The PR Connection (known locally as the PR Knot, though it isn’t really a knot per se) is one of the most popular knots used to connect your main line to the leader. Generally used for popping, its slim profile ensures that the knot does not snag or provide water resistance when the line is extended.
Note that you should only employ the PR connection on leaders of PE5 (i.e. breaking strain of 50 pounds) and above. For anything less than PE5, you should connect it using another knot such as a Bimini twist + Albright or GT as the thinness of the leader in those situations will weaken the PR connection.
The tools you will need are:
leader, PR bobbin, line burner, scissors, main line
Step 1 Start by loosening your bobbin’s tensioner and threading your main line onto the bobbin. Loop it around the bobbin’s spool for about six to seven complete loops, then tighten the tensioner. You will want the bobbin to be a little tighter than necessary for the line to not simply unravel from gravity when the bobbin is held upside down.
Step 2 Grab hold of about six inches (~15 cm) of main line and leader parallel to each other, bobbin in your left hand. Twist a small quantity of main line and leader around your right index finger. Now release the bobbin and let the bobbin naturally fall against your right fingertips. You should now be holding about six inches (~15 cm) of leader between your hands.
Step 3 Begin spinning the bobbin either forwards or backwards (it does not matter which, so do whatever feels more natural to you) so that the main line wraps around the leader. Do this until you have approximately two inches (~5 cm) of tightly wrapped main line around the leader and, without stopping…
Step 4 … begin spinning the bobbin so that the main line begins wrapping itself back onto the portion that has already been wrapped. The direction that the bobbin is spinning in does not change: however, by very slightly angling your hands and the direction of the spin you can control the direction in which it unspools onto the leader.
Step 5 You will now have approximately two inches of leader double-wrapped with main line. Pinch the end of the wrap to keep it from unraveling and, with your free hand, undo the tensioner on your bobbin and un-thread the main line from the bobbin.
Step 6 Still pinching the end, tie a half hitch knot (i.e. the overhand knot that most commonly comes to mind when someone tells you to tie a knot) with the tail end of the main line (i.e. the end that you just removed from the bobbin) to prevent the wrap from slipping off the leader. This half hitch knot should go onto both the main line and the leader.
Step 7 Tighten this half hitch by wrapping both ends of the main line in your right hand – preferably a gloved hand – and, with both ends of the leader anchored (one end in your left hand and the other end either in a friend’s hand or in your mouth), pull on all ends tightly.
Step 8 Now begin tying half hitches in the same fashion but alternate the way in which you are tying them. That is to say, if you looped your tail end over the leader with the first knot, loop it under the leader on this knot and vice versa. Keep alternating the knots until you have about 10 such alternating knots. If you have been applying the same amount of tension on each knot, you should have a reasonably straight row of knots.
Step 9 Once done, cut the leader close to the end of the wrap, leaving only about 5 mm of leader. Now wet the ends of your main line with some water (or spit if you have no water handy nearby): this will protect the main line from what we are about to do next.
Step 10 Using a lighter with a small flame or a dedicated line burner, burn the end of the leader until you have a small “mushroom”. This is done to prevent the clipped end of the leader from abrading the main line.
Step 11 Continue tying alternating half hitches until the row of knots extends above the mushroom when the line is laid out straight. While the mushroom’s rounded nature will already prevent the leader from cutting the main line, because we are kiasu we add this additional row of knots as further protection.
Step 12 Do a whipped half hitch. This is when you make the beginnings of a half hitch but, instead of just looping the tail end through the loop once, whip the tail end through the loop approximately five to eight times. Tighten the loop slowly, taking care to smoothen out any snags in the whip with your fingertips.
Step 13 Tighten the final half hitch that you tie as per step 8, then clip off what remains of the tail end.
Step 14 You’re done! You now have a very strong, very durable connection between your main line and leader that is ideal for popping.