How To Tie Fishing Knots

Learn how to tie fishing knots in this video!

Loading the player ...

View Transcript

Hey guys, this is Gene Jensen with BassResource.com. Today, I'm going to talk about basic fishing knots. First of all, in the back of the boat, you guys can see. That's one of my favorite fishing partners. That's my middle son, Jordan. We're out trying to catch some summertime bass on this hump. But, anyway, fishing knots.

   Fishing knots are very important when it comes to being effective and being successful in catching fish. I've had Boy Scouts tie the simple, little overhand knots on their fishing line and watched them pull out on the hook set while the fish are fighting. The overhand knots pull out. So, fishing knots are...having a specific knot that's designed for monofilament or braid or fluorocarbon, or any of the popular fishing lines is very important. So, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to put together some how-to, simple... You're going to see nothing but my hands and me tying knots, but some simple clips on how to tie the basic fishing knots. The ones I use the most, and the ones a lot of people use the most.

   When I teach my Boy Scouts about how to tie regular knots, there's a rule that we go by. What's the definition of a good knot? Well, a definition of a good knot when you're talking about rope and string and stuff like that is it needs to be easy to tie, effective, and easy to untie. Well, with fishing knots, it's a little bit different. They need to be easy to tie, because you don't want to spend all of your day tying knots. They have to be effective. In other words, they need to have a good breaking strength. But they don't need to be easy to untie, because you have a pair of scissors. So that's the difference. And when I say breaking strength, what I'm talking about is, you want your knot to be as close to the same breaking strength as the line you're using. Some knots are not. Some knots actually are weaker than your line, and you don't typically want that.

   So the knots I'm going to put together are the Palomar knot, which is probably the most widely used, the improved clinch knot, the loop knot, which is used for crankbaits and jerkbaits when you don't have one of those little split rings, and the Albright knot, which you'd use to connect fluorocarbon with braid. So sit back, watch my boring videos, and I hope you learn something. Take them out and practice them. So, take care.

   All right. First knot we're going to talk about is the Palomar knot. The Palomar knot is probably the most widely used to attach a hook or a lure to your line. It's very simple to do. Like with any good knot, it's easy to tie and it's got good breaking strength. So, I'm just going to run through it real quick and kind of show you what it is.

   You take your main line, you run it through the eye of your hook. Then you run it back through the eye of the hook. So, what you've done is, you've created a loop, just like that. And depending on how big your lure is, is how big that loop right there's going to be. Actually, you want to tie an overhand knot. I'm having trouble with this line. So you tie your overhand knot so it looks something like that, but don't tighten anything down, don't cinch anything down yet. You want to reach through the loop and grab your lure, or your hook, or whatever, and slide it over. Now, you want to pull everything up to above the eye of the hook, just like this.

   Now, this is where most people make a mistake when tightening this down and tightening most any knot down is, they'll want to pull the main line to try to save some length on their line. By doing that, when this thing cinches down, it causes damage to your main line that's coming through that knot. Now, this line, this string I'm using is a little bit hard to cinch down on this Palomar knot. Let me see if I can get it done without messing up too much. I have to loosen up a little bit.

   So what you do is, you tighten down using...you wet your line with a little bit of spit or whatever, and you tighten down using your tagline. And what that does is it prevents your main line from being damaged while tying that, while pulling that knot tight. And that's basically what it looks like, just like that. Clip off your tag end, and you're ready to go.

   Palomar knots, it's breaking strength is pretty close to 100%, so you shouldn't have any problems with that one when you tie it correctly. Just remember, do not tighten it down using your main line. Tighten it down using your tagline, so you damage your tag line, and then pinch it off. And that's it, Palomar knot.

   All right, the next one I'm going to show you is the improved clinch knot. It's another way to tie your lure or your hook to your line. And this is actually the one I use the most. You start off, and you pass your line through the hook. Hold on, let me do it from the other side. I'm right handed, and I've tied this so many times, I have to do it a certain way or I just mess it up. So pass your line through the eye of your hook. And I run it through my fingers, like that, just to keep a little bit of tension on the main line. Then, twist it six or eight times around, six or eight revolutions. So, I've got quite a few twists in that line. Now grab hold of this tagline and what I've done is, I've created a little bitty loop in between the eye of the hook and the line or in the twists. And then I poke that through. So I've created another little loop right here, and I reach through, and I stick that tagline back through that loop. I'll do that one more time before I cinch it down.

   Just like this. Twist, six or eight times. The smaller the diameter of the line, the more times you want to twist. It's all about friction. You want to put as much friction as you can on this knot without so much friction that it breaks while you're tightening it down. So I've done it six or eight times, through that little hole, and then through the little loop, just like this. Kind of pull everything snug. When you get down to about right there, spit on it or get it wet or anything else to moisten it down, and pull everything tight. And then clip your tag end. Once you clip your tag end, you're ready to go. This is another really good knot with a really good knot strength. It's out and it's around 100% also, just like the Palomar knot. The improved clinch knot.

   All right, the next one is one that I do not tie very often. But, when you're tying to a jerkbait or a crankbait or anything else that does not have a split ring on it, here's a really good knot. They call it the loop knot. I've heard it called other things, like a Rapala knot or anything else. Before you even touch your lure, about six or eight inches up the line, tie an overhand knot, but tie it loose. Just like that. Then, pass your line through. Come up above your loop, and you're going to tie... I'm sorry, go through your loop. That's right. So it looks just like this. And what you're going to do is, you're going to tie an improved clinch knot right here. You're going to hold it, five or six times. You're going to go through that overhand knot that you tied, and then through that loop. It's an improved clinch knot. And you're going to tighten everything down. Ultimately, you want that a little bit closer, but just so you guys can see it a little bit better, I did that. There it is. It's a loop knot, and this loop will not slide up or down, so that gives you freedom of movement in your jerkbaits and your crankbaits.

   All right. This next knot is used to tie a fluorocarbon leader. We're going to say this red line is the fluorocarbon leader, to a braided line or a braided main line. A lot of guys have been asking about this. I have done a lot of research on this knot or on this type of a knot. I've tried a blood knot, I've tied a surgeon's knot, I've tried all kinds of different little knots that I've used over the years for tying two lines together, and this is, by far, the best one that I've seen. By reputation, it's also become the best one for connecting fluorocarbon to braided line, and I'm going to show you why.

   First thing you do is you take your fluorocarbon line, and you just make it make a loop, just like that. That's it. That's all you'll ever do to this fluorocarbon line. Everything else is done with the braided line. You take your braided line, you pass it through that loop, and give yourself plenty of slack. Then, you're going to take, and you're going to make ten wraps. Because this line's so big, I am not going to make ten wraps or I'll never get it tight. But, you make ten wraps with your braided line. Then, you come back down with three or four wraps, back down. Holding this right here, three or four more wraps. You're bringing back down to the beginning part of your knot. See which way your line goes in, you want your tagline to go back in... Let me see if I can get that on video. Back in this way. Just like that, so that both of them look like they're coming out the same end, when, in essence, it's going in and coming out. All right.

   Now, here's another one where you have to be careful how you tighten it down. What I do is I kind of pull it snug with both lines in my hand, the tagline and the main line on both hands. Kind of snug it down a little bit, and I'm going to work it down the knot. After I moisten it real good, I'm going to work it down the knot just like that, and I'm going to pull on the tag end, and I'm going to tighten it a little bit more, and I'll pull on the main line. Then, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to pull the main lines tight, just like that.

   Now, the advantages of this knot...oh, what you do is, you cut your tag ends real close, I'm talking all the way up against the knot. You can do that and it'll be just fine. The advantages of that is your braided line encapsulates your fluorocarbon line. So as it's passing through the guides, you do not damage your fluorocarbon line.

   Secondly, it's a nice, compact knot. When used with braided line, it really is a compact knot, and it will come through your guides a whole lot better, even the micro guides like the ones you see on my Duckett rods. This will come through those micro guides pretty dang good. You'll hear it coming through the guides, but there's a lot less friction than with other connecting knots. Just make sure you pull everything tight, and then I always like to check these knots. Because, still, it's an Albright knot, and Albright knots are known to be pretty damaging on your line, and if you even messed up a little bit on the knot, you'll have problems. So, just like that. This is called an improved Albright knot, and it's the only one that I use to connect a fluorocarbon leader to a braided main line. That's it.


Watch More How-To Fishing Videos