How To Tie Fishing Knots Step by Step – The Essential Guide

Don’t let fishing knots twist and turn your mind—learn them easily with the Videos below!

Just because you fish does not mean you can tie knots like a sailor. Some of us still have trouble with our neckties. Right?

You might ask yourself:

What are the strongest fishing knots? What are the best fishing knots for hooks? Or the best line to line fishing knots?

Best Fishing Knots - How to tie a Fishing Knot - Tutorials

When fishing knots twist your brain so much that you reach the end of your rope, it is time to go back to the drawing board: a knots book or, even better, online tutoring such as videos on YouTube.

To make it easier for you, we have selected the best how-to videos about fly fishing knots, fishing hook knots and fishing line knots and present them here in our best fishing knot guide all on one page.

With no further ado, let’s learn how to tie the knots most essential to your pursuit of fish.

The First Fishing Knot We Learn: The Clinch Knot

Even the most necktie-challenged anglers probably know the clinch knot and its sturdier cousins, the improved clinch and the double-clinch. You learn them from a fishing parent when just a kid. Right?

How to tie a Clinch Knot

The clinch is mostly used to tie a lure, swivel, or the eye of a sinker to a leader or directly to the line. It is sufficient for almost any type or weight of fish when it comes to streams, lakes or ponds where bass, trout, panfish or even large salmonids and steelhead flourish. The improved clinch makes it more snap-proof by 10 to 20 percent and the double-clinch, well, doubly so.

Tying the Improved Clinch Knot Correctly

The Double Clinch Knot

The Turle Knot

If you ever graduated from spin fishing to fly fishing, you most likely learned about this knot if not how to tie it. Its virtue lies in its strength and void of leverage inherent to the clinch knot.

The turle knot (some spell it as “thurle”) allows a fly (or surface lure such as a Rapala) to lie more naturally on the water. In other words, the stiffness of several loops involved in a clinch knot creates a leverage on the fly that affects how it lies. Its multiple loops and bulk also risk more visibility than the compact turle when it comes to skittish fish.

The Surgeon’s Knot – An Easy Line to Line Fishing Knot

Those fly fishers who don’t know a cautery from a curette probably still know what a surgeon’s knot is, especially if they tie their own tapered fly leaders. The surgeon’s is actually a shortcut knot for joining two fine nylon lines.

When needing to change your tippet while in waders on a stream, this knot is easy and quick enough to beat the cessation of a fleeting hatch. Conversely, it is also simple enough to prepare your tapered leaders at home while watching your favorite fishing show.

Fishing Hook Knot: The Snell Knot

This is the knot you see tied to those Eagle Claw hooks that come in long plastic packages at your favorite tackle store. They often include a loop at the top of the eight or so inches of monofilament for easy attachment to your main line. The snell is intended for maximum strength and usually for hooks bearing bait.

Variation: The Sliding Snell Fishing Knot

Its variation, the adjustable or sliding snell, is common to salmon fishing in which a herring or candlefish needs to be double-hooked (one hook near the head and the other near the anal fin) to create action on the bait fish.

You can adjust the bend in the bait by simply pulling on the lead hook, which in turn brings the tail hook closer to the head and renders a greater bend in the bait for more spin. Be careful not to put too much bend in your herring or other bait fish, lest you end up with an unnatural spin that messes up your line.

The Egg Loop Knot

Chicken livers and egg roe do share one thing in common when it comes to fishing: the egg loop knot. Whether tempting catfish or an anadromous (migrating) salmonid, the egg loop keeps bait attached more firmly to the hook than simple gobbing it onto the point of your hook. It ends up saving you a lot of dough on roe and shrimp or trips to the grocery for chicken offal.

The loop is part of a two-staged snell knot, in essence. The only hazard is a ball of bait or roe too viscous to avoid being severed in two by the cinching of the loop.

Make sure your roe is treated to provide some stiff terseness to the eggs and that your catfish gob is equally resistant. Shrimp are usually armored just enough to keep from being sheared by the monofilament loop.

The Strongest Fishing Knot: The Blood Knot

Finally, we get to the knot that can save your reputation when dealing with hard-running sport fish or behemoths of the sea—the blood knot. It is mostly used to join two lines, such as fly line to backing on your reel or braided line to any other type of line.

If you imagine two clinch knots interconnected, you begin to get the idea of a blood knot. It’s virtually a knot as unbreakable as a mother’s love for her children, her own flesh and blood, to borrow the cliché.

Fishing Knot Tying Tools

If you want to tie perfect fishing knots quickly and easily all the time, it might be a smart idea to get a fishing knot tying tool. There are a variety of these little helpers on the market. Just ask for one in your favorite fishing tackle shop. Wether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, these little knot tying tools should be part of your tackle box.

Tie on one

There you go. If you are just starting out in fishing or you are just an office-allergic soul whose mind is never on remembering how to tie his own necktie, all you need to do is remember or bookmark otherwise these essential knots. There are many more handy fishing knots, but not as basic and critical as these. Fish around on YouTube for them.

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