Know your knots

It’s a good time to review – When anglers talk about their fishing gear, secret locations and special techniques, they seem to ignore one of the most important parts of their system. The fishing knot. Most anglers are very complacent about knots. They typically will just tie them and forget them.

Usually, they are tied once and unless they change a jig head or add line, these are good for the day, a week or longer.

But little do most anglers realize that the knot is the weakest part of their fishing gear and should be re-tied periodically.  And if they are not tied correctly, they could cost the angler not only their catch but the gear and rigging.

There are dozens of different fishing knots used by anglers. But there are only several that are actually needed.  They fall into three categories: line to line, line to tackle or gear “tight”, and line to tackle or gear “loose”.

Let’s talk about the first type: line to line. Knots that work best for tying line to lines are 1) double uni-knots, 2) simplified blood knot and 3) Albright knot. These are all very easy to tie and will perform well in most circumstances. The first two are used on lines of equal diameter. While the Albright knot can be used on equal or unequal diameter lines.

The second type of knots are the line to tackle “tight”. Knots that hold the line to the tackle are single uni-knot, palmar knot, improved clinch knot, and Snelling knot. Each of these knots are suitable for securing the tackle to the end of the leader. 

The third type of knot is the line to tackle “loose”. This category contains a Doppler loop knot, double surgeon’s knot and spider hitch. These knots allow anglers to create loops or a loose connection that will give the hook or lure more action.

There are many more knots to choose from such as Bimini Twist and FG knots. Braid, monofilament and fluorocarbon lines will respond a little differently to these knots. Please know this is only a sample list of the most popular and frequently used knots so it’s important to learn which one works best for each application.

Not familiar with some of these knots?  Check the “Fishing Knots” section on my website or YouTube for great “how-to” videos.

Tip: Remember knots are the weakest link in your gear set up so it is imperative that re-tie your knots at least daily. And while you are inspecting your knots, it could also be a great time to check the condition of your other components and connections.

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony