all knots remember to lubricate the line before pulling tight
There is one small hitch
encountered by many first time knot-tiers. Their expert instructors seem to
assume that their fellow fishermen are familiar with the Surgeon's Knot, the
Bimini Twist and the like. But long before I moved into the field of
knot-tying, I was content to join a line-to-swivel, swivel-to-trace and
trace-to-hook via a Simple Loop Knot, where the loop is made only perhaps 25mm
long - just long enough to pass over the hook and swivel.
The Loop Knot can be tied
readily in the dark, and equally readily attached to swivel and hook. If
fishing for flathead, you may have more confidence in your gear if the loop to
the hook is made about 12.5cm long, thus taking the fish on a doubled trace.
As experience is gained,
you may wish to move on from the Loop Knot to knots that lie closer to hook
One of these is the Half
Blood Knot, which is more correctly half of the Barrel Knot.
THIS KNOT WILL SLIP. It has cost me more fish than I want to remember.
If you must use it, then
you have two choices:
a) Stop the end of the
line with a simple Overhand Knot, and draw it against the turns of the knot.
b) or make the Half Blood
Knot into a Clinch Knot.
illustrations are fairly well all-purpose, but for tropical waters we strongly
suggest that a 35-45lb mono leader be used prior to attaching a lure. If you
are going after fish like mackerel, it is also a good idea to use black wire
Pass the line through the
eye of the hook, or swivel.
Double back. make five
turns around the line.
Pass the end of the line
through the first loop, above the eye, and then through the large loop. Draw
the knot into shape.
Slide the coils down tight
against the eye.
Another beautifully simple
knot that can be tied in the dark, The Jansik Special is a high strength knot
tied as follows:
Put 15cm of line through
the eye of the hook.
Bring it around in a
circle and put the end through again.
Making a second circle,
pass then end through a third time.
Holding the three circles
of line against each other, wrap the end three times around the circles.
Either hold the hook
steady with pliers, or make it fast to boat's rigging or safety lines.
Holding strain on the
hook, pull on both ends of the line to tighten.
The Palomar Knot is
another very simple knot for terminal tackle. It is regarded by the
International Game Fish Association consistently as the strongest knot known.
It's great virtue is that it can safely be tied at night with a minimum of
Double about 12.5cm of
line, and pass through the eye.
Tie a simple Overhand Knot
in the doubled line, letting the hook hang loose. Avoide twisting the lines.
Pull the end of loop down,
passing it completely over the hook.
Pull both ends of the line
to draw up the knot.
There are at least 6
variations of the uni- Knot, - all of them excellent for terminal tackle,
swivels and hooks. The "standard" Uni- Knot holds only five turns when
tied in monofilament nylon. If tied in rope, and used for its stated purpose,
it takes eight turns.
Pass a 15cm loop of line
through the eye.
Bring the end back on
itself, passing it under the doubled part.
Make five loops over the
The formed knot is worked
The knot is sent down the
line, against the eye of the hook or swivel.
Snelling A Hook
One small problem is the
variety of names that mey be applied to the one knot, for examle, a Granny is
a False Knot, a Clove Hitch is a Waterman's Knot, an Overhand Knot is a Thumb
Knot. But when we come to snelling a hook, the length of nylon attached to the
hook may be a snell or a snood.
I now find that the actual
job of tying the snood may be called snoozing, while snelling is often
jealously thought of as an art restricted to the fly fisherman. I have fished
with bottom-fisherman on the Great Barrier Reef who routinely snell their
Restricted to lines of
breaking strength less than about 20kg, the process is a simple one.
Pass the end of the line,
trace or tippet through the eye twice, leaving a loop hanging below the hook.
Hold both lines along the
shank of the hook.
Use the loop to wind tight
coils around the shank and both lines, from the eye upwards. Use from 5 to 10
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.
With coils drawn up, use
pliers to pull up the end of the line.
Joining Line To Line
There are two top grade
knots used to join one line to another, where these are approximately of the
same thickness. These are the Blood Knot and the Hangman's Knot - also called
the Uni Knot by the International Game Fish Association.
Where there diameters are
very dissimilar, either the Surgeon's Knot should be used, or the thinner line
should be doubled where the knot is formed.
Lie the ends of the two
lines against each other, overlapping about 15cm.
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.
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.
Work the knot up into
loops, taking care that the two ends do not slip out of position.
Draw the knot up tightly.
Uni-Knot Version Of The
A better join can be made
using one of the Hangman's Knots, known to the International Game Fish
Association fisherman as the Uni-Knot.
This is a knot used for
attaching the line to the spool of the reel.
Overlap the two lines for
Using one end, form a
circle that overlies both lines.
Pass the end six times
around the two lines.
Pull the end tight to draw
the knot up into shape.
Repeat the process using
the end of the other line.
Pull both lines to slide
the two knots together.
Earlier mention was made
that if the two lines to be joined vary greatly in their diameters, the lesser
line may be doubled at the knot, or the Surgeon's Knot may be used. In the
latter case, it will probably be necessary to have one of the lines rolled on
a spool, or perhaps wrapped on a temporary card, so that it may be passed
through the loop.
Lay the two lines against
each other, overlapping about 22.5 cm.
Working the two lines as
one, tie an Overhand Knot. It will be necessary to pull one line (say the
leader) completely through this loop.
Pull the leader through
this loop again.
Pass the other end through
The formed knot can now be
worked into shape.
The offshore fisherman
often have a need to tie a double line - a long loop of line that is obviously
stronger, and easier to handle, than the line itself. In accordance with
International Game Fish Association Rules, the double line may be up to 4.5m
long in lines up to 10kg, and as much as 9m in heavier lines.
The double may be tied by
means of the simple Spider Hitch with lines to 15kg. The big game boys use the
Bimini Twist, a double that is normally formed by two people who make the
intitial twenty twists. The Bimini is obviously beyond the scope of this
little book. It's smaller brother, the Spider Hitch, is a much faster and
easier knot for the light tackle fisherman.
Form a loop of the desired
length, say 1.25m.
Twist a section into a
This is the only tricky
part - hold this loop with thumb and forefinger, the thumb extending above the
finger, and with the loop standing up beyond the tip of the thumb.
Wind the doubled line
around the thumb and the loop 5 times.
Send the rest of the long
loop through the small loop, and pull gently to unwind the turns off the
The knot is now formed and
worked into tight coils
Offshore Swivel Knot
This is a special knot
used for attaching a swivel to a double line.
Put the end of the double
line through the eye of the swivel.
Rotate the end half a
turn, putting a single twist between the end of the loop and the swivel eye.
Pass the loop with the
twist over the swivel. Hold the end of the loop, together with the double,
with one hand, and allow the swivel to slide to the end of the double loops
that have formed.
Continue holding the loop
and the lines with the right hand. Use the left hand to rotate the swivel
through both loops 6 times or more.
Keep pressure on both
parts of the double line. Release the loop. Pull on the swivel and loops of
line will start to form.
Holding the swivel with
pliers, or (better still) attaching it with a short length of line to the
rigging, push the loop down towards the eye while keeping pressure on the
Surgeons End Loop
Loops are made for the
purpose of attaching leaders, traces or other terminal tackle. They have the
advantage that they can be tied quickly and in the dark. The Surgeon's End
Loop is an easy way to go.
Take the end of the line
and double it to form a loop of the required size.
Tie an Overhand Knot at
the desired point, leaving the loop open.
Bring the doubled line
through the loop again.
Hold the line and the end
part together, and pull the loop to form a knot.
Blood Bight Knot
Another end loop can be
tied quickly and easily using the Blood Bight Knot.
Double the line back to
make a loop of the size desired.
Bring the end of the loop
twice over the doubled part.
Now pass the end of the
loop through the first loop formed in the doubled part.
Draw the knot up into
shape, keeping pressure on both lines.
The Blood Bight Knot is
often used for attaching a dropper when fishing deep water with several hooks.
Some anglers attached the
hook directly to the end of the loop, which should be at least 30cm from the
end of the line. This is not a good practice, especially when the fish are
shy. Far better to attach a single strand of nylon to a short Blood Bight
Knot, using another Blood Bight Knot, or a Surgeon's Knot.
A better method of forming
a loop, or loops, in the line above the sinker is to use the old Dropper Loop.
This draws into a knot that stands out at right angles to the line.
If desired, the loops can
be made long enough to have a hook set on them. And once again, this is not a
good practice unless the fish are biting-mad, which they rarely are.
Form a loop in the line.
Take hold of one side of
the loop, and make 6 or more turns around the line itself.
This is the tricky part -
keep open the point where the turns, or twists, are being made.
Take hold of the other
side of the loop, and pull it through the centre opening. use a finger in this
loop so that it is not lost.
Hold this loop between the
teeth. Pull gently on both ends of the line, making the turns gather and pack
down on either side of the loop.
Draw up the knot by
pulling the lines as tightly as possible. The turns will make the loop stand
at right angles to the line.
Tucked Sheet Bend
Usually employed by the
fly fisherman, the Tucked Sheet Bend is commonly used for joining the backing
line to the tapered line. It is not an especially compact knot, but has a very
strong attachment which cannot be said for the more aesthetically pleasing
1 Make a Blood Bight (see
above) at the end of the backing line.
2 Take the end of the
tapered line. Pass it through the Blood Bight and make a simple Sheet Bend.
3 Now pass the end of the
tapered line back through the closed loop of the Sheet Bend.
4 Hold both ends of the
tapered line to tighten and draw into shape.
The float fisherman uses a
running float for casting and general handiness, and stops the float from
running up the line by using the Float Stop. It has the advantage that the
stops moves readily over the rod guides, but grips the monofilament nylon so
tightly that it will not slide over the line.
It should be made with
about 12.5cm of nylon, usually the same diameter as the line itself.
Take 2 turns (3 if
necessary) around the main line at the chosen point.
Bring both ends around to
form a Surgeon's Knot (see above).
Tighten into shape
bringing the coils close together.
I have included the
still-used Turle Knot for old times sake. Also known as the Turtle Knot, and
Major Turle's Knot, it is simplicity itself to tie, but is one of the weakest
It should never be used
for light lines, and there are better knots for use with heavy ones.
Pass the line through the
eye of the hook.
Make a simple loop.
Carry the end of the line
on to make a Simple Overhand Knot upon the loop.
Pass the loop over the
Draw up into shape.
Double Turle Knot
Tied in monofilament
nylon, the Turle Knot may slip unless another Simple Overhand Knot is made at
the end of the line where it leaves the Turle Knot.
It is improved
substantially by using the Double Turle Knot.
Pass the line through the
eye of the hook or swivel.
Make two simple loops, and
carry the line on to make a Simple Overhand Knot around both loops.
Pass both of these loops
over the hook or swivel.
Pull on both parts of the
line to draw the knot up into shape against the eye of the hook or swivel.
The breaking strength is
for the Trilene knot is close to 100% for most lines and diameters. It is
always above 90% if tied correctly.
Can form a loop that
tightens when under strain. Its strength almost compares to the Trilene knot
with a 95% avarage. It's a little harder to remember than the Trilene knot.
The Albright Knot
Use - Joining lines of
different diameter to line or wire.
Make a loop in the heavier
Run the lighter line
through the loop and down around an inch of the loop's length. Twist the
lighter line around the loop 8 or 9 times.
Run the tag end of the
lighter line through the loop toward the main shaft of the lighter line.
Wet the knot and pull it
tight. Trim excess.
The King Sling
Use - For lures. Allows
you to make a natural presentation.
Pull about 10 inches of
the line through the eye of the lure and double the line.
Form a large loop with the
doubled line and twist it three or four times.
Pass the lure through the
Pull the tag end and the
main line until the knot tightens.
The Double Uni-Knot
Use - All purpose
Run the line through the
eye of your hook or lure. Bring about 6 inches through the eye. Take the tag
end and bend about half its length back towards the eye in a circular loop.
Twist the tag end around
the doubled line through the circular loop about 6 times. Pull the tag end
through the loop.
Tighten the knot up
against the eye. Trim the excess.
The Bimini Twist is used primarily for offshore trolling,
double-line leaders and connecting the main fishing line to shock tippits.
The Crawford knot often is overlooked by even the most skilled
anglers. It is a very versatile knot for tying most types of hook, swivel, or
lure "eyes" to a leader or line. The Crawford knot is not nearly so difficult to
tie as it looks.