The Slim Beauty

 

 Some time back I got an email from a customer asking me if I’d ever heard of a knot called the slim beauty and if so could I explain to him how to tie it.  He told me he had heard about this knot on a show he was listening to and the individual describing it was very enthusiastic about it.  I told him it was simply too difficult without illustrations so I’d find some and do a short piece in our next newsletter.

First of all you need to understand that this is a knot developed for saltwater fishing and its claim to fame is that it allows leader material of different diameters to be connected with minimal difficulty and results in a high-strength knot with a very small profile. It’s principally used as a replacement for other classic tippet-to-shock and tippet-to-butt connections like the Huffnagle.

According to what I have read, it was developed by Captain Tom Pierce, a light-tackle guide in Key West, Florida, in the 1970s. In the 1990’s Captain Becker improved the knot so that it would be perfect for use in tarpon leaders

The best explanation I’ve seen is on the MidCurrent Web Site (see instructions below) …they even have a video that fully describes each of the steps http://www.midcurrent.com/video/knots/slim_beauty_streaming_modem.wmv.  If you have a high speed connection I’d recommend that you watch it.

1. Tie a double overhand knot about 4 inches from the end of the shock tippet or other larger-diameter material to which you want to connect your class tippet.

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2. Gently tighten the double overhand knot, but only until it turns over and forms a figure-eight. This leaves two gaps — one in the top and the other in the bottom of the figure eight — through which you can pass the tippet material.

3. Create a doubled section of your tippet material that is at least 18 inches long. Putting a sharp angle on the tip of the doubled loop will help it pass through the figure-eight.
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4. Pass the doubled tippet line through the top of the figure-eight knot and back out the bottom of the figure-eight knot in the direction that will result in the double line passing straight through the tightened figure-eight. (One way to see the proper direction is to look at the figure eight knot from the side; it forms a "dish" shape, and you want to pass the tippet through from the bottom of the dish first and back out through the hole in the cupped "face.")
5. Pull 10-12 inches of double line through the figure-eight.
Tightened figure eight
6. Tighten the figure-eight knot with pliers after lubricating. The "loops" of the knot should begin to flatten together, but they don't have to make total contact.
7. With the thumb and forefinger of one hand, hold a gap open between the tag end of the double line and the shock tippet. Your other hand will wrap the doubled tag end around the shock tippet and then insert it through this gap.
Wraps
8. Wrap the doubled-line 4 times down then shock, then wrap it back over itself, in the direction of gap, 3 times. Then insert the end of the doubled line through the gap. (Don't pull on the end of the doubled line to attempt to tighten the knot when this is complete.)
9. Lubricate the wraps around the shock tippet. Then in one hand hold the standing part of the tippet and the actual tag end of the tippet — the double line that emerges from the top of the tightened figure-eight, not the section of double line that you inserted into the gap. It helps to wrap this double line around your hand once or twice. Grab the other end of the shock tippet (you may find it easier with pliers) with your other hand.
Tightened wraps
10. With a smooth, fast motion, tighten knot and seat the wraps up against the figure-eight. You may find that without adequate lubrication or when using dissimilar materials that the wraps "hang" and hesitate as you bring them tight. This is not always a problem, but be sure that the finished "barrel" of wraps looks tight and shows little, if any, unevenness.
Wraps

11. Trim the knot by removing all but 1/16'' of the remaining loop of doubled tippet, the tag end of the shock, and the short strand of doubled line that will not be used to attach your class tippet to the leader butt section.