How to Tie a Knot Albright Special

How to Tie a Knot Albright Special

 The Albright Special has long been the angler's "go-to" knot for joining two lines of unequal diameters. It's most commonly used by big-game fishermen to create heavy shock leaders. When used with a Bimini Twist on your lighter line, you can create a knot system that has nearly 100% breaking strength. The Albright Special is also a favorite knot for tying monofilament or braided lines to wire leaders when fishing for toothy critters. Anglers fishing clear waters with braid can also use the Albright Special to attach a low-vis fluorocarbon leader for line-shy fish.

 STEP 1: Double the tag end of the larger-diameter line to form a small loop and hold it in your left hand. With your right hand, push the tag end of the smaller-diameter line through the loop (as shown), leaving 10 or 12 inches for ample room to tie the knot.

 STEP 2: Slip the smaller line under your left thumb about 6 to 10 inches from the tip of the tag end. Then, using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the line firmly against the larger strands of the loop. With your right hand, start wrapping the smaller line away from you and around the loop, working from left to right toward the round end of the loop. Each wrap should shoulder the one before it.

 STEP 3: Make 10 to 14 consecutive wraps with the smaller line around both legs of the loop (you can use fewer wraps with heavier line, but no fewer than 20 to 24 wraps when using braid). From the bottom up, push the tag end of the smaller line back through the loop, being sure that it exits on the same side of the loop from which it entered. Moisten the knot before beginning to tighten.

 STEP 4: With the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, carefully slide the coils of the smaller line neatly toward the end of the loop, but stopping 1/8 inch from the loop's end. While still holding the lines with your left hand, use pliers with your right hand and pull hard on the tag end of the smaller line to draw the coils tight so they can't slip off the end of the loop. Then pull firmly on the standing part of the smaller line. Moisten the knot again and alternately pull hard on the tag end and standing part of the smaller line one more time.

  STEP 5: Finish the knot by using both hands to grip the standing parts of the smaller line and larger line, then simultaneously pulling them as hard as possible to firmly seat the knot (take extra care not to slice your hand if using braid). Trim the tag ends. When tied properly, this knot has a comparatively low profile, allowing longer leaders to flow smoothly through the guides when casting and retrieving.

Text and illustrations by Tom Waters