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May 13, 2010

Tying the Improved FG Knot

The beauty of this knot is not only in strength but in function...

For Sport Fishing's knot contest, 30 lb Sufix Performance Braid and 50 lb. Yo-Zuri Pink Fluorocarbon were used. Larger materials were used in these photos for demonstration purposes. The beauty of this knot is not only in strength but in function. This knot is probably the most seamless and streamlined knot of its type. It may take you a while to get the hang of it, but you'll see that it is worth the effort.

TIPS: This knot may be tied with either a single or doubled strand of braided line, and fluorocarbon or monofilament leader. It helps to have the line taut during the tying process. To accomplish this, you may wrap the braid around one of the larger guides to secure it and offer more resistance than the tip of the rod would. Don't be afraid to try your own variations to suit your needs.

Before you begin you must perform a procedure that I call a "Simos Slice" to the tag end of the fluorocarbon to give it a tapered shape. You may utilize a sharp pair of scissors, or lay the fluorocarbon on a protected table and use a single edge razor or sharp knife. BE CAREFUL! Do not put your body in harms way. Your objective is to get a minimum 1/8 to 1/4 inch long angled point on the end. This tapered point will be covered by the braid during the second half of the construction of the knot.

STEP 1 - Take the loop end of your Bimini knot, or the tag end of your single strand braid, and wrap it clockwise around your left pinky finger 7-10 times. Slide your right hand up towards the Bimini and wrap the braid around your left index finger 10 -12 times. Note: spread your pinky and index finger as far apart as possible before wrapping your index finger. You may also use your thumb as shown to create some slack if you find it necessary.
STEP 2- Place the fluorocarbon (F.C.) under the braid approximately 1.25 -1.5 inches from the pointed end of the F.C.(larger distances for heavier materials). Pinch the F.C. at the intersection of the braid with the tip of your thumb and index finger. Now swap the position of your index finger and your thumb beneath the F.C. Next, place/push the F.C. down below the braid and criss-cross the braid again on top of the F.C. Repeat these steps 11 to 15 times while keeping each x-wrap snug and taught.

STEP 3 - When that is complete, remove the wrapped line from your two fingers and place the F.C. in your left hand and the braid in your right, taking care not to let the x-wrapped braid unravel. Take the tag end of the braid and wrap a half-hitch(H.H.) over the F.C. and standing part of the braid as it lays firm against the F.C.. It is best to do the half-hitch in the same direction that it came off the x-wraps. Repeat this step 1 to 2 more times while snugging the braid after each H.H.

STEP 4 - SETTING THE KNOT- (Before setting the knot, you may wish to slide the x-wraps farther from, or closer to the end of the F.C.. Practice and experience will help to determine this). Place a glove on each of your hands to protect them from the line. Wrap the lines onto both hands and pull in opposite directions with a force of between 10 and 20 pounds. If done correctly the x-wraps will tighten to the F.C. and progress towards the tip of the F.C..(1/8-1/4 inch). CAUTION: The x-wraps or "Chinese handcuff" portion of the knot should not creep onto the tapered part of the F.C.. If it does, your knot will be less than full strength. HELPFUL HINT: You may experience the braid slipping off of the F.C. at this step. You can take a precaution before this step to help prevent the braid from slipping off the F.C.. You can snug the x-wraps by placing your right and left thumb and index fingers on the middle of the x-wraps and exerting pressure while sliding your hands in opposite directions to tighten the wraps. If this doesn't work, you can use fine sandpaper on the F.C. to help the braid to grip the F.C. before constructing the knot.

STEP 5- Construct several more half-hitches until you approach the tip of the Simos Slice. Note: When you snug down the half- hitches, it is very important to pull on the tag end only in the direction towards the x-wraps and not towards the bimini. When you reach the tip of the F.C. be very careful not to "pull" the braid over or off the tip. If you do you have to undo the half-hitches that slide off and re-do them, or start over from the very beginning.

STEP 6 - After you have constructed a few half-hitches past the tip of the F.C., cut one of the strands of braid 1/8 inch from the body of the knot leaving it behind to secure later.

Continue with 3-5 more half hitches using the remaining strand of braid. Now you are ready to finish wrapping and secure the braid. Do this with a double or triple loop/half-hitch, secured slowly. Pull tight(towards the knot), trim and glue, or set with heat to secure the tag end. Cut the fluorocarbon to the length of leader that you prefer, ATTACH LURE AND GO FISHING. Hint: If you cut the F.C. using a Simos Slice, your leader material will be ready for the next B.I.G. knot.