Knotted Leaders vs. Knotless Leaders by Murray's Fly Shop

Over the years we have tested and tried many leaders in our personal fishing, guided trips, and our smallmouth bass "on the stream" schools. Every season I am asked, "Should I be using a knotted leader or a knotless leader?

I use knotted leaders for all of my fishing whether I am fishing in the Shenandoah National Park for native brook trout, on the Shenandoah River for bass, or anywhere else in the country. Why you ask?

  • Knotted Leaders cast better and smoother
  • Provide better strike detection
  • Provide more delicate presentations
  • Cut through the wind better
  • Allow you to always know what size tippet you have therefore it is easier to know when to adjust your tippet

Many years ago I designed leader formulas that we use for our Murray's Classic Leaders for trout fishing and our Murray's Bright Butt Leaders for bass fishing. If you follow these formulas I think you will agree with me.

Ready to tie your own leaders? Here is the formula for the Murray's Classic 9ft 6X Leader and the Murray's Bright Butt 9ft 2X Leader. You can see the rest of the formulas in my book Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass or buy our leader building kits.

I tie all of my leaders using a Double Surgeon's Knot like the one pictured below.

If you have any questions on these leaders, call me at (540) 984-4212, email at or online at --Harry Murray

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.