While tying a Bimini twist or a Duncan loop isn’t as exciting as fooling a large brown trout, it’s all part of the wonderful, complex world of fly fishing. What makes fly fishing so fascinating is the many interlocking facets, and the depths to which you can plunge into every single discipline. You don’t need specialty knots like the Albright knot or the slim beauty to get started; you can be a successful freshwater fly fisher with just the nine knots shown here.
Your backing, fly line, leader, tippet, and fly are all one continuous system, but unless you buy a preassembled package, each independent part must be connected by a knot.
The knots you use to add a tippet, or tie on a fly, you’ll have to know by rote, because you’ll do it dozens of times each day. Most other knots can be tied using a reference such as this magazine. It doesn’t make you less of a fly fisher if you need to look up a lesser-used knot like an arbor knot from time to time when you get a new reel and want to add backing.
It’s also fun to try new knots. You’ll find that some knots are easier for you to tie than others, or you’ll find new methods of tying old knots. As the old adage goes, “there are many ways to skin a cat,” and there are also many ways to connect all the pieces of your fly line system—here are some trusted and time-tested methods, and the reasons behind them.
10 Ways to Securely Tie Your Fishing Hook
Though it may sound like a minor step in the process, there are actually a number of strategies and variations to tying proper knots. These 10 knot types have been proven to be secure, stable and strong by top fishing professionals. When you’re ready to venture out for some top-notch Daytona Beach Fishing, you’ll already be a pro.
1. The Knotless Knot
If you’re looking for a simple, quick solution, snelling a hook via the Knotless Knot is a great option.
Step 1: Cut the line to your preferred size and loop the end of it.
Step 2: Tie the loop (this part will be for the bait).
Step 3: Insert the opposite end through the eye of the fish hook from front to back. (You can estimate the length in the hook’s shank.)
Step 4: Hold the shank and wrap the line around 6-8 times heading down toward the end of the hook and leader line.
Step 5: Next, grab the other end of your line and push it through the hook’s eye from back to front.
Step 6: Lastly, it’s time to tighten your knot. Moisten it, hold the hook and the looped part of the line firmly and pull the other end to complete the knot.
2. The Improved Clinch Knot
The Improved Clinch Knot is another popular and extremely durable knot. It can sustain the strength of many big local Ormond Beach fish like Bull Redfish and Gator Trout. If you’re planning a fishing trip to the area, there are a number of other amazing things to do in Daytona Beach while you’re there.
Step 1: Pass on the working end of your line through the eye and wrap it around the line’s body (not the hook) 5-7 times.
Step 2: Insert the end through the first loop next to the eye and bring it back through the loose section.
Step 3: Pull both ends to tighten and trim any extra line from the working end.
3. The Palomar Knot
While some of the other knots can be used to secure sinkers or lures, the Palomar Knot should only be used to secure the fishing hook itself. This one is also great for braided lines in particular.
Step 1: Start by folding over your fishing line to make a loop. Thread the loop through the hook’s eye.
Step 2: Make an overhand knot with slack.
Step 3: Move the loop portion around the end of the fish hook.
Step 4: Pull and tighten the line to fasten the knot.
4. The Dropper Loop
Though the Dropper Loop is used mostly for bait fishing or jigging (a sinker/hook combination) it is always a solid choice. You must be careful with this one because making too many loops in the line may get it twisted.
Step 1: Form a loop and wrap the tag end 6 or more times around the fishing line itself while holding one side. (Keep the part open where you’re making the twists.)
Step 2: Take the original loop and put it through the opening in the middle
Step 3: Pull both ends tightly in opposite directions until the turns tighten into coils.
5. The Hangman’s Knot
If you are starting out, then you should definitely know how to tie this one. The Uni Knot (Hangman Knot) is one of the simplest knots and has many uses. You may want to use it when booking a charter fishing trip through Ponce Inlet Watersports.
Step 1: Push the tag end of the line through the eye, and bring it side-by-side to the standing line. Lay the tag end to create a loop over the doubled line.
Step 2: Pass the line underneath the loop and make about 8 turns with the working end around the doubled line.
Step 3: Wet the lines and pull the end until it’s very tight. (You can leave the small loop or slide it down to the eye.)
6. The Stopper Knot
If you’re planning on using slip bobbers then this is the knot for you. The Stopper Knot should be tied just above the bobber and can be adjusted depending on the depth you’re fishing.
Step 1: Start by estimating about half a foot of line.
Step 2: The stopper should be tied parallel to the line. Create a loop with the line by doubling back.
Step 3: Wrap it 3-4 times around both lines (pass the line through the open loop each time).
Step 4: Pull both ends to tighten it.
7. The Blood Knot
Though the Blood Knot is not meant to tie hooks or lures, it can very successfully tie two fishing lines of different sizes together. It can be especially helpful when fly fishing in New Smyrna Beach, FL. (Besides deep-sea and fly fishing, you may also want to consider a kayaking excursion down the Intracoastal while you’re there!)
Step 1: Line up a few inches of two tag ends side-by-side and wrap one around the other five times (at minimum).
Step 2: Next, wrap the other line five more times on the original. Bring the loose ends through the hole in the middle.
Step 3: Pull on both ends tightly until the coils come together as much as they can.
8. The Surgeon’s Knot
Similarly, to the Blood Knot, the Surgeon’s Knot also connects two fishing lines. (The lines should be the same thickness for this one.)
Step 1: Overlap each of the lines by several inches on top of one another.
Step 2: Tie a simple overhand knot, creating a loop.
Step 3: Put both tag ends and leaders through the loop twice.
Step 4: Pull to tighten all four pieces together.
9. The Double Uni Knot
The Double Uni Knot (an elevated version of the Hangman or Uni Knot), is a third method to join two lines together securely.
Step 1: Overlap the ends of both lines by creating a loop over the double line on each side.
Step 2: Wrap both tag ends 3-4 times around both lines on their respective sides, passing within the loop each time.
Step 3: You should now have tied two uni knots.
Step 4: Slowly tighten the standing lines to secure the two knots together.
10. The Double Surgeon’s Loop
Last but not least is the Double Surgeon’s Loop Knot. You can rest assured when you use this fishing knot, you will have a strong loop at the end of your leader.
Step 1: Fold over the end of your line to create the preferred size loop.
Step 2: Tie one overhand knot and leave it open so you can pass the loop once more through it.
Step 3: Hold the line and the loop. Pull them until the knot is snug.
Best Fishing Knot of 2021 (Knot Types)
1. Best Knot for Beginners: Improved Clinch Knot
Everyone needs to know how to tie a fishing knot that is effective in a wide variety of circumstances, and can be tied in the dark, in the wind, or under other duress. The improved clinch knot is the first one that many anglers learn, and for good reason—while it might not be the best in every circumstance, it’s relatively easy to get it close to max potential in every circumstance. Kids can tie it—as can adults—with confidence that it will do yeoman’s work all over.
The Improved Clinch requires an angler to stick the line through the eye of the lure or the terminal tackle once, create a loop at the eyelet, and then wrap the tag end five or six times around the mainline going up the line. Then, take that wrapped tag end, run it through the original loop, creating a second loop. Run the line through that loop, cinch it down, wet it, and then gently slide it closed. For those anglers who like the improved clinch but want something slightly stronger, try the “Trilene knot.”
2. Best Knot for Monofilament: Palomar Knot
The Palomar knot is simple to tie and is one of the strongest fishing knots. It does require a slightly greater level of care to make sure that it seats properly and thereby provides all of the promised benefits, but that’s a small price to pay for the extra strength and peace of mind.
For a knot with an incredible array of applications, the Palomar knot is remarkably simple. Double your line through the eyelet of your lure or terminal tackle item, leaving 12 to 18 inches of line to work with, then take the loop you’ve formed and create an overhand knot with the doubled line on the opposite side of the eyelet. Pass the lure, hook or swivel back through the initial loop, then cinch everything down gently and evenly.
3. Best Knot for Fluorocarbon: San Diego Jam Knot
If you’re looking to learn how to tie a fishing knot that can hold up to the rigors endured by long-range tuna fishermen out of Southern California, look no further. The San Diego jam excels with all kinds of fishing line, and it’s particularly good with fluorocarbon, which is brittle and can break if tied in a compromising fashion.
Pass the line through the eyelet and create a loop. Then make multiple wraps around the double line, with the wraps headed down toward the eyelet. After four to six wraps, depending on the diameter of the line, pass the line through the initial loop located closest to the eyelet, then take the tag end and pass it up (along the main line) through the loop created furthest away from the eye. Moisten, cinch it down, and trim. It is critical with fluorocarbon that the wraps around the dual line do not overlap one another.
4. Best Knot for Braid: Berkley Braid Knot
Braided fishing lines are extremely strong and have minimal stretch, so prudent anglers have adopted them for a wide variety of applications, but they’ve also realized that one of the characteristics that makes it so good—the slippery exterior—can be a nightmare with typical knots. They slip at the wrong time, letting the fish get away. That’s why you need a bear-trap of a knot to keep them buttoned with certainty.
Run a double loop of braid through the hook eye or lure. Starting from the top of the mainline and working toward the eyelet, loop the tag end around the main line eight times, leaving a loop at the bottom. Next take that double loop and run it through the remaining loop at the bottom. After tightening the knot, trim both the initial tag plus the two ends of the double loop, leaving 1/8 to ¼ inch on each.
5. Easiest Knot for Connecting Braid to Fluorocarbon: Double Uni Knot
If the FG knot has you befuddled, or you just don’t think it’s worth the extra effort, many top anglers and guides still think that the double uni is just as good for connecting two lines. It doesn’t necessarily go through guides as cleanly, but overall, it’s a fine choice, and much easier to tie.
Run your braid and fluorocarbon in opposite directions, with the tag ends overlapping, giving you enough line to make multiple wraps and still be manageable. Double back the first line over the overlapping section, wrap it three or four times around both lines. Then place it through the loop that action formed and tighten that end. Take the second line, double it back over the overlapping section, and wrap it three or four times around both lines. Then place it through the new loop and tighten that end, the mirror image of the other side. You now have two separate knots, but by pulling the main lines on either side away from the knots they’ll slide together to form a single unit. Clip the tags.