference. Works fine in black magic supple, but not so well on something like penn10x for me.

And the braid tightener you mention - do you have a link for those ? I wear gloves to pull the half hitches tight, but a tool would be much better.


Robert Palcak

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Once again... a great write-up Bandon.
Just a quick question... what's a "rizutto finish" (I awlays thought it was just an Italian dish ;D)
<*///><

Brandon Khoo

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I have been trying to find it on the internet without any luck whatsoever. I can't even begin to describe it! If you're in Sydney, I can show it to you some time.
If it swims; I want to catch it!

Jon Li

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Once again... a great write-up Bandon.
Just a quick question... what's a "rizutto finish" (I awlays thought it was just an Italian dish ;D)

Rizzuto as Jim Rizzuto , the famous fishing articles writer from Hawaii ?

Risotto is Italian for rice .

For me MidKnot is my favourite , been using it since 2001 and practice makes perfect , must take more care to do it on fluorocarbon leader or hard mono leader and as insurance , burning the end of the leader is advisable .

Jon .
Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 01:09:10 PM by Jon Li
It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble , it's what you know for sure that ain't so . Mark Twain .

Brandon Khoo

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I think that's the guy who invented the finish, Jon.
If it swims; I want to catch it!

Chris Young

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Have a look in the PR knot link...After the half hitches. This is basically a Rizutto finish without the explanations. As it is in the pic you will have to "wind" it back onto itself as you pull it up tight ;)

Bertrand Loyeung

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thanks brandhon for sharing your knowledge. since i started using the FG knot, i never looked back. it has never failed for me so far and i can do the FG knot fairly quick (with lots of practice) and the more pressure on the line, the more the braid grips on the leader. me too i was wondering what's the rizutto finish!

cheers
Bertrand

Chris Jones

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Thanks Brandon!!!! Tis a night of practice for me :-)

Jay Burgess

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Been practising the FG knot, be a while before I can tie it fast. At the moment I can't really do it any faster than a PR and I prefer the confidence that the PR gives me. More practising I think...

Steve Carruthers

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Excellent stuff there as usual Brandon, man i'm kicking myself I didn't ask for an FG demo while down at your place.
I've been practising it over the last year or so every now and then, in a blend of all of the methods out there on youtube. It stayed together on that 50kg black marlin I told you about (caught on carpenter TBL and dogfight) so must be on the right track.
I have been tying a few each night lately, trying a few different things. I found I can really get good tension into the criss crossy bit of the knot (got technical on you there :)) if I wear my casting glove on the hand that holds the braid and hold the braid loop well down on my index finger and thumb. I get rid of the glove for the half hitching bit of course.
I think I'm converted from the twisties now I'm confident tying the FG. Down to three minutes now. Tying a bimini and looping on a twisty probably takes about the same time anyway I guess hey.
 

Luke Wyrsta

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I think I'm converted from the twisties now I'm confident tying the FG. Down to three minutes now. Tying a bimini and looping on a twisty probably takes about the same time anyway I guess hey.

All horses for courses.

Each has their own place with their own respective virtues.

Twisted leaders are designed as a modular system that takes advantage of extra shock as well as the increased shock durability of using a bimini double. I think it's fair to say that these are one of the easiest, fail-safe systems around.

A friction knot is not modular. It is intended for use where a single strand leader is to be cast through the guides. It's profile is smaller than a twisted leader and inherently, further casting distance can generally be obtained. IMO there is an increased probability of error in comparison to a twisted leader.

I personally don't use a very long leader and they rarely extend beyond 2 or 3 guides before the tip. What it comes down to is choosing a leader system that suits the environment you are fishinng, the techniques you are employing and your ability to tie the leader system in question.
Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 08:29:41 PM by Luke Wyrsta

John Joubert

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Just on the Rizzuto finish, isnt it just a 'whip finish' Good description of that in one of Geoff Wilsons books.

JJ 

Le Vi Hua

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On our last trip we had to spend a night in a dump of a hotel. So out came the scales and a knot testing session began. We found that bimini,cats paw,twisty combo (130lb to 150lb twisty) Had wildly different breaking strengths. Some breaking at 15kgs and some breaking at 30kgs.

With the PR (using a shout bobbin) or a FG knot we couldn't break the connection.

But I did have trouble when casting the PR with thick leader still inside the guides. It's would often cause tip wraps whist casting. Solution lighter leader or shorter leader.

Angus Hulme

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When using the PR knot, is there a limit to how low you can go in leader diameter? For instance, if I was using 80 pound tuffline, what would be the ideal leader size, or does it not matter?

Thanks
Angus