Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Monday, 26 October 2009 22:48

Fishing Knots

Written by Steve Jancek
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Fishing knots allow you to properly tie your line to your hook, lure and other tackle. These knots have been developed and tested thoroughly to assure tying ease and strength. Each knot has a specific purpose. Before you learn any new knot, consider the following:

  • The right knot is important. You want the strongest knot possible so that you don’t lose the fish. A simple overhand knot weakens line by about 50 percent.
  • Practice tying knots. Take a length of fishing line, a hook with the point cut off or buried into a cork, and practice. Practice until you can tie each knot correctly.
  • Wet knots with saliva as you pull them tight. This prevents damage to the line and allows the knot to pull tight.
  • Pull knots tight to prevent slippage.
  • Trim knots closely with a nail clipper. A good knot, pulled tight, will not come loose. Close trimming prevents the knot from catching snags or weeds. Do not burn the tag end; heat damages the line and knot.
  • Knots have their own terminology. The "tag end" (sometimes called the "working end") is the end of the line used to tie the knot. The "standing end" is that part of the line coming from your fishing reel.
  • Leave a foot or more of the "tag end" of line for tying knots so that you can tie them properly.
  • Pull up all ends when tightening the knot. With some knots this will be only the standing end and tag end; with other knots it might be three or four ends.
  • Knots are rarely as strong as the line. Knot strength is often expressed in percent, such as the percentage of the strength of the line at which the knot (weaker than the line) will break. As an example, a knot testing 90 percent will break at nine pounds of tension in a line testing ten-pounds.

There are several types of knots. These knots are especially good for nylon monofilament, the most commonly used line for all fishing.


Knots to tie a fishing line to a hook or lure are the basic and used in all fishing.

IMPROVED CLINCH KNOT- This is a variation of an older clinch knot. The variation (A final tuck of the line back through a loop) makes this knot test 95 percent of the line strength. The secret of this knot is to make five turns of the tag end of the line around the standing end part before running the tag end back through the formed loop. Use for lines up to 20 pound test.


PALOMAR KNOT – This knot, over 95 percent in strength, takes more line to tie because it is doubled first. It is good for lines up to and over 20 pound test. Because it is run doubled through the lure or hook eye, knotted and then looped over the hook or lure, it may tangle easier. It is a favorite knot of many anglers.


NON-SLIP LOOP KNOT – This knot creates a fixed loop so that a hook can freely move. It is best with larger lines where a tight knot such as the Improved Clinch can impede the hook/bait or lure movement. It is similar to tying the Improved Clinch Knot.



Knots to join line are good for retying broken lines and to join a leader to the end of the line.

BLOOD KNOT – This knot requires five turns of line, with each tag end around the overlapped standing end of line. This is easy to do by making one series of turns and tucking the tag end between the two lines and then repeating with the second line. It is a good knot if the lines are not too dissimilar in diameters. It’s good for tying 15 pound test line to 20 pound test line; not good for tying 15 pound test line to 50 pound test line.


SURGEON’S KNOT – This makes it easy to join two lines, but one line must be short, since you have to bring the one end through the formed overhand loop. As with other lines, use a lot of overlapping line so that you can pull on all four ends to properly pull tight. Work with both lines together as you tie this, and make sure that both loops are the same size to assure a strong knot.



Use loop knots to make a loop in the end of a rig to which the line can be tied or to make two loops for an interconnecting loop system of attaching tackle parts.

SURGEON’S LOOP – This knot is similar to the Surgeon’s Knot for joining lines. To make this, fold over the tag end of line and form the knot using both strands to make a double overhand knot. Pull up carefully on both the two ends and the loop.


FIGURE-EIGHT LOOP – This loop knot is also easy to tie. Fold over the tag end of line (leave lots of line for this) and then form a figure-eight bend with the two lines, ending by going through the first loop. As with the Surgeon’s Loop, pull tight on the loop and both tag ends.



ARBOR KNOT – You need to attach the line to your fishing reel, but this knot does not need to be strong. Run the line around the spool hub (arbor) and make an overhand knot around the standing line. Clip and pull tight.


IN-LINE DROPPER – This allows you to make a loop in the middle of your line to attach a hook or other rig. Fold the line back over itself to make a loop, and then twist the two overlapping line sections four or five times. Pull the loop through this center twist. Pull tight.


Read 18606 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 21:52
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