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Articles » Skills » Fishing Knots » How to Tie the FG Knot

How to Tie the FG Knot

If you are into sport fishing or want to try it out, you should know how to tie the FG knot with your eyes closed.

How to tie an FG Knot
A FG Knot tied by Aen. Source: Aen Tan

The Knot FG is considered one of the most reliable fishing knots out there; this leader knot is incredibly secure whether you are using mono, fluorocarbon, or a braided fishing line. The best thing about it is that with practice, you can tie it quickly and without much effort, a fact that will benefit you when you are competing out on the water. 

The FG or GT knot has proven invaluable for anglers who go after the Giant Trevally. The large predatory fish can even take down birds so you can imagine the force it can exert when it bites on a line. This knot is also known as the Sebile knot after the Frenchman, Patrick Sebile, who invented it. The abbreviation FG has several iterations such as ‘freaking good’ and ‘fine grip.’ 

Recommended Practice Fishing Lines:

FG Knot Tying Instructions

Before you can learn how to tie this knot, you need to practice tying half hitches first. These knots feature heavily in the tying process, so you should be efficient at making one before trying your hand at the knot FG. 

How to Tie Half Hitch Knots

Use these steps to tie simple half hitch knots:

  1. Wrap the line around the support.
  2. Push the tag end through the loop that forms.
  3. Tighten by pulling on the tag end, and your half hitch knot is complete. 

There are multiple ways you use to tie FG knots, but the following two are the most popular with anglers:

FG Knot Method 1

Follow these steps to make a simple FG knot:

  1. Place the braid vertically over the horizontal fluoro leader, making sure you have enough line for the former to make a decent-sized FG knot. 
  2. Stretch the braid to make it nice and tight and wrap the fluoro leader under one side and then the other. 
  3. Repeat the wrapping till you form 12 to 15 double wraps
  4. To lock the wraps down, use a half hitch and pull the tag end of the fluoro line to tighten the wraps. 
  5. Complete the FG knot by making half hitches along both lines and around the braid. 
  6. Use a three-turn half hitch to make a final locking knot.
  7. Close the FG knot by cutting off the tag ends of both lines.

FG Knot Method 2

This method is quite similar to the first one, with slight changes that make it easier in comparison. Just follow these steps:

  1. Bite down at the end of the braid using your back teeth and lean the rod away from you to apply steady tension on the line as you work.
  2. Once you get the tension going, thread the leader on the braid, ensuring that one hand is on the coils or wraps you form to keep them in place and use the other hand to move the leader from one side to the other.
  3. The braid coils should be snug enough to hold the lines together. Wrap them around the leader then tie a basic hitch knot to prevent them from loosening or unraveling.
  4. Make the hitch knot by making a loop at the tag end of the braided line, then bring it around the main one and make it go through the loop. 
  5. Pull the braid hitch tight into the wraps of the braid and tie another hitch to close it. At this point, the coils of the braid must be snug in the outer part of the leader so they can be locked down. Make sure that you apply steady and consistent tension to the knot to ensure the coils dig grooves into the leader to ensure this. 
  6. Once the coils lock into place, cut off the tag end of the leader, but make sure that you enough line to tie two more hitch knots to create a smooth top of the FG knot. That way, the line will not get stuck in floating debris.
  7. Cut off the tag end of the braid to complete the FG knot.         

FG Knot Method 3

The following method shows how you can use both hands to tie the FG knot which makes it faster to tie:

  1. Open the end of the loop in the braided line by passing it over your index finger and thumb to create a triangle. Make sure that maintain tension to make the line nice and tight.
  2. Take your middle finger inside the triangle so it can hold the leader in place when you pass it through.
  3. Maintain pressure on the braid around your finger and thumb and pull off enough line from the leader spool that is long enough to run it up over your knee from the ground where you have your foot on it to keep it steady and tight. 
  4. Grab the end of the line with your middle finger and hold it there before reaching in from the top and grabbing it to bring it straight up through the loop.
  5. Now wrap the line down one side of the loop while holding it with your middle finger and then reach from the top to take hold of it and bring it up. 
  6. Wrap the loop down the other side and take hold of it with your middle finger again.
  7. Weave the line like this while maintaining a steady tension. Give the leader a few pulls to make sure that the coils that are forming are nice and tight. Don’t worry if you didn’t get it as it takes some time to perfect.
  8. Continue weaving till you make a weave that is about half an inch or 3/4 inches long. If your line is light, you can make the weave longer and make it shorter if you have a heavy line. 
  9. Grab hold of the point where the three lines touch and let go of the braided line.
  10. Pull the braided line that goes to the rod to add tension and allow the tag end to hang.
  11. Maintain tension on the leader and make a half hitch with the tag end of the braided line around the leader and pull it to make it tight.
  12. Make 6 to 8 more half hitches, and then grab the braid and the leader and pull as hard as you can in opposite directions. This should lock down the coils and hitches in the FG knot.
  13. Trim the leader as close to the FG knot as possible.
  14. Grab the tag end of the braid and make three more half hitches to close off the knot. 
  15. To check how sturdy the knot is, pull both sides hard. It should not slip out if it is made correctly. 

Advantages of the FG Knot

  • The FG knot is considered to be the slimmest profile fishing knot when it comes to connecting a leader and braid. The slim connection allows anglers to reel their braided line or leader through guides easily. The thinner that connection is, the higher the chances that it won’t snag in the guides and break them. In comparison, the uni knot connection is twice as thick and can snag in the guides. 
  • This knot has the strongest breaking strength compared to conventional knots such as the uni knot and the double uni knot. It can withstand 20lb to 23lb in weight compared to the double uni, which can only pass at most a 17lb test.
  • The FG knot can take the place of expensive wind on leaders since you won’t need to add a lot of mono or fluoro leader on top of the braid. 
  • Every experienced angler knows this, but if you try and a light braid to a heavy mono leader, the former can slip underneath the connection of the latter. Most people double the braid by tying a spider hitch knot or a bimini twist to it. However, you can replace that with an FG knot because it wraps around the leader, so it doesn’t matter the thickness of your braid. 
  • With enough practice, you can make the FG knot in adverse weather conditions and a rocking boat out on the water without much effort.
  • Tying the FG knot takes 15 seconds at most with practice. 
  • The FG knot is stronger than the line, and it does not form a curl in a fluorocarbon leader when tied. 
  • This fishing knot won’t break, which makes it ideal for use in fishing tournaments.
  • The FG knot is the best fishing knot to use if you need to throw topwaters, umbrella rigs, and buzz baits. 
  • The knot also prevents the line from wrapping around the lure when you are using it.

Disadvantages

  • The FG knot can take time to tie if you don’t practice. 
  • If this knot is not tied correctly, the connection may slip, and you can end up losing your catch.
  • This knot is dependent on friction to remain in place rather than a holding knot.
  • The FG knot cannot wind past the guides, and it may fail if it bumps against it too many times.
  • If you want to make an efficient FG knot, you have to make sure that the braided line is lighter than the mono leader. The knot will be misshapen otherwise and may fail. 
  • This knot does not work with all fishing lines.
  • If the knot is cast through the guide, you can end up losing a lure.

Tips

  • One of the most common mistakes you can make when tying this knot is failing to tighten it before cutting off the tag end of the leader. This is an important step because if pressure is not applied at that point, the braid will not make grooves in the leader and lock in place. If you fail to do this, the coils will slide off completely. 
  • If the FG knot is locked correctly, it should grip the leader tight enough that it doesn’t unravel or slip out of the guides. Think of it as a Chinese finger trap, and you can understand how strong it has to be. 
  • You can either tie the half hitches by rotating them in the same direction or in alternate directions. You can make triple, double, or a chain of single half hitches to close the knot.
  • Keep consistent and steady pressure on the line from start to finish as you make the FG knot or the wraps may loosen and slide off, and you will lose your catch.

FAQs

Q: What does the FG stand for in FG knot?

A: FG stands for ‘freaking good’ or ‘fine grip’ since this knot is considered to be the best for tying two lines of different diameters together. 

Q: How strong is the FG knot?

A: This knot has the highest breaking strength over other fishing knots (20lb to 23lb), and it can be tied easily in comparison. That is why most anglers use it as their main knot in fishing tournaments and if they are angling for big fish such as the Giant Trevally. 

Q: How does the slim profile of the FG knot work in an angler’s favor?

A: Since this knot is quite thin, it can pass through guides easily and do not snag when the angler gets a bite. This makes it invaluable.

Q: Besides securing fishing knots, what else can a half hitch knot be used for?

A: You can use this knot to secure live bait to a hook and for tying a fly for fly fishing.

Q: What are the features of a good, strong knot?

A: An efficient knot is one that can be tied in less than 30 seconds easily with practice, does not reduce the strength of the overall line by about 85%, and should be easy to tie with wet, shaking, and slippery hands.

Q: What should I do before tying a knot in my line?

A: The first thing you need to do is ensure your hands are clean, i.e. free of slime and grime from the fish you caught. Otherwise, the thin line will keep slipping from your fingers.

Q: Is making the knot wet necessary?

A: This applies to old lines because they were stiff and thick. These were also quite rough, so anglers used to wet and pull them tight to generate heat and friction. However, heat can weaken modern lines because these are supple and thinner in comparison, but tying knots in them is easier, and no, you don’t need to make it wet to get a good knot. 

The best method to tie a knot so that it doesn’t unravel is to make sure that there are no hidden crossovers. Plus, allow coils to line up properly by maintaining slow but firm pressure as you pull. If you make the knot wet at this point, you will get a ‘liar knot,’ i.e. an incorrect knot. It may look beautiful, but the moisture will make the coils slide over one another as it is tightened. The result? The crossed over coils will act like a scythe when the line is pulled and break it. 

Q: How many knots are too many knots?

A: A knot is a weak link in the line since it lowers the breaking strength of the line. If you are angling for a large number of fish or a few large ones, the drag and pull will naturally reduce that breaking strength further. In other words, one knot should suffice, but if you lose a good catch, consider retying it. 

Q: How do I make sure that a light braid does not slip under a heavier mono leader in the connection?

A: To overcome this common issue, double over the braided line with a spider hitch knot or any other simple knot. 

Q: Should the leader be stronger than the mainline?

A: The leader is typically thicker and stronger than the mainline, but its length will differ according to your requirements. If you are casting lures with a spin rod, it should be shorter, so it doesn’t interrupt the cast, but you can use any type when you are using live bait.

Q: Is using a leader with a braided line a good idea.

A: The answer to that is yes. Braided lines are way stronger than other lines and do not break. 

Q: Why is a leader line necessary?

A: There are two reasons why that is so. The first is that the line is abrasion resistant, so it won’t fray as much when it rubs against rocks, reefs, or the sharp edges of shell encrusted pylons. The second is that it is highly visible underwater. 

Q: Can a braided line weaken with time?

A: If taken care of, a braided line can last for years, but mono and fluoro lines come with an expiration date, so their time is limited. Even if you don’t use them, these lines can go wrong in the packaging. 

Q: Can fish see a braided line?

A: The braided line is the most visible to fish compared to the fluoro line, which is almost undetectable in the water. 

Q: How long should a leader be?

A: The length you choose depends on the conditions you find yourself in, but 6 to 12 feet is a good range. 

Q: What is the best color for a braided line?

A: One of the most popular colors for this line is green because it becomes almost invisible in water that is nutrient-rich such as bays and inlets. Use yellow braid if you want to see the fish take hold of your lure or bait, especially if you are part of a team. 

Q: How often should I change my line?

A: You should change your line every month or two if you fish 10 or 15 times in a month. 

Q: My line tangles when I cast. What do I do?

A: This is a common problem with slack lines. When you reel these in with a spin or fly rod, these form coils on the spool, and these loose coils overlap as they leave the reel when you cast again. Prevent that from happening by keeping tension on the line with fingers that have band-aids on them. Keep steady pressure on the rod as well. 


The Anglers Behind This Article:

Jon Stenstrom
Founder

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