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Fishing Line Knot Tying

Learning how to tie proper fishing line knots can save you time, money on lost bait, hooks, lures and from the possible frustration of losing a prize fish. Fishing knots need to be pulled very tight before they are used. Nail clippers or small grooming scissors work well for trimming the ends of the fishing line as close to the knot as possible.

Fishing Line Knot Tying

Common Fishing Knots

The following list includes common fishing knots and what they are typically used for. Click on each knot name to see an animated guide on how to tie them.

Uni Knot - Used to tie fishing line to terminal tackle, this basic knot can also be varied to meet practically any fresh water or saltwater fishing.

Snell Knot - This is a strong knot used for bait fishing. It must be used with a leader.

Clinch Knot - a good knot for attaching a leader to a fly or joining fishing line to a lure or hook.

Trilene Knot - This reliable knot resists slipping and is used to join fishing line to swivels, lures, hooks and snaps.

Palomar Knot - a basic knot used to join fishing line to lures, hooks, snaps and swivels. The double wrap provides extra strength.

Arbor Knot - A quick, easy knot to attach fishing line to the reel spool.

Blood Knot - This knot is used to tie two pieces of fishing line together.

Surgeon's Loop - If you need to make a loop in the end of your line, this knot provides a quick and easy solution.

Bimini Twist - Another knot used to creating a loop at the end of your fishing line. Almost as strong as a new, unknotted fishing line.

Australian Braid - About equal in strength to the Bimini Twist, this knot is also used to make a loop in your fishing line.

Breaking Strength

Fishing line is rated by its breaking strength, or how much force it takes to break the line. Most fishing knots are believed to weaken the breaking strength of the fishing line they are used on by 50 percent. The Bimini Twist and Australian Braid are thought to have very high breaking strength, almost the same as the line used to tie them.

Practicing Tying Knots

The easiest way to learn and practice tying different fishing knots is to use a rope. Rope is easier to handle than monofilament fishing line and you can see the loops, turns and twists easier with a rope. Once you have the knot learned on a rope, start practicing with different types of fishing line.

Lubrication and Testing

To get the tightest knot possible, it's important to wet the fishing line before tying the knot. Moisture will allow you to pull the knot tighter than if the line is dry. Once you have tightened the knot, test it by pulling on the tag end before you clip it, pull on the main line and on the terminal tackle. If you notice any slippage, trim the line and start over.

The More you Tie, the Faster it Gets

Tying a secure fishing knot may seem tedious at first. However, the more you do it, the easier and faster it will become. With a little practice and muscle memory in your fingers, you'll be whipping out these knots in no time.