THE THREE FISHING KNOTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
The most important connection between you and the fish is your fishing line, and how you attach it to the lure is a critical skill that you must master in order to be a successful angler. Here, we’ll cover the three knots you need to know to put fish in the boat.
IMPROVED CLINCH KNOT
Arguably the easiest fishing knot to tie, the Improved Clinch Knot is a workhorse—strong and stable, it will handle almost any freshwater fishing job. To tie, pass eight or so inches of line through the hook eye, twist five times, pass the standing end back through the lower loop (not the lure eye), then pass it again through the newly-created loop. Moisten, tighten and go fish.
Type of line: Monofilament and fluorocarbon
Uses: Fly fishing, live bait, and light lures for panfish, trout, walleye and bass
Another popular and very strong knot, the Uni Knot—sometimes known as the Duncan Loop—is a little more difficult to tie, but easily mastered. It also has the advantage of leaving a loop at the hook eye, allowing for better action. To tie, pass eight or so inches of line through the eye. Make a capital P shape with the standing end next to the main line, and pass the standing end through the hole in the P five or six times. Moisten, pull upward on the standing end to tighten the knot, then slip the knot down as close as you want to the hook eye.
Bonus: A double Uni Knot can be used to join two lines of similar diameter.
Type of line: Monofilament and fluorocarbon line
Uses: Medium to heavy lure fishing for panfish, trout, bass and walleye.
The Palomar knot is slightly stronger than the two above knots, but it takes more line to tie and is best used with braided line. To tie, form a bight by folding the line 12"-16" above the standing end. Push the bight through the eye of the hook. Tie an overhand knot with the bight end above the eye. Pass the entire lure or hook through the loop, work the loop over the bait to the top of the overhand knot, moisten and slowly work it tight.
Type of line: Braided
Uses: Heavy jig or Texas-rig fishing for bass, muskie, walleye and lake trout:
For more tips on how to be a better angler, read our bass fishing tips and our beginner's guide to bass fishing.