Good day, Daiwa fans. Tom Slater here. I'm going to show you my favorite way to connect a braided line to a fluorocarbon leader, and it's what I call the Improved Slim Beauty Knot. So this was one I actually got taught many, many years ago by my first ever boss, Duncan O'Connell. Shout out to you, Duncan.
Improved Slim Beauty, I really like it. It's quite a slim, knot. Really, really fast. I'm a tournament fishermen. I have heaps of rods on the deck. I might need to retie anywhere from 10 to 12 lines each afternoon at the end of a tournament day, so I really like this knot because it enables me to get that stuff done quickly and get back to having a beer and a chat with the guys.
So Improved Slim Beauty Knot, I'm going to run you through it step by step. So first thing here, grab your fluorocarbon leader and what you do is just do a double overhand knot. So twice through the loop and you pull it until the line folds over on itself and forms a figure eight, just like that. So you've got the figure eight in there now. Now time to grab your braided line. So start from the end where the tag end is, and I go up through one side of the figure eight and then make sure, the important step is that you down through the other side. So when you pull that through, you'll have your line going up and down through that knot there, just like that.
So at that stage, I don't tighten the leader much, I just give it a little cinch up and that's just to stop the braided line falling out. So at that stage I can pull the braided line down. So you've got the line going up and through that figure eight and going straight back down. And now your tag end of your braid is running up the length of your leader.
At that stage, I grab my thumb and index finger here and I just pinch the two lines apart. And that's a really key step because you need to create a gap in that first part of the knot. So at that stage, I wrap up with the tag end of my braid. I like to do 10 turns up, depending on the size of line. Obviously, the lighter the line, use more turns. So in a six pound braid, I like to do about 13 to 14 turns up. So you turn up, turn up, turn up, turn up, get to the top. And then I do half the amount of turns that I did up back down the leader. So flip that over. I like to pinch it at the top with my left hand and just wrap it back down. So I'll do five wraps back down.
In a Loop
And then here's where, where you pinched that line at the start, you've now made a loop. So you can see that loop there, and that's where you get your tag end of your braid and go through that loop. So that right there is what a traditional Slim Beauty would be. So at that stage, you can give the knot a little bit of moisture. And I like to, at this point do a staged pull tight. So I pull the braid a little bit, I grab the tag end of the leader, I give that a good pull, and you can just start working that down. The more turns you do, the more difficult it will be to pull this knot tight, and you want to make sure you pull it slowly and consistently to make sure that that braid really gets down on itself.
So that right there is what you would call a standard Slim Beauty. And what elevates this to the next level is the downside of a standard Slim Beauty, in my opinion, is that you can see that tag end of the leader there, it sticks up almost at a right angle. So by doing the Improved Slim Beauty, what we're going to do is we're going to fold that and hold that tag end of the leader flat against your mainline, and it just makes exiting and entering the guides of your rod a whole lot easier. So how we do that, once we're happy with the knot like that, fold that tag into the leader down, grab your tag into your braid, and you do a set of alternating half hitches. So very much like you would finish an FG knot, we're just doing this on a Slim Beauty. So I like to start going over, so over both lines. Pull that up.
Keeping Things Apart
And at this stage, it's important that your half hitches don't fall over the double overhand knot that you did at the start, making sure they're on the braid side of your double overhand knot. So then for the next one, I'll go underneath. So for the first one I came over that way, the next one I'm going underneath. And the reason you want to alternate your half hitches is because it will keep it level on one side. If you do all the same side, your half hitches will spiral around like that. By alternating, they actually lock together a bit better. So this one, I'm going to go underneath for the second one. I'll go over again.
I like to do six of those. So now you can see, if I hold that without any tension, the tag end of the leader is laying flat. Now you could finish it there, but I like to go one step further. And this is kind of what sets it apart. So get your scissors, cut that tag end of your leader, and then you want to repeat the steps that you just did, but now you're only doing half hitches over the braid.
So another six alternating half hitches over the braid. And what this does, it creates a ramp, so as you're winding this knot back into your rod guards, the first thing that it'll hit will be the half hitches over the braid. It'll then jump up a little bit because you're half hitching over the leader and the braid, and then it'll get to the thickest part of the knot, which is that double overhand in the leader itself. So by doing that, you're making a nice ramp. It makes entering and exiting the guards just that little bit easier.
So we'll finish that off there. I like to finish it off giving the half hitches a really good pull. At that stage you can really give the knot a good tighten, and you end up with what I call the Improved Slim Beauty. Trim that tag end of the braid.
So shout out to Duncan O'Connell. He's the one that showed me that knot, back in the day. Improved Slim Beauty, my go-to knot for tying a leader on to a braided main line. So there you go. Check it out, and I hope it helps you.
Meet Tom Slater
Daiwa Product Development Manager and Passionate Angler
Having worked in the industry for over ten years Tom knows fishing tackle better than most. His desire to question the status quo and think outside the box is reflected in many of our latest products and innovations. Outside of developing Daiwa gear Tom is also a passionate and skilled angler.