How to

Best Braid Knots

THE popularity of gelspun lines has exploded over the past decade and with good reason. The tremendous advantages that the material’s intrinsic qualities provide for recreational anglers have changed the way we fish. The enhanced situation awareness provided by the low stretch qualities of GSP lines have taken lure fishing and deep water bottom fishing to levels that just weren’t even thinkable pre-gelspun lines. That, combined with the fine diameter for a given breaking strain and almost incredible strength, have taken the art of finesse fishing to new levels.  It really blows me away to think that every single fishing reel I currently own is either loaded with GSP mainline or backing, with the exception of my Alvey sidecasts which are used for rock fishing.

It’s been interesting to have fished through and witnessed the seismic shift from the time proven monof lines to this amazing new material. I suppose it must be the piscatorial equivalent of our nation’s change from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal currency in the 1960s. Just like then the change must have been met with a degree of trepidation. I remember being originally quite wary as I’d been trialing Kevlar line just prior to GSP lines hitting our shores and had lost a couple of good fish through inexplicable line failures. When gelspun lines first hit the market there were a lot of concerns about the knotability of the material. Those concerns have been largely dispelled as anglers have either adapted the best traditional knots from the monofilament era or developed new connections to suit these modern wonder lines. Generally speaking, gelspun lines require more turns to be utilized in a knot than monofilament or co-polymer lines.  Over the past decade my arsenal of knots has changed dramatically to reflect the move to GSP lines. The one connection that has remained a constant across all types of fishing line used has been the Bimini twist. It still remains the foundation block for rigging with gelspun lines just as much, if not more so, than it was for monofilament lines. I have increased the number of turns in my Bimini twists from a standard 30 turns for mono to a minimum of 50 turns in braided GSP lines with good results. The Bimini ties so well in GSP lines that you don’t even notice it travelling through your rod guides when casting. It really is a must have connection for any modern angler.

If the Bimini twist is a key element of my GSP rigging arsenal, then the Ducknose knot has to be also, as they complement each other so well. For the creation of a leader system for lure casting with gelspun lines over 10kg the Bimini twist/Ducknose combo takes some beating. It provides a durable, relatively foolproof connection system with a high break strength. It’s ideally suited to lure casting for heavyweights such as barra and Murray cod. I generally prefer to use around nine turns when tying the Ducknose knot and it usually requires considerable force to pull it up, so the connection should be lubricated with saliva prior to pulling up to avoid friction damage to the lines being joined.


Gelspun lines have been crucial to the tremendous development of soft plastic lure fishing in this country in recent years. The situation awareness provided by the low stretch qualities of GSP lines allow the most timid of bream bites on a lightly weighted soft plastic to be felt clearly. This new development in finesse fishing has opened up doors to the pursuit of species such as snapper and whiting on lures. An occasional by-catch in the past for anglers using monofilament, these popular species are genuine target species for lure anglers today.

My preferred leader to mainline connection for ultra-light soft plastic fishing with gelspun lines is the triple surgeons knot. I’d never even contemplated using it prior to the GSP revolution; it was just some ancient trout anglers knot as far as I was concerned. It has, however, been reborn as a simple and reliable knot for connecting ultra-light GSP lines to fluorocarbon leader material without the need for a doubled mainline. A personal favourite of mine for SP fishing for bream and dusky flathead. Thanks to Novocastrian SP guns Russell Marsh and Steve Gresham for showing it to me.

Another old-fashioned connection that has been reborn thanks to the advent of GSP lines has been the cat’s-paw knot. An old game fishing knot mainly used for connecting ball bearing snap swivels to doubled mainlines, it’s ideally suited to a wide range of uses in the new GSP era ranging from attaching fly lines to GSP backing, twisted leaders to a doubled GSP mainline and even joining GSP lines for top-shotting via connecting Bimini twists.

There are new GSP connections being developed all the time. It really has been an exciting time in the world of fishing thanks to the new opportunities that this wonder material has provided. The connections described here have all proven to be ideally suited to use with GSP lines. They’ve held me in good stead in this new era and I’ll keep using them until I find superior replacements. Check out the Fisho website at for details on how to tie braid knots.

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