UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Ohio River

Why You Need to be Tying the FG Knot

Why You Need to be Tying the FG Knot
Carl Jocumsen

Back in Australia, during my whole career there and even back when I was a kid learning to fish, we never used straight-through fluorocarbon. We fished braid with a leader. That’s just how we used to fish. When I came over here, originally, braid with a leader was just starting on the California side. Now it’s much more prevalent.

In my last couple years in Australia I learned the FG knot, which is a Japanese knot that originated from the guys fishing for giant trevally. They wanted to be able to use 100-pound-test braid with a 130-pound-test leader and be able to cast it through the guides. It’s the only knot I know that has 100 percent knot strength. The FG knot is actually stronger than the line, and it’s a plaited knot, which means the braid is woven around the fluorocarbon, so it’s super thin and there’s no curl in the fluorocarbon or anything.

In Australia I’d done really well all through my career, but we were using Albrights and blood knots and surgeon’s knots and all that. And I would break off so many fish due to my braid-to-leader knot. In my last few years I learned the FG knot, and I figured out that I could do it on any size line. In those last three years I literally stopped losing fish, and I won angler of the year, I won our classic, I won angler of the year again and I won a bunch of other tournaments in between. It was crazy.

When I came here, nobody had even heard of it. When I fished in the U.S. Open in 2010 I was able to fish with 4-pound-test braid to a 6- or 8-pound-test leader and use a super long leader. That gave me a ton more stretch so I didn’t lose fish, and I could cast that long leader right through the guides. I’ve had that for years here, and I started teaching some of the guys, and now many pros are using it. It’s still such a big advantage it’s worth talking about.

At St. Clair, because I was catching so many fish and was restricted on time, I was able to use 20- to 25-foot leaders. I could cut my drop-shot and re-tie so many times without having to re-tie a whole leader that I saved a bunch of time. Plus, I never worried about breaking off at the knot. Usually I won’t have to re-tie a leader during a tourney. The braid-to-fluoro knot won’t break. The line will usually break at its weakest point, which is usually the knot at your hook. So, you still have your leader the majority of the time.

The beauty of it is there are about 10 different ways to tie it. It all comes down to learning which one works best for you. The easiest way is to just look it up on YouTube and keep repeating it. I can tie it just as quick as anyone can tie a double uni-knot. I think the way I do it is the hardest, but I feel like it’s the best. It’s tight from the start the way I tie it, whereas the way other people tie it, it starts out loose and then digs in later.

The thing with the FG is to just figure out how to hold the line and what direction to go with everything. I’ve gotten guys that are just hopeless to tie it, and now they can tie it with their eyes closed.

It’s crazy, but when you run a 25-foot leader, if you’ve got just one rod length of braid out you basically still have the feel of braid with a leader. It’s really weird. But then when you set the hook, it’s like you have fluorocarbon. There’s no doubt you lose more fish on braid, whereas with fluorocarbon, once you’ve got the hook in them you pretty much don’t lose them.

 

Not just for spinning rods

Finesse isn’t the only application for the FG knot. Every single one of my flipping rods is rigged with braid to a leader. I’ll fish 50-pound-test braid to 20-pound-test fluorocarbon and just a short leader. And my catch rate has gone way up.

I think the biggest thing U.S. guys have trouble converting to when going to a leader for flipping is not having to do those massive hooksets to get penetration. It’s just way too much. It’s like 10 times too much because now you’ve got zero stretch. You could compensate with a softer rod, but then you sacrifice sensitivity, so I like to use the same rod but compensate on my hooksets.

When you flip with braid to a leader, you’ve got the presentation of fluorocarbon and a little bit of a shock leader. And then you still have the strength and cutting power of straight braid to get through the grass. When I came over I saw tons of guys very early on flipping with braid and a leader, but they were continually stressed about breaking the knot. Or, the knot was catching on everything. The FG doesn’t break, and it slips through like straight line because it’s so thin.

It’s also the best for throwing topwaters, buzzbaits and umbrella rigs. It’s great for making long casts on windy days, and it will stop your line from wrapping around your lure when you’re working it. Again, it’s the same as for flipping, with 30- to 50-pound-test braid and a 2-foot-long, 16- to 25-pound-test flouro or mono leader.

Learning to tie the FG knot is one of those simple tasks that has a big potential payoff if you’re willing to put in the time to figure it out.

 

Recommended how-to FG video

Tags: carl-jocumsen  blog 

Super Tournaments: Super Fun and Super Competitive

Super Tournaments: Super Fun and Super Competitive

There’s a big change coming to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, and I’m really excited to be a part of it. READ MORE »

Fishing with Confidence

Fishing with Confidence

This year, I’ve chosen to home in on trusting my gut, even with tough practices. I’m happy to share that I rarely have a practice that’s worth writing home about. It’s just the way it goes, and I’ve learned to not let the discouragement affect the tournament. READ MORE »

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Renewed Excitement for Super Tournaments

Like everyone else, I had concerns about when we would be able to resume our 2020 season on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. Probably a bigger concern was what the rest of the season would look like. READ MORE »

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

Why I’m Excited to be Back with FLW

This year has been an interesting one, to say the least. For the first time in my pro career, I’ve been home for much of the spring, and while it was great to fish local waters and get some projects done around the house, I’m ready to get back to fishing tournaments. READ MORE »

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Big Changes for the Pro Circuit

Recently announced changes to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit have me extremely excited to get the season back under way. Specifically, a good number of the Major League Fishing anglers will be fishing the remaining three Pro Circuit Super Tournament events with increased payouts. This makes these truly the most lucrative five-fish-limit events in the country, with potentially half of the tournament field being paid $10,000 or more. READ MORE »

My Line-Thru Addiction

My Line-Thru Addiction

Pollen is in the air, on the water and covers my boat on a daily basis. When this happens, it means one thing to me – the bass are on the bed. Now, most people are all giddy about sight-fishing, but that’s not my deal. I can count on two hands how many fish I’ve caught truly sight-fishing. What comes to my mind during this time is swimbait fishing, but more specifically, one kind of swimbait in particular – a line-thru swimbait. READ MORE »

Making the Most of Quarantine

Making the Most of Quarantine

At the beginning of this year I was excited about the opportunity to fish the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and the Bassmaster Elite Series. I was most excited about fishing the spawn in March and April on some of my favorite lakes. When the schedules for both circuits were first released I was feeling very confident about doing some sight-fishing on Santee Cooper, Eufaula and Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »

The Real Reason I love Spring

The Real Reason I love Spring

Fishing for a living is awesome, but when spring comes it can be tough. April is always a busy month for tournaments – and the fishing is usually fantastic – but I really love to turkey hunt and tournaments can put a damper on that. READ MORE »

A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining

From spending some quality time with my wife, Katie, and my dog, Doppler, to organizing my life and fun fishing, there are numerous ways that I have been able to take advantage of our current social responsibility to participate in “social distancing.” READ MORE »

Encouraging the Next Generation

Encouraging the Next Generation

Growing up in the city of Chicago, I didn’t have the outlet to the outdoors that a lot of our youth enjoy while growing up. It often takes hours to travel out of the city due to traffic, and there were no lakes within walking distance from my house. So it’s not like I could swing by the pond after school. READ MORE »

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

Picking out a New Favorite Rod

When selecting a new rod, I consider several elements: action, power, length and components.  Different rods will fit the role, depending on the type of lure, cover and fish species you are targeting. READ MORE »

Always Go Down Swinging

Always Go Down Swinging

Greg Bohannan's late father, Kenny, taught his sons to never take a third strike looking. "If you take the pitch and don't swing, you never give yourself a chance," he'd say. With that lesson in mind, Greg took his cuts at Lake Martin and gave himself a shot to win. Even though it didn't work out, he knows that at least he went down swinging. READ MORE »

How to Catch Your New PB

How to Catch Your New PB

Out of the five biggest fish I have caught in my life, four have come on a ChatterBait, including my personal best – a 9-pounder I caught this year on Sam Rayburn during the first Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event. READ MORE »

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Why You Should Reel with Both Hands

Without a doubt, during a tournament day I always get a question from my Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Marshal about why I have both left- and right-handed Abu Garcia baitcast reels. I get comments about the same thing from multiple social media followers if I post a picture that shows my reels. The remarks originally surprised me, but not any longer because of how frequently I see them. READ MORE »

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Carrying Momentum into Florida

Despite the solid start to the year, and the confidence that comes with overcoming adversity, Miles Burghoff knows very well how a good start to a season can either create positive momentum, or open the door to complacency, which often can result in a loss of motivation and focus. With the Harris Chain event kicking off this week, he's determined to keep that focus and motivation. READ MORE »

New Year, Same Feel

New Year, Same Feel

Ending 2019 on a bad note wasn’t how I pictured last season going. I was in contention to qualify for the FLW Cup going into the last FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain, but after coming in 97th at the finale I finished the season 51st in the Angler of the Year points and missed my chance for the Cup. Not going to lie, it stung a little bit and made for a LONG drive home, but it also made me hungry for 2020. READ MORE »

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Vlog: Rayburn Recap, Practice to Pattern

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Josh Douglas and his wife, Bri, created this baller recap video from Sam Rayburn and the first Pro Circuit event of 2020. In the video, which includes footage from practice and the tournament, Josh dishes on how he used his practice time to eventually uncover a productive trap pattern that helped him earn a 42nd-place finish, which is a big improvement on the 114th he posted at Rayburn in the 2019 FLW Tour event. READ MORE »

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

Why You Shouldn’t Second-Guess Your Gut

In tournament fishing, you can beat yourself up for days with the “what if” scenarios that cause you to second-guess your gut. Well, in this case, I guessed wrong. I finished the Lake Champlain event in 145th place. It knocked me all the way down to 60th in points and out of Cup contention. READ MORE »

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

More Fishing, More Focus in 2020

People talk a lot about the offseason in professional bass fishing, but when you do this for a living you pretty quickly realize there really isn’t much of an offseason anymore. READ MORE »

New Challenges, New Opportunities

New Challenges, New Opportunities

Now with 2019 in the rear-view mirror, 2020 is in the crosshairs, and I look forward to the challenges ahead. With the rebranding of the Tour to the new FLW Pro Circuit, there are some great new opportunities that both fans and competitors will benefit from. READ MORE »