The Albright knot is a quick and relatively easy way to create a strong, smooth connection between your backing and your fly line. Developed by legendary Florida Keys guide Jimmie Albright in the 1940s, the knot has never gone out of style. The video above, from Ole Florida Fly Shop, is a clear demonstration of the tying process. I always make 10 turns, rather than the 8 to 10 suggested here. (The animated video below, from Angling Knotssuggests 6 to 10.) Many anglers also coat the knot with flexible waterproof cement, to help the knot go through the guides more easily.
The Albright is one of my favorite knots—strangely, because it is so complicated to tie. The trend in knots is to create the strongest knots with as few moves as possible and to try to get the smallest knot possible. I remember when, as a beginning angler, I saw an illustration for the Albright Knot that featured ten to twelve loops, and I was intimated. But I spent a lot of time and quite a bit of backing perfecting it. I now find the process of tying the Albright very satisfying: When you get all of those wraps to lie perfectly, one next to the other, and when you clip those tag ends really close. Then you do as hard as you can, and budget nothing. Tied well, it’s actually a very attractive knot, with that slim, tight profile that makes me love the Blood Knot, too.
If you’re fishing quite a bit, you will retie your Blood Knots often, but the Albright Knot is a “set it and forget it” deal. The knot is hidden inside your reel, and you may never see it until it’s time to change lines. But, should a big fish take you into your backing, you can be confident that you’ve got ten to twelve wraps connecting things, and there’s no way it’s going to fail on you.