Video Pro Tips: Blood Knot or Triple Surgeon’s Knot?

The debate over the relative values and strengths of the blood knot and the triple surgeon’s knot has raged for decades. Both knots are designed to connect two pieces of monofilament–when building a leader or adding a tippet–but blood-knot evangelists (like me) prefer the elegance and straightness of their choice, while surgeon’s-knot advocates argue that that their choice is much easier to tie.

In these videos, Joe Rotter from Red’s Fly Shop explains why he uses both knots, for different situations. He uses the blood knot for connecting materials of different diameters between 12- and 20-pound-test, while he chooses the triple surgeon’s for connecting lighter materials or those of the same diameter. In these videos, he explains how to tie each knot and why he prefers each for these uses. What do you think of this system?

EDITOR’S NOTE: As reader Bill Barrioz noted on Facebook, the knot that Joe ties above is not a blood knot. In a blood knot, the black line would wrap around the white line, and vice versa. CLICK HERE for a great demonstration from Tim Flagler. This might also explain why Joe doesn’t like his knot for anything under 12-pound-test. I use the blood knot down to 6X. Anyone know the name of the knot Joe ties above?

5 thoughts on “Video Pro Tips: Blood Knot or Triple Surgeon’s Knot?”

  1. Why not use a tippet ring then tie one of the stronger knots (such as an Orvis Knot) on the tippet ring?
    Blood Knot and Triple surgeon knot are both very weak knots. In fact any leader to leader knot is very weak.

    1. Howard, I agree that a tippet ring represents a choice that ought to be considered. It isn’t for everyone but it’s worth looking into. As for your observation that any leader to leader knot is very weak, I can’t agree with you. Is it weaker than a straight piece of tippet? Sure, it probably is but not by much, if at all. But to say that it is very week, simply doesn’t accord with testing results. Under controlled laboratory testing conditions, many of the best known knots are rated very strong as opposed to very weak. Thus, weaker – perhaps yes, … but very weak – not a chance. More often than not, the tippet itself will break before the knot gives way.

  2. Double Uni or Uni knot is only knot you need for any application.

    As to your actual question, the Christopher Fave blood knot video was a revelation, talk about simple. Therefore, any system you have confidence in is the best bet, but forced to choose I would go with the blood knot, post Fave.

    Aaron A

  3. That looks to me like a pair of clinch knots, which would be quite weak, with the line loop rubbing against a line loop. The double uni would have a loop with the tag end circling both lines several times prior to clinching. It would be stronger with the line jamming against more of a knot, against a knot.
    I believe the blood knot is still the best for line to line, if tied correctly, and, it wastes less of that valuable tippet. Double or Triple Surgeons is good, but not as smooth.

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