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There are many different skills associated with being successful at fishing. One of them is the art of tying good knots. Monofilament fishing line stretches and is kind of slippery, so using the proper knot is important if you want to keep your bait, lure, or fish on the line.

        This section will show you how to tie all of the knots needed to properly assemble your gear. In order to tie effective knots, you must realize that neatness counts. If a knot slips, it will probably break. Therefore, it is essential you completely tighten all knots. This is accomplished by lubricating the knot before you tighten it down. You can use water, saliva, or silicone fly floatant.
One word of caution should be exercised here.
 You should never put any part of your line into your mouth to wet the knot. Many Streams and lakes contain bacteria that can be harmful to you.
If you use saliva, drip or spit it on the knot instead.
When you tighten the knot, do so very slowly. What you are trying to do is tighten the knot without building up too much heat. If you tighten the knot quickly, friction will cause excessive heat, which in turn weakens the line. A smooth slow draw is best.

Here are a couple of knots worth learning:


The one and most important knot to know is
The Clinch Knot or Cinch Knot
(or Fisherman's Knot)
This knot is used for that most important place-where the hook (or the swivel or the lure) meets the line.
A reliable knot here will save you lots of lost lures and fish!

Menu of Knots

[Albright] [Arbor] [Blood] [Braid] [Barrel] [Clinch] [Double Surgeons] [King Sling] [Nail] [Needle]
[Palomar] [Perfection] [ Snell] [Specialist Fly] [Stop Knot]  [Trilene] [Triple Surgeons] [Uni] [Turle] [Turtle] [Wedge]

Bimini Twist Knot

1. Measure a little more than twice the footage you'll want for the double-line leader. Bring end back to standing line and hold together. Rotate end of loop 20 times, putting twists in it.



2. Spread loop to force twists together about 10" below tag end. Step both feet through loop and bring it up around knees so pressure can be placed on column of twists by spreading knees apart.

3. With twists forced tightly together, hold standing line in one hand with tension just slightly off the vertical position. With other hand, move tag end to position at right angle to twists. Keeping tension on loop with knees, gradually ease tension of tag end so it will roll over the column of twists, beginning just below the upper twist.



4. Spread legs apart slowly to maintain pressure on loop. Steer tag end into a tight spiral coil as it continues to roll over the twisted line.


5. When spiral of tag end has rolled over column of twists, continue keeping knee pressure on loop and move hand which has held standing line down to grasp knot. Place finger in crotch of line where loop joins knot to prevent slippage of last turn. Take half-hitch with tag end around nearest leg of loop and pull up tight.



6. With half-hitch holding knot, release knee pressure but keep loop stretched out tight. Using remaining tag end, take half-hitch around both legs of loop, but do not pull tight.


7. Make two more turns with the tag end around both legs of the loop, winding inside the bend of line formed by the loose half-hitch and toward the main knot. Pull tag end slowly, forcing the three loops to gather in a spiral.


8. When loops are pulled up neatly against main knot, tighten to lock knot in place. Trim tag end about 1/4" from knot.

Blood Knot or  Barrel Knot

This is a high strength knot to join two similar thicknesses of line. It's main advantage is it's low profile enabling it to run smoothly through rod line guides.

Clinch / Cinch Knot
 (Fisherman's Knot)

This knot is used for that most important place-where the hook (or the swivel or the lure) meets the line. A reliable knot here will save you lots of lost lures and fish!

1)  Pass the line through the eye of the hook, swivel, or lure.  Double back and make five turns around the standing line.

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

3)  Hold the tag end and standing line while pulling up the coils.  Make sure the coils are in a spiral, not overlapping each other.  Slide against the eye.

4)  Clip the tag end.


The Improved Clinch Knot

The Improved Clinch is very easy to tie, which is the main reason it's so popular for connecting monofilament to terminal tackle.  It's most effective on lines under 20-pound test. 


Run several inches of line through the hook eye. Don't be stingy here. Make it comfortable and easy to tie.


Push the loose end through the new loop you just created. Wet the knot with a little spit. This will lubricate the line and make your knot easier to tighten.


Wrap the loose end of your line around itself five or six times.


Tighten the knot slowly by pulling on the line with one hand and the hook with the other.


Pass the loose end through the loop in the line next to the eye in the hook.


Trim off the loose end of the line with a pair of fingernail clippers.


Needle Knot

This knot can be used to attach permanently a thick length of nylon to the end of the fly line, to which, in turn, the leader is attached.

Use: Attaching backing to fly line.

Description: This is a good knot to use to attach the end of the backing to the fly line or a thick nylon leader butt. It can be tied with a nail or, more easily, with either a tube or a needle.




To tie this knot you will need a strong needle with an eye large enough to take the backing or nylon that you are using.

Click image for an enlarged view


Push the needle into the center of the core of the fly line and out through the side wall, about 5mm from the end of the line.

Click image for an enlarged view


 Thread the end of the backing or nylon through the eye of the needle and use the needle to pull about 100mm of backing or nylon through the fly line, out through the side.

Click image for an enlarged view 


 Now lay the needle against the fly line with the eye in line with the end of the line. Make three turns of the backing or nylon around the line and needle, working toward the eye of the needle. Thread the backing or nylon through the eye and withdraw the needle and nylon.


Click image for an enlarged view


 Remove the needle and carefully tighten the turns, taking care that they do not overlap. Do not over-tighten the knot as this can cause a dog-leg in the fly line.

Click image for an enlarged view


 Trim off the tag end of the backing or nylon close to the line.

Click image for an enlarged view

Palomar Knot


1. Start with plenty of line.


2. Double the line and pass the end through the hook's eye.


3. Tie an overhand knot (like you were tying your shoe strings)
but do not pull it tight yet.


4. Pass the hook through the loop.

5. Pull the loose end of the line to tighten the knot.
    Trim the end.
    Leave at least 1/8 inch of your line at the knot.

The Perfection Loop knot is the perfect knot for the leader butt section
 when attaching fly lines to leaders with a loop to loop connection.

Although the illustrations seem complicated, the knot is a breeze to tie.


Step 1

With the standing end in your left hand and the tag end in your right form a loop. Make sure the tag end is behind the standing end. Hold the lines in place by pinching with your thumb and index finger.

Step 2

With the lines pinched in your left hand make a loop in front of the first loop with the tag end. Again, make sure the tag end exits behind both loops.

Step 3

Pass the tag end between the 2 loops, continuing to pinch all lines with the left hand.

Step 4

Pass the loop closest to you over the tag end and through the rear loop.

Step 5

As with all knots, lubricate before tightening. Pull the loop (the one passed through the rear loop) and the standing end in opposite directions and tighten down firmly.



Whenever you want to use a sliding float you will need to tie a stop knot on your line that will grip the line without damaging it.

Step 1

Twist a piece of line 2 to 3 times around the main line, at the chosen point

Step 2

Bring both ends around to form a Surgeon's Knot.

Step 3

Tighten into shape bringing the coils close together.

Triple Surgeons Knot

Turle Knot

Also known as the Turtle Knot, and Major Turle's Knot, it is simplicity itself to tie, but is one of the weakest knots. 
It should never be used for light lines, and there are better knots for use with heavy ones.


1. Pass the line through the eye of the hook.

2. Make a simple loop. 

3. Carry the end of the line on to make a Simple Overhand Knot upon the loop.

4. Pass the loop over the hook. 

5. Draw up into shape.


Before applying the final pull to tying knots, moisten the knot with saliva so as to lubricate it and make easier the final coiling of the line. Always make sure you do gradual pulls, rather than fast, jerky pulls, as this may lead to line degradation.


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