How To Tie A Fishing Knot: 9 Easy Knots To Get You Started

dad teaching his young son to untangle knot on fishing line
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Fishing knots are essential tools for anglers all over the world. However, several anglers do not understand the importance of a good knot.

Regardless of how advanced your tackle and techniques are, there’s nothing you can do if your knot fails at a vital moment. On the other hand, if you do get your knot right, the time you spend fishing will become more fun and rewarding.

If you are new to the world of fishing, simple information on the right way to tie a knot will be very beneficial. We understand that the presence of so many fishing knot combinations online can get you confused. So, we have written this article to help you learn the simplest ways of tying fishing knots.

What Is the Best Fishing Knot?

This is a question that most beginners ask. However, there is no straightforward answer for it. This is because there are several excellent fishing knots that you can use.

Each knot will allow you to create critical connections that will give you a better fishing experience. But in the end, some fishing knots are better than others, which we will discuss further down below.

There are many knots a fisherman can use depending on which species of fish he or she is after.

There are many knots a fisherman can use depending on which species of fish he or she is after. In doing research for this article, it was found that most fisherman only use 1 to 3 knots when out on the water. There is no need to know a bunch of knots when there are a few that have been tried and tested for years through hard work and practice.

Even the most accomplished anglers (tournament winners and warrior fishermen) only have 1 or 3 knots they count on. This is because, when a knot is tied correctly, these fishermen know they can put their trust in it.

Characteristics of Fishing Knots

Fishing knots are usually made of several tightly wound turns. They are to be tied in monofilament fishing lines or braided fishing lines and pass through the openings in fishing rods and rigs.

Since a fishing line is low-cost, the focus is usually on reliability and compactness. A fisherman doesn’t worry about untying fishing knots.

Below are excellent knots that you will find easy to tie:

The Improved Clinch Knot

The improved Clinch knot
Source: 101knots.com

Ask any fishermen about fishing knots and the improved clinch knot is one of the first knots that will be mentioned. The improved clinch knot is a knot you need to know how to use.

One of the reasons many like this knot is because it can be tied quickly, even in not-so-great weather conditions. But of course, the strength of the knot is the big selling point. It works best with lighter pound test lines in the 6 to 10 lb. range.

This type of knot can be used to attach a swivel, hook, or lure to a fishing line. An improved clinch knot is one of the strongest knots and it is trusted by anglers in search of big fish.

How to Tie Improved Clinch Knots

Illustration of improved clinch knot
Source: 101knots.com
  1. Carefully pass the working end through the eye of the hook and wrap it around the line between 5 to 7 times.
  2. Direct the working end through the tiny loop close to the eye of the hook. Return it through the loose end of the line.
  3. Moisturize the knot and draw both ends to tighten it.
  4. If necessary, trim the tag end.

Watch this tutorial video to get more information on how this knot is tied.

The Palomar Knot

Palomar Knot
Source: 101knots.com

The Palomar knot has got to be the simplest knot to tie, but it is also one of the strongest (it is a matter of opinion if it is the strongest, so always remember to each his own). It is a great knot for braid, mono, or fluorocarbon line, but most tend to use it with braid.

This type of knot is basically used by fishermen for joining a line to a hook. The Palomar knot is durable and easy to tie. It prevents slipping too. A quick tip when tying this knot is to wet the line before cinching it down (that goes for many of the knots in this article). This prevents too much friction and a broken line.

How to Tie Palomar Knots

how to tie Palomar Knot
Source: 101knots.com
  1. First, double your main line. This will create a loop. You should then pass it through the eye of the hook.
  2. Create a loose overhand knot.
  3. Gently pass the loop through the end of the loop.
  4. Carefully pull the line without letting go of your hook.
  5. If necessary, trim the tag end.

Watch this tutorial video to learn more about the Palomar knot:

The Blood Knot

Blood knot
Source: 101knots.com

The blood knot, also known as the double blood knot, is quite different from the regular fishing knots as it isn’t used for fasting fishing lines to hooks. Instead, the Blood knot is used for tying two lines of similar dimensions together. Though you can be within 1 to 3lb range, you ideally should match up the diameter of each line with one another. It has a breaking strength of around 83%, making it one of the strongest fishing knots you can tie.

This type of knot will be a good choice when you have a pre-strung hook and need to tie to a line with more length. It can also be used for mending a damaged line.

How to Tie Blood Knots

how to tie blood knot
Source: 101knots.com
  • Bring the two lines together and wrap one around the other five times.
  • Repeat the process for the other line. After that, pass the two loose ends through the central loop created.
  • Pull the loose ends and the standing sections to tighten the knot.
  • If necessary, trim the loose ends.

You may also watch this tutorial on how to tie a blood knot:

The Surgeon’s Knot

Surgeon’s knot
Source: 101knots.com

This type of knot is also referred to as the double surgeon’s loop. Similar to the blood knot, this type of knot is used for joining two lines together.

It is also suitable for forming a loop at the end of a line. The double surgeon’s loop is a good knot for anglers as it forms durable loops at the end of fishing lines.

How to Tie Surgeon’s Knots

how to tie a Surgeon’s knot
Source: 101knots.com
  1. Place the lines over another allowing them to overlap by some inches
  2. Tie an overhand knot to form a loop
  3. Gently run the leader and the working end through the loop you created at least twice
  4. Moisturize the knot and tighten all ends by pulling them gently.

To get a better view of the Surgeon’s knot, take a look at this video:

The Hangman’s or Uni Knot

Uni Knot
Source: 101knots.com

Another name for this type of knot is the Duncan loop, Grinner knot, or the uni knot. It is one of the most popular knots used by anglers because it is durable and easy to tie.

The uni knot is a good choice for several applications. It can be used to snell a hook and attach a line to a tackle. It is also good for hooks and swivels. As a result, it is one knot you need to know to make as an angler.

It is another knot used to tie separate lines together. With this knot, however, you can tie different types of lines together. Braid to mono, mono to copolymer. This is a go-to knot for many who are fishing tours or charters trips on the ocean. This is a handy knot for when you have different lines, and you have to “MacGyver” whatever you have on deck.

How to Tie Hangman’s Knots

how to tie Uni Knot
Source: 101knots.com
  1. Insert the line through the eye of the hook and then double back so that the line and standing line become parallel. After that, lay the working end to create a loop above the line.
  2. Wrap the working end around the double line between 7 to 8 times and direct it through the loop.
  3. Get the lines moisturized and pull the tag end so that the knot becomes tight.
  4. To adjust your hangman’s knot, slide it through the eye of the hook. You may also choose to leave a small loop.
  5. Clip the tag end if there is a need for it.

This short video will provide you with a view of the uni knot:

The Double Uni or Uni to Uni Knot

Double Uni Knot
Source: 101knots.com

This knot can also be used to tie two lines together. The knot is more streamlined on the reel and does not get caught up in the eyes of the rod. At the same time, the strength of this knot is enormous.

This knot has been used to tie a leader and a mainline together and fished around rocks and brush when catfishing. It does, however, take some practice to get this knot right. If it is done incorrectly, the line will slip and you will lose your entire rig, let alone the fish.

To use this knot, you simply have to manipulate the uni knot or the hangman’s knot.

How to Tie Double Uni Knots

Double Uni Knot instructions
Source: 101knots.com
  1. Lay both lines to be tied in a way that they overlap. Pick the end of either line and double back. Wrap around the two lines going through the loop about 3 to 4 times. Tighten the knot by gently pulling the tag end.
  2. Carry out the same process with the end of the other line.
  3. After tying two uni knots, make them slide together by gently pulling the standing lines.
  4. If necessary, trim the loose ends.

This tutorial video will give you a better view of the double uni knot:

The Bobber Stopper Knot

Bobber Stopper Knot
Source: 101knots.com

The stopper knot is loved by fishermen who make use of slip bobbers and slip floats. Users of this knot attach it to the main line over the slip bobbers. The stopper knot ensures that the line remains in its location.

When fishing with a stopper knot, you will have the option of making changes to the sliding bobber to get the depth you need. It will also be beneficial during casting as you can reel it in through the eyes of the fishing rod.

The slip bobber will move up the main line when your bait reaches the preferred depth.  It will come to a halt once it reaches the stopper knot.

How to Tie a Stopper Knot

Bobber Stopper Knot instructions
Source: 101knots.com
  1. To start with, you will need a fishing line that isn’t less than 6 inches in length. Attach the stopper parallel to the line at your preferred point. Form a loop by doubling back.
  2. Make between 3 to 4 turns around the two lines and direct each of them through the open loop.
  3. Gently pull the stopper’s working ends in opposite directions until tight enough to create a knot.
  4. If necessary, clip the working end.

You may watch this video to get a better view of the stopper knot:

The Dropper Loop

dropper loop knot
Source: 101knots.com

The dropper loop is a knot that you will find very useful if you will be adding extra baits and flies to your fishing line.

In this type of knot tying, you should try to create as few loops as possible. This will help you prevent fouling and twisting.

How to Tie a Dropper Loop

dropper loop knot instructions
Source: 101knots.com
  • To begin with, create a loop in the fishing line.
  • Pick up either end of the loop and wrap it around the main line. Make 6 turns or more.
  • Pick up the initial loop and run it through the middle of the opening.
  • Keep the initial loop in place with your teeth and with your saliva, moisturize the knot. Carefully pull the two sides of the line in different directions.
  • Once the coils become tight, the loop will stand at 90 degrees to the line.

Note: The area in which the turns are made must remain open. You may put your finger in the middle of the opening to achieve this.

Learn more on how to tie a dropper loop in this video:

The Snelling a Hook or Snell Knot

Snell Knot
Source: 101knots.com

The final piece that we will be looking at is the knotless knot. It is one of the simplest and fastest methods of snelling a hook. It is used by anglers to join fishing lines to hooks.

Also, this is a must-know knot for men and women who love to catfish. Learning how to tie the knot is easy, but it can be just as easy to have it work against you. Two-time King Kat points champion, Chris Sounders, explains how to snell the hook properly so it will have a “trigger effect” when a catfish tries to take live or cut bait.

Another benefit of this knot is it gets tighter as the fish resists being pulled in. It has been mentioned the knot could possibly fail if the fish swims towards the angler loosening the knot, though this is extremely rare. Fianlly, this knot setup is also used for deep sea fishing.

How to Tie Knotless Knots

how to tie a snell knot
Source: 101knots.com
  1. Firstly, the leader line has to be cut to your preferred measurement. Then, attach a loop to the line to keep the bait in place.
  2. Keep the hook’s shank in place with the leader’s working end. Wrap from the shank to the end of the leader about 7 to 8 times. You will have to ensure that the lines do not overlap.
  3. Once you finish wrapping, pick up the second end of the leader and carefully direct it from the rear of the hook’s eye to its front.
  4. Moisturize the knot and tighten it by pulling the leader’s other end and at the same time keeping the hook and line in place with the aid of a loop. The snell knot will be set this way.

Watch this video to get a better view of the knotless knot:

Some Important Tips

The following tips will help you tie fishing knots better:

  • Always select the right knot and ensure that you tie it properly
  • Lubricate or moisturize your knot with water or saliva before you tighten
  • Always take your time to tighten your fishing knots
  • Trim your fishing knots to remove the tag end
  • Practice regularly.

Key Insights & Takeaways

Fishing illustrations during different seasons

There are many different knots to choose from and only a few were mentioned in this article. But these are the top choices of professional anglers as well as people who just enjoy the sport of fishing.

Many chose 1 to 3 go knots depending on the line they are using or the fish they are going after. A few people just stick with one knot for everything.

Whether you choose 1 or 100 knots, the important aspect to remember is to have faith in what you are using. There is not one knot that will be good for every fisherman (and fisherwoman). Each will develop a personal way of setting up their rig and using the knots they feel are best and easiest for them.

Experiment with the knots in this article. You may find you like one over the one you have been using for years. But also, do not limit yourself to the knots above.

It has never been easier to learn so much in a short time, thanks to mobile devices and the internet. Here are some resources for different knots and how to tie them.

  1. Pro-Knot iPhone App – if you have an iPhone, this is a great app that provides detailed instructions and tips on how to tie knots.
  2. Animated Knots– This app provides simple animations of how to tie fishing knots. This is also available in the Google play store. Click here.
  3. Knots 3D – There are over 120 knots on this app, so you will find one that fits your style of fishing.

If you are like me and do not like looking at a small screen, below are resources you can pull up on your computer or mobile devices:

  1. 101knots.com – This is a great site for ALL your knot needs, not just for fishing but for climbing and sailing as well.
  2. Go Freshwater Fishing – Very clean site that has how-to videos for tying knots.
  3. 1source.basspro.com – Probably the #1 source for all things fishing the writers put together a downloadable PDF of the most popular fishing knots.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how good your gear is or how expensive it is. What matters, in the end, is landing the fish that’s been enticed by your bait or lure. You do not want something as simple as the knot you use, to be your undoing.

Happy Fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to tie a fishing knot?


There are several ways to tie a fishing knot and anglers tend to prefer some methods to others. The best method for you will depend on your preferences.

What is the strongest fishing knot?


This is very debatable among fishermen. Most consider the Palomar to be the strongest knot, while others believe it’s the blood knot. Each fisherman has to test this for themselves. But if you bypass all of the trial and error, you can click this link for an overview of knots faired against one another.

What is the easiest fishing knot to tie?


If the lines aren’t of similar weight, then the easiest knot you can tie is the double surgeon’s knot. On the other hand, the Palomar knot is the easiest option for attaching a line to a hook.

Thavius
Thavius
I've been a fisherman for over 35 years. From catching small bullheads with my grandfather at his pond to catching strippers on the backwaters of the Chattahoochee, I love to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water.

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