Written by: Evan Jones
When it comes to fishing knots, most anglers tend to stick with a few go-to favorites. And that’s usually a good thing, since confidence and practice are arguably the two most important ingredients when tying any knot. But one weakness many popular line-to-line knots have in common is that much of their strength depends on joining two lines of very similar diameter. For situations when you might want to join two dissimilar lines, such as when adding class tippet, shock tippet, or extra fine tippet, the Slim Beauty knot can save a lot of hassle. If you’ve got the patience to learn a new trick, this one is particularly worthwhile.
First and foremost, The Slim Beauty is an extremely strong knot that approaches 100% breaking strength, making it one of the most reliable options available. Plus it’s a heck of a lot easier to tie than a Bimini Twist. Another benefit to the Slim Beauty is that, as its name suggests, the knot has a very slim profile when cinched down, which really helps to reduce annoying snagged debris. Finally, the design is such that when fully tightened, it’s obvious from a glance if the knot has seated itself correctly or not, unlike, say, a Triple Surgeon’s Loop, which could be mis-wrapped (and greatly weakened) without looking much different.
In this Orvis Fly Fishing School video, Pete Kutzer provides clear instructions for tying the Slim Beauty knot. As always, he makes it look easy, but it’s a good idea to practice this one a few times to get it dialed in before hitting the water. It can admittedly be tough to tie with cold hands, or in low light. When using thicker lines, I find that Chapstick makes a far better lubricant than spit, resulting in a tighter knot.
Evan Jones is the assistant editor of the Orvis Fly Fishing blog. He lives in Colorado.