Best knots for tippets

But the figure-eight knot sometimes fails me...

Q: For years I used the old larger-diameter, plastic-coated braided wire, attaching my flies with figure-eight knots. My friends convinced me that I would get more strikes using modern, thinner braided wire. Their advice has proven true. But the figure-eight knot sometimes fails me. The packaging on the new braided wire suggests using knots for monofilament, but I've even had more failures with those than the figure eight! Any suggestions on what knot to use?

Jerry Sinclair,
Dallas, Texas

A: Compared to the older, plastic-coated braided wire, today's modern, nickel-titanium wire is considerably finer and much more flexible, Jerry. If no great strain is put upon the wire, a figure-eight knot often will hold the fish. But many experienced anglers who frequently target strong offshore species have settled on the nonslip loop knot, with one or two turns with the tag end around the standing line. The loop also imparts more action to the fly.