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Fishing leader system and knots

Fishing leader system and knots

Some people really get their knickers in a knot about fishing leader systems and knots, and then others don’t pay hardly any attention at all?!

“If you don’t know knots, tie lots!” – Jonny and Andrew VB

Here is a happy medium – The MYDO Figure of Eight system, which we use and advocate for most sport angling situations. Also explained below is the traditional and beautiful Bimini Twist and Albright combination.

For the type of fishing we do, and the fish we catch, we luckily need to know very few knots at all. For trolling we need a double line, tied to a leader. Or sometimes a double line alone will do just fine (50lb rigs). For spinning we need a very small double line, or none at all – so the whole lot gets through the small eyes ok. Because of wind on leaders, the double line can also satisfy your billfish leader requirements.

Fishing leader system and knots differ between fish size and species.
Fishing leader system and knots vary between fish size and species.

Double line

Two tried and tested ways of increasing your overall leader resilience and strength, 1 – The Bimini Twist (lots of fun), and 2 – The Figure of Eight (very quick and easy).

The Bimini Twist

The Bimini is like a right of passage. Once you get this one right, nobody will question your commitment. It is slick, pretty, functional and best of all – strong. Sometimes achieving 99% strength.

Enjoy…a great presentation by

Thanks to the team at who have simplified learning to tie knots for us all. You can learn just about any knot in no time on that site

The Figure of Eight double line (Surgeons Loop)

Make a few loops, lubricate and pull tight. 3 Seconds. Very strong. 99%. Tiny. Adaptable. A great knot that you can rely on. Makes re-tying your leader a cinch.

Figure of Eight Double line is more commonly known as a surgeons loop
Figure of Eight Double line is more commonly known as a surgeons loop

Now we have a super slick double line. The length you make it depends on a few things:

  • 80lb Billfish rig with a long double line gives you added insurance around the boat, and during tricky situations.
  • 20lb spinning rod requires tiny loop, just big enough to make the next knot, like 1cm. Any bigger and it can snag an eye on the way through causing damage and lure loss!
  • IGFA rules determine 5ft of double line for 12lb, and 15ft of overall leader, from knot to last hook. So a 3 ft double line, and a 12ft leader, allows you a 5ft couta trace.

So tie your loop to the correct size at the outset, as you need a closed loop with which to tie the next Figure of Eight knot to the leader.

There are two really cool ways to make this connection; the Allbright, and the Figure of Eight leader knot.

The Allbright Special

Beautiful and functional, but bulky and fragile. But once you get this right, you will be stoked on how much you can reduce your terminal tackle with this knot. The Special annotation is a modification to the ending of the knot – wherein a few extra wraps are added to just one side and the leader of the knot – closing it off nicely with a shoulder that goes through the eyes much better, improving reliability.

The Allbright Special
The Allbright Special can also be used to join nylon to wire, reducing your terminal tackle requirements.
The Figure of Eight leader knot

Three loops in the leader line, pull closed to form another figure of eight. Insert double line from the bottom, pull through and over entire knot to make cats claw. Lubricate and close. Trim. 10 Seconds flat.



Some advice…the loop has to be a closed loop in order to tie up like this, so be sure to get your loop size right when you make the double line. Precut your leader so that you can easily pull it all the way through the double line to make a cats claw (7.). Trim both knots up tight, and pull them both really tight before you use them. Sometimes you get to put the double line loop in through the Figure of 8 wrong. Please study diagram for correct insertion instructions.

More about the MYDO Fishing System here.

Fishing leader systems and knots – by MYDO Lures


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2016 The Sardine News
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