Fishing knots are an essential piece to the puzzle that is fishing. While most anglers may only use three or four knots in their arsenal, it’s a good idea to learn a variety of knots for different situations. If you want to create a strong double line for offshore fishing, the Bimini Twist is a knot you should know. Need to create a loop at the end of a shock tippet? You better learn the Perfection Loop. Each knot serves a purpose, so we scoured the internet for some knot tutorial videos to help you beef up your knot knowledge and kill time on a rainy day.
The Clinch Knot is one of the simplest knots to learn. You run the line through the eye of a hook or lure, twist it around the standing line five or six times and run it back through the loop created just about the hook eye. The problem is, a Clinch Knot can slip and come untied. The Improved Clinch locks the tag end in place by running it back through a secondary loop created after you pass the line through the loop by the hook eye. There’s one big caveat here though, this is a great knot for mono or monofilament or fluorocarbon, but NOT for braided line. If tied with braid, an improved clinch knot will slip out when under tension.
If you can tie an overhand knot, you can tie the Palomar Knot. This easy-to-tie knot will hold just about 100 percent of the breaking strain of the line. It’s also very low profile so there is not a lot of bulky line in front of a lure or hook. To tie the Palomar, double up the line and run it through the eye of the hook. You can also go through the eye of the hook two times to avoid any chances of creating a kink in the line. Create a large overhand knot and let the hook sit at the bottom. Pass the loop of the overhand knot over the the hook or lure and pull it tight. This knot will hold tight on monofilament or braid. It’s a great knot to use when fishing live bait or drop-shot fishing for bass.
When fishing with large streamer flies or topwater, walk-the-dog style lures it’s best to use a Nonslip Loop Knot, sometimes referred to as the Lefty loop after Lefty Kreh. The loop knot gives the lure or fly more freedom of movement as it darts across the water. You can adjust the size of the loop but it’s best to keep the loop on the smaller side. To make the knot more streamline, make sure the tag end points back toward the lure or fly so you don’t hang up on weeds or grass.
UNI KNOT / DOUBLE UNI KNOT
The Uni Knot is one of the strongest, easy-to-tie knots out there. It’s a great knot to use when tying on a swivel, hook or lure. It can be tied in monofilament, fluorocarbon or braid. There is much debate over how many times you should run the line through the loop, but five or six times is typically enough, especially if you are using heavy mono. This is a great, all-around knot to know.
The Double Uni Knot or Uni-to-Uni Knot is one of the preferred ways to tie a lighter diameter running line such as braid to a thicker fluorocarbon leader. Tie two Uni Knots and slide them together. One thing to note here, however, is the Double Uni is not a great not when tying on a top shot of a hundred yards of line or more. The uni is a bit large and will wreak havoc on your spool, especially on a spinning rod. For this application, the slimmer FG Knot works better (mentioned below).
The Snell Knot creates a very low-profile knot because the knot is actually tied on the shank of the hook, not in front of the eye. It’s a good choice when fishing with octopus-style circle hooks to rig on ballyhoo for offshore pelagics such as marlin, tuna and mahi-mahi. When tied correctly, the hook will stay in place to improve your hook-set ratio. The thing with Snell Knots, however, is there are a bunch of different ways to tie them. Some of the so-called “quick” snells can easily come undone because the tag end of the line is not locked down. If you want to lock the tag end, you need take a loop over the hook shank that you can pull tight with a whip finish. You can also tie an adjustable snell for using two hooks.
The Bimini Twist takes its name from the Bahamas island that played such a pivotal role in the history of sportfishing, particularly offshore fishing. The Bimini Twist is used to create a double line that is tied at the end of your main line. When tied correctly, the Bimini Twist is very close to a 100-percent knot, so it should not slip or break until you reach the line’s breaking point. With a Bimini Twist you can easily attach a swivel with a cat’s paw knot, or use it for a loop-to-loop connection with a wind-on leader. This knot can be tied in either braid or monofilament, as the video above demonstrates. When tied in mono, the Bimini Twist acts as a bit of a shock absorber since monofilament does stretch. Braid does not stretch. The Bimini Twist can be tied quickly once you master it, but if you’re looking to create a long double line, it gets a bit tricky and you may need a second set of hands. The smaller the double, the easier it is to handle this knot.
The FG Knot is quickly becoming the go-to connection for combining a thinner diameter line such as braid to a much thicker mono or fluoro leader. The FG Knot is strong and slim so it will run through the guides easily and won’t mess up the line on your spool, especially on spinning reels. This also makes it a great line for tying on a top shot of braid (or mono). There are many different ways to tie the knot, some folks like to keep tension on the running line, but in this video you see it’s not necessary. Just make sure you lock down the knots correctly when finishing off the knot. The FG Knot takes practice but when tied correctly it creates a very strong connection.
Whenever you’re fishing for toothy critters such as king mackerel, sharks, wahoo or barracuda, you need to use wire so the fish can’t bite you off. The go-to knot to use in wire is the Haywire Twist. While the number of twists and barrel wraps you decide to take will vary depending on personal preference and the size of wire, the most important thing to remember is to break the tag end of the wire off so there is no burrs or sharp snags. If you cut the wire with pliers, you will leave a very sharp tag end that could cause serious damage to your hand when you grab it.
Named after famed Florida Keys fishing guide Jimmie Albright who invented this knot (he also came up with the Nail Knot), the Albright Knot is a fairly easy knot to master when tying two lines together. The Albright Knot can be used to tie on leaders, and it works well with both mono and braided fishing line.
The Perfection Loop is used to create a strong loop at the end of a line. This knot is handy for putting loops at the end of tippet to attach it to a fly line via a loop-to-loop connection. The Perfection Loop can also be used to tie on hooks and flies, leaving room for the hook or fly to have some movement. The trick here is to leave the loop larger enough to pass your hook or fly through it before you tighten the knot down.
BRISTOL (or NO-NAME KNOT)
The Bristol Knot, which is sometimes called the No-Name Knot, is another knot used to tie a leader onto a double line. There are a few variations to the Bristol Knot, you can run the line through the loop before taking your wraps, or start from underneath the double line. After you make your wraps down the running line, you can wrap back toward the starting point to create what is often called an Improved Bristol Knot. After some practice, this is a very quick knot to tie, which is great when you find yourself re-rigging in the middle of a feeding frenzy.
The Spider Hitch is used to create a fast double line. Many will argue that the Spider Hitch is not as strong as a Bimini Twist, but it’s quick to tie and more than enough for most fishing situations. However, you might want to take more wraps around the line than George Gozdz does in this video. Somewhere in the three to six range should be more than efficient.
Another quick knot for creating a loop, the Surgeon’s Loop is simply a double overhand knot. This knot is also handy when making loop-to-loop connections to add a tippet.
The Trilene Knot works very well when tying on a hook or lure using monofilament of fluorocarbon line. It is similar to a Clinch Knot but you run the line through the eye twice. Do NOT use the Trilene Knot when fishing with gel-spun braided line as the braid will come free when pulled tight. For braid, use a Uni Knot or Palomar (see above).
The Blood Knot is used to tie similar lines together. For example, braid to braid or mono to mono. Many fly anglers who tie their own tippets use the Blood Knot because it’s a slender, strong knot. The reason we put up two videos of this one is there are two different ways to get similar results. The top video is the more traditional way to tie the Blood Knot, but the other video shows a technique that looks like it could be faster to tie once mastered.
The Nail Knot is another knot predominantly used in fly-fishing, but will work in other situations as well. Once again, there are different ways to achieve similar results, and you don’t have to use a nail. The tier in this video uses a bodkin needle. You can also purchase tools to help you tie the Nail Knot. One thing to remember is that this is a compression knot, so you definitely want to make at least four or five wraps.