How to Tie a Surgeons Knot

This Surgeon’s Knot is perfect for joining two fishing lines of equal or dissimilar diameters. This knot excels for its strength and speed, so if you’re in a rush to get a new fishing leader on, you can do it almost without thinking. This is also one of the most popular surgery knots, according to my doctor buddy.

Let’s learn how to make a surgeon’s knot!

6 Easy Steps for Tying the Surgeon’s Knot

surgeons knot
  1. Take your fishing leader line and mainline, and place them in parallel with each other. There should be one tag end on the left and another tag end on the right.
  2. Push your thumb and index fingers on both hands together to form a loop.
  3. Wrap the leader and the tag-end of the mainline (overhand knots) around the loop twice (to make a double surgeon knot).
  4. Pull the knot slowly so that it’s partially cinched up. Moisten the line with saliva or water.
  5. Pull all four lines tight
  6. Clip off the excess tag end materials.
Surgeons Knot between braid and mono
A triple surgeon’s knot between braid and mono. Generally, it’s better with six turns when using a braid.
YouTube video


  • Make sure you pull all strands together to fully lock in the knot. Then pull the mainline and the leader line to double-check if it slips.
  • If you’re tying this at home, soapy water helps make pulling the knot tight easier.


  • This knot is quick. You’ll save a bunch of time, especially if you’re tying the surgeon s knot between two monofilament lines since it generally holds well without slipping.
  • This knot is great for fly fishing if you want to quickly attach your tippet to your fly line.


  • This knot has a tendency to slip if you’re attaching your mono or fluoro to braided fishing line. It’s important to wrap your surgeon s knot at least six times instead of the recommended two in the double surgeon we talked about above.
  • The more wraps this knot has, the bulkier it gets. This can be a problem if you’re worried it’ll hit your guides.
  • Not recommended for tying small diameter lines. Use a blood knot instead.


  • This knot has plenty of uses, from tying sutures to attaching your leader to your mainline.
  • I use this to make a surgeon knot loop for attaching a swivel or weight to the end of my line for a dropper loop rig.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tie a surgeon’s knot?

You can find the instructions in this guide. In short, you do two overhand knots around a loop you create in your line and pull tight.

How many throws are in a surgeon’s knot?

For the original surgeon knots, it uses two throws. We recommend three to six, depending on the diameter of the material and the type of material you are using.

How strong is a surgeon’s knot?

This knot approaches 100% if tied correctly but falls short of other knots for joining a mainline to a leader.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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