Uni Knot – One of the best, most versatile, easily learnt, and strongest fishing knots for both monofilament and braid
by Allan Burgess
If I had to choose the best, most versatile, fishing knot then I would pick the Uni Knot. You can use it for practically everything; tying on hooks, flies, sinkers, and joining lines (both mono and mono to braid). The Uni-knot is typically also used to tie the end of your line to the reel spool. It also works well on both light and heavy lines.
Uni Knot in Braid
When tying the Uni-knot in braid alone double the line over first. Doubling the braid is unnecessary when joining braid to monofilament or fluorocarbon.
The Uni-knot is one of the strongest knots out there. It doesn’t break until about 90 per cent of the line’s test strength.
All fishing knots can be placed loosely in one of two general groups; those that can be quickly and competently tied while out on the water in poor light; and those that are more specialised, take more time to get right and are more difficult to remember. The Uni-knot is firmly in the former.
Uni-knot is good for joining two lines together
Versatility makes the Uni-knot a winner not just for tying on ticers, spinners and jigs. It also does a great job when you want to join two lines together. It is particularly useful for joining a heavy 50lb shock leader to a lighter mainline for surfcasting. The heavy shock leader makes bust-offs from casting heavy sinkers less likely – though you still have to be watchful that there are no accidental line wraps around the rod tip. If you are a surfcaster you’ll know what I mean. Lines that are too light will break during the pressure of casting which is costly and annoying because it wastes valuable fishing time.
The double Uni-knot joining the lines passes easily us through the rod’s line guides when casting. The knot is a little bulky and you will be able to feel it pass through your line guides, particularly as it passes through the tip guide. You will find that the FG knot is a better option for joining leader to braid especially for lighter-weight spin fishing. The FG knot is very slim and passes effortlessly through the small tip guides typical on spin rods used for trout fishing.
With just a little practice you’ll be able to tie the Uni-knot in the dark by feel alone. Unlike the Clinch Knot, there is no tag end to insert back through a small gap, which makes the Uni-knot a bit easier to tie for those who are a little visually impaired. All you need to do is snip off the tag end but this can also be done largely by feel.
Another advantage with this knot is that you can tighten it up a few millimetres from the lure or spinner to allow for better swimming movement to attract fish. The worst thing that can happen when you get a strike is that the knot will pull down onto the eye of the lure or hook.
A small disadvantage of the Uni-knot
A small disadvantage of the Uni-knot is that you need to use a bit more line to tie it than the Clinch Knot. For most fishing, this isn’t a problem. However, if you are fishing braid and using a monofilament or fluorocarbon shock leader of one or two-rod lengths, then each time you cut off a lure and tie on another with a Uni-knot you are shortening the shock-leader by up to 30cm depending on how generous you are with the line when tying the knot. Like all fishing knots, if you employ a tag-end that is too short when tying the Uni-knot it makes the process that much more difficult.
For light spinning or drift fishing where you may want to regularly change lures, such as soft baits when fishing the canals, it is a good idea to use a Mustad Ultrapoint Fastach clip. These are excellent allowing you to regularly change lures without having to constantly cut the line and tie another knot thereby shortening the leader. However, it is worth taking the trouble to re-tie your knots after you have had a big fish on the line whether you managed to land it or not.
Up until about 20 years ago, the only knot I used for salmon fishing was the Improved Clinch Knot. Then I switched to the Uni-knot although I use both on occasion.
The Uni knot could easily be the most popular knot in general use by anglers today. I recommend you make it a priority to learn the Uni-knot if you haven’t already. It could be the only knot you will ever need to learn to tie.