To properly cinch down 80 pound mono, you are definitely going to need pliers. I really dont know if I could cinch down an 80 pound 4 turn uni with my bare hands and would probably not get it quite right with gloves on either.
I really use about 6 knots to attach braid to either Fluorocarbon or Monofiliment leaders. Here are my favorites:
#1 The J Knot- This is my Go-To knot for most quick leader ties. I have a lot of confidence in this one.
I began using Blood Knots (also called Barrel Knots) when I was a trout fisherman and guide in the Rocky Mountains. I much preferred this connection to the Surgeons knot that many others liked. The Blood knot is a sleek compact knot that pulls straight and does not catch vegetation or the rod guides.