Perfection Loop vs Surgeon’s Loop – Which Is Stronger?

perfection loop vs surgeon's loop
perfection loop vs surgeon’s loop

Even though there are many strong knots you can use to attach the fly line with a leader, it helps to stick with an easy-to-tie knot.

That way, you won’t have to waste any extra time in managing your fishing unit as you’re trying to switch fly rods or leader lines on the existing setup.

Luckily, there are many knots that are easy to learn and also bring enhanced strength to your fishing setup. A lot of people have recently been asking about the perfection loop vs the surgeon’s loop. 

If you’re also interested in these knots, then the following information should help you decide which one to choose for securing your leader line.

Perfection Loop vs Surgeon’s Loop: Knot Strength Comparison

Specifics Perfection Loop Surgeon’s Loop
Orientation Straight Bent Over
Strength Slightly Less Robust
Convenience Simpler Complex
Target Audience Beginners Experts

The perfection loop might sound “perfect,” but it’s not that great in extreme situations. Will it help you get through your casual fishing trips? Most likely!

However, it will not work well when you’re planning on pulling too much load.

Still, you can’t judge the utility of a knot by just looking at the strength. There are many factors that can and will contribute to the usability of these knots.

The most important factor is how easy it is to tie the knot. So, if you’re just starting out, going with the perfection loop is better.

Yes, it is not as strong as the surgeon loop, however, it is way stronger than a surgeon loop that is tied by a beginner.

When you ask beginners to tie both of these knots, the perfection loop will come out to be stronger. It is straight and easier to tie when compared with the surgeon loop. 

Now, on the other end, you should also consider the expert opinion.

They will always ask newbies to try out the perfection loop. However, they themselves will stick with the surgeon loop for a better fishing experience. 

You can’t just point out this difference in approach and switch to Surgeon’s loop yourself.

Instead, you need to follow their opinion and stick with the perfection loop. It will serve a robust foundation once you’ve perfected it.

Once you’re confident that the perfection loop is not serving your needs and it keeps breaking out on you, then you can start learning the surgeon loop.

However, that will not happen to you ninety percent of the time, and the majority of anglers just stick with the perfection loop indefinitely. 

So, there is no need to worry about switching to a different loop or trying out any other thing from scratch.

Simply sticking with perfection will undoubtedly be better for you. There is no point in going with the more complex router when you’re not planning on catching fish professionally.

Hopefully, this will clear up some misunderstandings that you have about the perfection loop and the surgeons loop.

All that you gotta do overall is to first judge the fishing requirements and then stick with the loop that won’t break.

You’ll have an amazing time with either one, and we will always nudge you towards the perfection loop in most situations. Here are more details to help you figure out which one you should start out with.

Perfection Loop

It is one of the most popular knots that the majority of anglers use for their fly-fishing trip. The major difference between this loop and the Surgeon’s loop is that you can have this knot as little as you want.

Even with the smaller size of the knot, you can maintain the perfect loop-to-loop connection between your fly line and the leader.

perfection loop

Along with the smaller size, this knot makes it effortless for even beginners to switch out the leaders quickly and efficiently.

However, many experts have pointed out that the surgeon’s loop brings better strength to your fly-fishing setup.

Even though the perfection loop brings a pretty solid proportion of rated line strength, it still can’t be compared with the Surgeon’s loop. 

So, if your setup demands the strongest loop-to-loop connection between the leader line and the mainline, then Surgeon’s loop is a better option.

According to many beginners and seasoned anglers, the perfection loop is much easier to maintain and practice. It is one of the first knots that people learn while trying to get into fly fishing.

This is why you will often notice anglers use this loop-to-loop connection more often than the Surgeon’s loop.

All in all, it brings a pretty reliable strength to your setup, and you won’t have any difficulties while trying to learn the perfection loop. 

There are a few steps involved, and you can minimize the size of the knot according to your liking.


So, you have more control over the outlook of your setup as you’re trying to cast your line in the water.

Now, on the other end of things, anglers do claim that the more robust structure from the surgeon’s loop will bring more strength to their fishing setup.

While this is not wrong, the statement is only valid for situations when anglers are actually aware of how to tie out a perfect surgeon’s loop.

So, if you’re confident that you can perfect it, going with the surgeon’s loop is not a bad idea. 

Surgeon’s Loop

Even though this knot is not as popular as the perfection loop, it is still used by many anglers across the nation. So, it is not at all rare to see some experts prefer this setup over the simpler perfection loop.

This type of knot is mainly used by anglers that are not stopping down their leaders. 

surgeon's loop

They need maximum strength on the connection point between the leader and the mainline, which is why they prefer the surgeon’s loop.

On the other hand, the anglers that are stepping down their leader line don’t have to worry as much about the strength of the connection between the leader and the mainline.

So, even if the perfection loop does not bring as much strength as the surgeon’s loop, it is still viable depending upon the type of fishing setup you’ve developed.

In the end, it all comes down to your experience as an angler and your fishing style. In most situations, it is better to stick with a knot that you can tie with no errors.

This is because a properly tied perfection loop is much stronger than a surgeon’s loop that is not managed correctly.

So, if you’re not that familiar with the surgeon’s loop, there is no need to try that with your fishing system until you’re confident that the loop won’t come loose.

However, if you’re pretty familiar with both the perfection loop and the surgeon’s loop, then you will just have to look at the management of the leader line to decide which knot you want to use.

If the entire focus of your setup is on the connection between the fly line and the leader line, then sticking with the surgeon’s loop is a better option.

On the other hand, if the weakest link on your unit is not the connection between the fly line and the leader, then there is no point in going out of your way to try the surgeon’s loop.

On the last note, we will also ask you to reach out to the locals. There is no point in making the decision in isolation and you have to reach out to the locals.

They will be more than happy to help you with the whole routine, and you will not be stuck on your own. 

Just ask them about the knots that they’re using and their success rate. From there, you can also ask them to teach you.

That will put you so far ahead in the learning curve and you’ll arguably be saving hours of your time and potential disappointment.

Wrapping Up

Both the perfection loop and the surgeon’s loop are great. Yes, it can take more time to get them down perfectly and most of the time anglers are just struggling with the tying method.

So, instead of what knot you should choose, focus more on how to perfect the tying process.

The best method that we’ve tested out is getting practical pointers from a local expert. Yes, you have to leave your comfort zone and reach out to the local anglers about this process.

They will help you with the whole tying routine, and will also make the job easier for you.

All that you gotta do is spend a lot of time practicing the tying process.

Will it be easy? Probably not. However, easy will only get you so far, and going through with the practicing routine strictly will make your life much easier. 

Lastly, it is a good idea to also test out some of the other easier variations that are used in your local region. The type of fish that you’re trying to catch and the type of knot that you’ll be using should be relatively the same.

That way, the pressure exerted by the fish won’t loosen up or break the knot.

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