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Fishing Knots




Fishing Knots

Your fishing line is only as strong as the knot used to tie it. Over time all knots start to weaken in some degree. The ability to tie a correct knot will save you from losing lures, bait as well as a fish. Listed below are good choices to learn and a few tips:

  • Always moisten the knot before snugging it up. This reduces the heat from friction that causes slight abrasions when you pull it tight.

  • When tying a knot give it a smooth strong pull to complete it on your lure, hook or leader. Don’t be timid about testing it with a couple good pulls. Better to know your knot is tied correctly than losing a big fish.

  • Always leave a little extra line before clipping the tag end after completing your knot some knots slip slightly. By leaving a little tag is good insurance that your knot is tied correctly.

  • Always retie your knot before a new trip and check your knot frequently when fishing, all knots will weaken with use.

Albright Knot - used to join two lines (ie: line and leader) of significantly different diameters.

The Albright Knot creates a much smaller and smoother connection than a Surgeon's Knot without sacrificing strenght.The Albright is far less likely to get caught in guides than a Surgeon's Knot. That said, it's also considerably more difficult to tie.

How to Tie It:

albright knot1. Start by doubling back a couple of inches of the heavier line and hold the loop with your left thumb and forefinger. Runabout 10 inches of the thinner line through the loop.

2. While holding the loop, pinch the thinner line between your left thumb and forefinger (without letting go of the loop), and use your right hand to wrap the tag end of the lighter line back over both strands of the heavier line as well as the lighter line itself. Start next to your fingers and working toward the loop, wrapping it fairly tightly 8 to 12 times.

3. Push the tag end of the lighter line through the loop on the opposite side from where it originally ran through the loop, so both strands of the lighter line exit on the same side of the loop. Pull the standing end of the lighter line to remove the loop you were holding between your left thumb and index finger. Pull both ends of the lighter line.

4. Pull gently on both ends of the heavier, looped line with your left hand, while sliding the knot back towards the loop with your right (but not all the way off).

5. Moisten the knot, then pull as tight as possible on both strands of the heavy line with your left hand and both strands of the light line with your right hand.

6. Clip off the tag end of the fly line and the backing.

Arbour Knot - primarily used to attach fishing line to the arbor/spool of a reel.

The Arbour Knot secures fishing line to the reel arbor/spool arbour knot

How to tie it:

1. An arbor knot is tied by first passing the line around the reel arbor.

2. The tag end is then tied in an overhand knot around the running line.

3. Finally, an overhand knot is tied in the tag end. When tightened, the overhand knot in the tag end jams against the overhand knot tied around the running line

Blood Knot - used to join lines of equal thickness.

The Blood Knot is an easy knot to tie with a relatively low profile. A blood knot can run smoothly through rod line guides, where other knots might get stuck. However, a blood knot will reduce overall line strength by around 40%.

How to tie it:blood knot

1. Cross over the ends of the lines by 6-8 inches and twist one of the lines 5 times (or more) around the other.

2. Bring the end back through the opening between the two lines, then repeat with steps 1 and 2 with the other end of the same line.

3. Make sure the ends are pointing in opposite directions after you pass them through the opening, then pull.

4. Trim the ends, and there you have it: a blood knot.

Dropper Loop Knot - used to create a loop in the line while maintaining line stregnth.

The Dropper Loop Knot attaches a second fly, leader or lure to a line.


How to Tie It:

1. Make a circular loop in the line.

2. Wrap one end through the loop.

3. Where each end meets the loop, make 3 to 5 twists as shown then - without letting the twists unravel - pull the loop through the hole between the two sets of twists.

4. While holding the dropper loop in place (do not pull on the loop - just be sure it doesn't come out) pull on both ends of the line to bring the wraps together.

5. You now have a loop to which you may attach a bait, fly, or leader using another kind of knot.

Float Stop Knot - used to prevent a float from sliding past a certain point.

The Float Stop Knot prevents a float from running up a line, which is essential for controlling presentation when float fishing. Use about 5 inches of the same diameter line the float is on. floatstop

How to Tie It:

1. Wrap the line to be knotted 2 or 3 times around the line with the float.

2. Take either end of the line being knotted and wrap them twice around each other, as if you're tying a Surgeon's Knot.

3. Pull ends to tighten.

Improved Clinch Knot - used to tie medium-heavy lines to tackle.

The Improved Clinch Knot is much less likely to break when you've got a bigger fish on the line.

How to Tie It: clinch knot

1. Pass the line through the eye of hook, swivel or lure. Double back and wrap the end 5 times around the standing line.

2. Holding the coils in place, thread end of line through the first loop above the eye, then through the big loop.

3. Hold the tag end and standing line while coils are pulled up, making sure the coils do not overlap each other. Slide tight against the eye and clip the end.

Nail Knot - used to attach leaders or backing to fly line.

The Nail Knot is the most popular knot for attaching leaders and leader butt to fly line, the nail knot has a very smooth, low profile that allows it to slide easily through guides. Although it doesn't necessarily require a nail, you will need a tube of comparably narrow diameter to tie it (e.g., a particularly thin ballpoint pen). The nail knot is moderately complex and not recommended for big fish as it relies on the fly line's coating for strength, but few other knots give you this smooth a connection.

How to Tie It:

nail knot1. Hold the nail/tube and the end of the fly line between the left thumb and forefinger of your left hand (with roughly 2" of the fly line and the tube sticking out). Take the heavier end of your leader in your right hand and form a 2" loop around the nail and fly line. Pinch the loop down with your left hand, then wrap the leader 5 more times around the line, leader and nail. Do it tightly, so that the loops butt up against each other, and be sure to leave 1/2 to 3/4" of the end sticking out.

2. Grab all the loops with your left hand, then carefully slide the end of the leader back into the opening, running alongside the nail. Then carefully remove the nail.

3. Pull gently on both ends of the leader (don't pull the fly line!) to partially tighten the knot. Moisten, check the wraps to be sure they're smooth, then fully tighten the knot by pulling on the leader until it "bites" into the fly line. Finally, "seat" the knot with one hard pull on the fly line. Trim the ends, and you're done.

Palomar Knot - used to attach hooks or other terminal tackle to the line.

palomar knotThe Palomar Knot is among the strongest knots for its purpose, the Palomar is also fairly easy to tie.

How to Tie It:

1. Double four inches of line into a loop and pass it through the eye of your hook.

2 & 3. Allow the hook to dangle, and tie a loose over hand knot in the doubled line, being careful NOT to twist the lines or tighten the knot.

4. Pull the line by its looped end far enough to pass it over the hook, swivel or lure.

5.Pulling at both ends of the line, tighten the knot. Clip off the tag end.

Snell Knot - used to connect a leader to a baited hook.

The Snell knot is strong, reliable, and simple to tie. Only use the Snell knot with a leader.

How to Tie It:snell knot

1. Pass one end of the leader throungh the eye of the hook so that it sticks outone or two inches past the eye, towards the barb. Pinch the hook and leader end together between your left thumb and index finger right where it exits the eye, make a large loop, then hold the loop down so that enough is sticking out to wrap several times around the leader and hook shank.

2. Wrap the end tightly around the leader and hook shank 7 or 8times, towards the barb. On the final wrap, pass the end back through the looped leader, so that it points towards the barb.

3. Grasping the end near the barb and the end on the other side of the eyelet, slowly pull the leader until it is almost tight. Slide the loops up against the eye, then grip the short end with pliers and completely tighten the knot. Trim the end hanging towards the barb.

Spider Hitch - used to double a line for added stregnth.

The Spider Hitch is almost as strong (retaining over 80% of line strength) and much faster & easier than a Bimini Twist. The one downside is that the knot could cut the line if not tightened perfectly. spiderhitch

How To Tie It:

1. Double the line, then form a loop, holding it between your thumb and forefinger.

2. Wrap the doubled end 5 times around your thumb and the loop, taking care not to let go.

3. Pass the end through the loop.

4. Pull the loop slowly and steadily so the wound section slides naturally off the thumb. Then pull on both ends to tighten knot. Again, the knot must be perfectly tightened (no overlapping coils!) or it will cut itself.

Surgeon's Knot - used to securely tie a line and leader of different diameters together.

The Surgeon's Knot is strong, relatively simple to tie, and less likely than most knots to damage the thinner of the two lines.

How to Tie It:surgeon's knot

1. Align the line and leader end-to-end, parallel to each other, with 6" to 8" of overlap.

2. Tie both lines in an overhand knot, as if they were a single piece of line, and pull the entire leader through the loop.

3. Without closing the loop, wrap both the tag end of line and leader around the loop again.

4. Pull both lines and both ends together until the knot becomes tight. Clip closely to avoid getting caught in guides.

Trilene Knot - used to join line to tackle.

The Trilene Knot is easy to tie and very strong, and resists slippage better than most simple knots.

How to tie it:

trilene knot1. Thread the line through the eye of the hook or lure, then double back through the eye a second time.

2. Holding the hook or lure in your left hand, and the standing line in your right hand, wrap the tag end around the standing line 6 times, then pass the end through the loop created where you doubled back in step 1.

3. Pull gently on the tag end and the standing line to tighten, moistening it with water while you do so to lubricate the line (allowing the loops to slide together more easily). Trim tag end to 1/8 inch, and you're done.

Uni-to-Uni Knot - used to tie two similar or different lines together.

The Uni-knot and variants like the Uni-to-Uni knot can be used for everything from tying hooks to light line, to joining linesof vastly differenttest strength (up to 10x different in some cases).Uni-knots also provide an unbeatable100 % knot strength in most cases.


How to Tie It:

1. Overlap the two linesby roughly 6".With one end, form aloop and pinch it between your thumb and forefinger, withaninch or two sticking out past your fingers.

2.Wrap the end six times aroundboth lines, passing through the large loop on the finalpass.

3. Pull the end to tighten the knot.

4. Repeatsteps1-3 withthe end of the other line.

5. Pull both ends to get the knots tighter, then trim if necessary.


Additional Resources for Fishing Knots

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