According to my research, the Slim Beauty was developed originally as a fly fishing knot, specifically for connecting bulky fly line to either nylon or fluorocarbon leader material. However, over the years this knot has found its way into a host of general fishing situations, as it offers great connecting strength and a low profile that facilitates casting. I’ve been using it now for around five years, and not once has it let me down.
Every big yellowtail kingfish (and several big Port River mulloway) I’ve caught on casting tackle in that period has been taken on a Slim Beauty. When you’ve practised it for a while, this knot is dead easy and very quick to tie, and it flies through all but the smallest of rod guides. On first inspection the Slim Beauty may look a bit agricultural, but I can tell you that looks are definitely deceiving with this one.
You can connect a single strand of braid to heavier leader with the SB, but I prefer to use a double strand for maximum strength. If I’m casting poppers, stick baits or livies at yellowtail kings, I’ll always tie a short bimini twist double in the end of the braid and use this double to ultimately form the Slim Beauty. However, if you are not up to speed with the bimini twist or some other reliable double knot, you can simply double the braid without forming a knot and use the two strands as you make the Slim Beauty.
As is the case with all braid-to-mono connectors, the SB you tie must be neat to be one hundred per cent reliable. As mentioned, it’s not a time consuming knot to form, so it pays to cut it off and start again if you’re not totally happy with the result.
For the purposes of clearer photography, we’re using some heavy yellow braid for the main line and some black cord to represent the leader. Naturally, the finished knot appearing here won’t look quite as neat as it does when tied with nylon or fluorocarbon leader material.
Make an overhand knot in the leader, then a second one.
By pulling the tag end and the main leader section gradually away from each other, your double overhand knot turns into something that resembles a figure eight. Don’t pull it tight, but draw up enough so that the two loops of the figure eight are still slightly open. If you look at your figure eight in profile (side on), it should look like a dish rather than a dome.
Pass about 20cm of the doubled braid through the loops in your figure eight. Make sure you are working towards the main length of leader, not the tag end!
Tighten your figure eight by applying steady pressure to the tag end and the main leader. This will draw the figure eight loops together, but won’t lock them up completely.
(a) Wind the doubled braid along the leader five times (seven times if you are using just a single strand of braid), then (b) wind it back on itself toward the figure eight four times. Be as neat as possible when you are doing this.
Finish off the wrapping by passing the tag end of the braid back through as you would for a blood knot.
Slowly, but steadily pull the braid mainline (not the tag end of the braid) and the leader in opposite directions so that the braid wraps begin to ‘snug up’ and form a neat, even barrel.
Pull your leader figure eight as tight as possible to lock it up. If I’m using heavy leader, I’ll often grab the tag end of the leader with a pair of pliers to ensure it’s pulled up tightly enough.
The knot is now completed. Finish off by trimming the tag ends of both braid and leader with a sharp blade. Provided everything is tied as it should be, you can get in quite close with the knife or clippers. To avoid the trimmed end of the braid ‘fluffing’ up over time, dab it with a touch of Super Glue, but watch those fingers!