These eight fishing knots are all you’ll need.
Mobile applications and fishing books will give you a laundry list of different fishing knots to learn and master, but in reality, most anglers and get by with only about five to 10 different knots in their arsenal. Just like with learning to tie every different pattern in the fly fishing books, there’s a certain allure to actually mastering every single knot in the fisherman’s almanac.
However, your time would usually be better spent on more pivotal things. Trust us: with these eight essential fishing knots, you won’t ever have to wonder if you’re missing a key fishing solution.
View the photos and videos below for the eight fishing knots you should know.
The Improved Clinch Knot
We’ve listed this one as the key fishing knot before, and we’re doing the same now. The Improved Clinch Knot is widely used for one main reason: it holds fast in fights against even the biggest fish in the sea. Of course, the Improved Clinch Knot also has other benefits, from being easy to learn and one of the fastest knots to tie, period.
In general, you will see a lot of anglers used the Improved Clinch to fasten their hooks to their lines or leaders. It’s not quite as popular among those who use particularly heavy fluorocarbon or monofilament lines – mostly because it’s just harder to tie on those lines – but it’s still hard to deny the Improved Clinch Knot as one of the most important fishing knots out there.
The Palomar Knot
The Palomar Knot shares a lot of its superlatives with the Improved Clinch Knot. Both are remarkably easy to tie, both are used to fasten lines to hooks or lures, and both are among the most widely used, the most dependable, and the most important knots in all of fishing. The Palomar Knot, on the other hand, is ideal when used with the types of heavy line – especially braided lines – that are more difficult to work with the Improved Clinch Knot.
The Albright Special Knot
Where the Improved Clinch Knot and the Palomar Knot are known for their versatility and widespread use, the Albright Special is more of a niche knot. If you need to fasten your line to a heavy wire leader, the Albright is the knot you want to use.
The Spider Hitch Knot
Used primarily in saltwater, but with versatile applications that extend to any type of freshwater fishing and to any type of monofilament, braided, or fluorocarbon lines, the Spider Hitch Knot is perfect for anglers who expect to be doing battle with some big and powerful fish. The Spider Hitch Knot is most famous because it forms a double line, effectively multiplying the strength of any fishing line you might use by two. Not only can this knot take on the heaviest fish in the water, it’s also perfect if you want to fish with heavier hooks or lures.
The Nail Knot
The Nail Knot’s name is, perhaps, meant as a pun. Sure, anglers will actually use a nail to tie the knot, but more than that, the nail knot performs the kind of strong connections between lines that a nail forms between pieces of wood. Used mostly to tie dissimilar pieces of line together into a knot that holds, the Nail Knot is useful whether you are tying a large diameter line to a small diameter leader or simply linking two different sizes of line thanks to a shortage of supplies.
The Double Uni-Knot
A knot used for similar diameter lines – and possible to tie even without a nail or some similar tool – the Double Uni is usually employed to tie a strong and durable line to a leader. The Blood Knot, which follows, is said to be slightly stronger, but when time and ease is important, the Double Uni will do the trick.
The Blood Knot
Unlike the Nail Knot and the Uni-Knot – both of which are most often used for tying together lines with differing diameters – the Blood Knot is specifically meant for those moments when you have two similar spools of line and neither is quite full enough to fish with. The Blood Length gives you the weapon you need to tie those odd-length lines together so you can keep fishing a little bit longer before returning to shore and heading to the store.
The Homer Rhode Loop
Anglers who use crankbaits, spinners, or other animated fishing lures tie the Homer Rhode Loop to give those lures the maximum level of freedom and movement. If you are going to bother fishing with a crankbait, you want it to move with the kind of action that will attract fish. This knot will make that desire a reality.
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