The knot that dare not speak its name — at least not when the missus and kids are around — is naturally Justin Duggan’s favourite.
There are a many game-changing moments in fishing. In the modern era, graphite rods have revolutionised casting and sensitivity. Braided lines gave us another step change. Circle hooks changed the face of marlin fishing and other live-bait situations. Trends like micro-jigging and top-water stick-baiting have re-emerged as a “modern” fad — assisted by incredible leaps in reel technology that can see spinning reels harness casting ease with the pulling power of a John Deere. There’s a lot to like. One modern “invention” has been the “f**king good knot”, aka FG Knot. I don’t really view it as a knot because, technically, the bulk of its genius is more of a binding, a self-closing “Chinese finger trap”.
If you’re not familiar with the FG, you really need to be — it’s a revolution. Any time I need a braid to mono/fluoro connection, I use this knot, unless I need super speed. That said, with practice the FG can actually be tied quite quickly.
Anyone who has used other knots such as Albrights, double uni or slim beauty knots will be familiar with the tags left poking out of the knot. They are part and parcel of the old days of fishing. These tags reduce casting distance as they bang through guides and I’ve certainly found with long hours of casting that they are prone to guide strike — the knots can fail from the fatigue associated with slapping the rod guides on every cast. The FG knot, however, is a “tagless wonder”. And due to its nature, it does not weaken your line in the same fashion as most knots. Do yourself a favour, get a cold ‘n’ frosty, a bunch of leader material, a reel with braid attached and hit the couch for half an hour to practice this game changer.
TIPS FOR GREAT FG
Pull the initial binds bloody tight to bed the braid into the leader. Don’t cut your hand on the braid — use something to wrap the two sides around such as a pair of bicycle handles (about $2 on eBay). After the initial wraps are pulled tight, alternate overhand knots on just the braid, then the braid and tag together. Do this a number of times and it will weave the tag in and out of the braid creating a second pinch point beyond the first binding. After trimming your tag you can either burn a small knob onto the leader (cover the braid with your fingers or you’ll burn it), or bite a flange into it before covering the tag. This adds another pinch point. Fluorocarbon can be slippery and some line classes require extra wraps to lock the first binds. Alternatively, a light scuff of the fluoro with sandpaper can help stop this. I like a small amount of flexible adhesive on my final wrap to prevent unwinding. But whatever you do, don’t get the glue on any of the bindings! Just the last couple of wraps.