Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00

Best Fishing Knots For Kayak Anglers

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Photograph by Chris Funk Photograph by Chris Funk

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen anglers lose a trophy fish because of a bad knot. The tell-tale sign of the line ending in a pigtail will always wrench at your gut, knowing it was your fishing knot that failed. I’ve assembled a list of the top 5 fishing knots all kayak anglers should learn to tie. There is no one perfect knot- each of these five fishing knots serves a purpose and in my opinion the 5 best fishing knots.

The Palomar Knot – When connecting leader material to your lure or hook, the best fishing knot for the job is the Palomar knot. The Palomar was the champion in the 2013 Knot Wars series, beating out the Improved Reverse Clinch Knot. I’ve been using this knot since watching the 2013 Knot Wars championship, and have yet to have it fail.

Palomar Fishing Knot is the best fishing knot

  1. Double 6 inches of line and pass end of loop through eye of hook.
  2. Tie a loose overhand knot with hook hanging from bottom.
  3. Holding overhand knot between thumb and forefinger, pass loop of line over the hook. Slide loop above eye of hook.
  4. Pull on both the standing line and tag end to tighten knot down onto eye. Clip tag end close.


The Modified Albright – Many kayak anglers have moved away from swivels, and opted to join their main line directly to their leader with a line-to-line knot. The Modified Albright knot tested strongest in the 2013 Knot Wars series, and has been my knot of choice for the past several years. When line with this knot breaks, it’s usually right in front of the Modified Albright, not the knot itself.

Modified Albright Fishing Knot

  1. Form a loop in the heavy mono and insert the tag end of the braid through the loop.
  2. Make eight tight wraps up the leader loop.
  3. Make eight tight wraps down the leader loop.
  4. Pass the tag end of the braid through the mono loop in the same direction as it entered.
  5. Pull on all four legs of the lines. You may have to push the braid with your fingertips.
  6. Pull on the main line and the leader to firmly set the knot. Trim the tag end before fishing.


The Canoeman Loop –Lures often perform better on a loop knot versus a standard cinch-type of knot. Loop knots allow the hook or lure to move freely without restriction, often adding greatly to the lures action. The Canoeman Loop in my opinion is the best fishing knot for this situation, and has been my go-to loop knot since learning how to tie it from a D.O.A lures seminar when I was a kid. The knot is very easy to master and is great when fishing cover, because the tag end points towards the hook or lure, so grass won’ catch on it.

The best fishing knot for anglers who need a loop knot, Canoeman Loop Fishing Knot

  1. Run the tag end thru the eye of the hook. Make two backward loops on the side closest to the rod.
  2. Push the second loop thru the first loop.
  3. Pull the tag end (end farthest from the rod) thru the second loop and bring the tag end of the line down to the side of the lure.
  4. While holding the tag end and the lure pull on the end of the line going to the rod.


The In-Line Dropper – Not just for kayak fly fishermen, the In-Line Dropper loop knot has a multitude of uses for all kayak anglers. Use this knot any time you require your leader, hook, or lure to stand off your main line at a 90° angle. I’ve used the In-Line Dropper loop when tying drop shot rigs, attaching multiple small hooks for panfish, making sabiki-style bait rigs with gold hooks, and to attach additional flies to your line.

Dropper Loop Fishing Knot

  1. Form a loop in the line at the desired location. Pass line from one side of loop through and around that side of loop. Make 5+ wraps and keep new loop, which is formed, open.
  2. Push bottom of original loop up through new opening and hold with teeth. Wet knot with saliva and pull both ends in opposite directions.
  3. Pull ends of line evenly until coils tighten and loop stands out from line.


The Arbor Knot – The last knot all kayak anglers should know is the Arbor Knot. Use this knot to quickly attach your monofilament line to your fishing reel. This knot will only work with lines that stretch, which has always worked out for me because I always add a few yards of monofilament backing prior to putting braid on my reels.

Arbor Fishing Knot

  1. Wrap your line around the arbor of the spool with the tag end of the line. Then tie a simple overhand knot around the standing part with the tag end.
  2. Tie a second overhand knot in the tag end just an inch or two from the first overhand knot.
  3. Pull the standing part of the line to slide the first overhand knot down to the spool and the second knot to jam against the first. Trim tag end close
Read 26302 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 May 2014 13:15
Mark Watanabe

Mark "YakSushi" Watanabe is the Co. Founder of YakAngler.com, "He built this site!". He considers himself a mediocre fisherman and an unexceptional writer. He's the devoted father of a ton of little sushis (Air Quotes) and everyday tech ninja.


# DDOlson 2014-04-23 20:57
This is great...I use most of these knots except for the Canoeman Loop. I use a different loop knot called the Perfection Loop. While the Albright Knot is great and I use it more but some fishermen prefer the uni-to-uni knot as they feel it is much stronger.
# YakSushi 2014-04-23 21:57
Quoting DDOlson:
While the Albright Knot is great and I use it more but some fishermen prefer the uni-to-uni knot as they feel it is much stronger.

I used to use the Uni-to-Uni and the Modified Albright is stronger. There is a huge difference in strength between the Modified Albright and the Albright. Here is the Modified Albright vs Uni-to-Uni on Knot Wars http://youtu.be/2R_2xautA1U
# Minorcan 2014-05-03 13:56
Very good article. The drawings and instructions are easy to follow. I use all these knots, they work well. Thanks for posting.

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