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Fishing Knots

Below we've compiled some useful how-to's for some basic fishing knots. Although not an exhaustive list, the fishing knots below will get any angler prepared for most saltwater fishing and fly fishing situations.

Blood Knot | Clinch Knot | Palomar Knot | Snell Knot | Surgeon's Knot
Uni Knot | Uni to Uni Knot | Non-slip Mono Loop Knot

Blood Knot - Leader-to-leader knot
  1. Lie the ends of the two lines against each other, over- lapping about six inches.
  2. Take 5 turns around one line with the end of the other, and bring the end back where it's held between the two lines.
  3. Repeat by taking 5 turns around the other line, bringing the end back between the two lines. These two ends should then project in opposite directions.
  4. Work the knot up into loops, taking care that the two ends do not slip out of position.
  5. Draw the knot up tightly.

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Clinch Knot - For joining line or leader to termiinal tackle
  1. Pass the line through the eye of the hook or swivel.
  2. Double back. Make five turns around the line.
  3. Pass the end of the line through the first loop, above the eye, and then through the large loop. Draw the knot into shape.
  4. Slide the coils down tight against the eye

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Palomar Knot - forjoining line or leader to hooks
  1. Double about five inches of line, and pass through the eye.
  2. Tie a simple Overhand Knot in the doubled line letting the hook hang loose. Avoid twisting the lines.
  3. Pull the end of loop down, passing it completely over the hook.
  4. Pull both ends of the line to draw up the knot.

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Snell Knot - for securing fishing hooks to line or leader
  1. Pass the end of the line, trace or tippet through the eye twice, leaving a loop hanging below the hook.
  2. Hold both lines along the shank of the hook.
  3. Use the loop to wind tight coils around the shank and both lines, from the eye upwards. Use from 5 turns.
  4. Use the fingers to hold these tight coils in place. Pull the line (extending from the eye) until the whole loop has passed under these tight coils.
  5. With coils drawn up, use pliers to pull up the end of the line.

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Surgeon's Knot - For joining significantly different diameter line to leader
  1. Lay the two lines against each other, overlapping about nine inches.
  2. Working the two lines as one, tie an Overhand Knot. It will be necessary to pull one line (the leader) completely through this loop.
  3. Pull the leader through this loop again.
  4. Pass the other end through the loop.
  5. Lubricate the knot with saliva or knot lube and cinch tightly.

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Uni Knot - For joining line or leader to terminal tackle
  1. Pass a six inch loop of line through the eye. Bring the end back on itself, passing it under the doubled part.
  2. Make five loops over the doubled part. (Eight loops for braided lines)
  3. Pull the tag end tight to form the knot .
  4. Continue pulling to cinch the knot down against the eye of the hook or swivel.
Uni-Uni Knot - for joining line to leader
  1. Overlap the two lines for about six inches.
  2. Using one end, form a circle that overlies both lines.
  3. Pass the end six to eight times around the two lines.
  4. Pull the tag end tight to form the first knot.
  5. Repeat the process using the end of the other line.
  6. Pull both lines to slide the two knots together.
Non-Slip Mono Loop Knot - loop knot for artificial baits and flies
1) This is one of the few knots where you begin the knot before you insert the line in the hook's eye. Make a simple overhand knot. Bring the tag end through the eye and back through the overhand knot. You must return the tag end through the overhand knot the same way you entered it (see illustration above).
2) Make the recommended number of turns with the tag end around the standing line.
3) Return the tag end through the overhand knot the same way you exited the knot (see illustration).

4) Draw on the tag end until the knot forms together. Then pull on the standing line to close the knot well. Finally, pull on both the tag end and standing line to assure the connection is as tight as possible.


Sizing the Loop
The size of the loop is determined by three factors:

1) The smaller the overhand knot, the smaller the loop. For small loops, try to make the overhand knot no more than 3/16 inch in diameter (about the size of a large split shot.

2) Once the tag end has been inserted through the hook eye and back through the overhand knot, hold the overhand knot lightly, and pull on the tag end. This will carry the overhand knot down near the hook eye.

3) When finally closing the knot, pull out as much slack as possible between the tag end and standing line.

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