Here are the top most-used fishing knots you should start out learning.
Every angler needs a few things to be successful: a good fishing rod and lure combination, a great location, and the ability to tie a few simple but pivotal fishing line knots.
Searching online will reveal all manner of different knots, but don’t worry if you’re just starting out: you don’t really need to learn every knot in the books, at least not right away. In fact, the need-to-know fishing knots can be distilled down to five essentials, which we’ve graciously done for you below.
1. The Palomar Knot
If you learn to tie a particular knot – especially if you fish with a braided line of any kind – make it the Palomar knot. Regarded by anglers as one of the strongest knots, the Palomar serves a similar function to the improved clinch knot, securing a hook or swivel to one end of your fishing line, or fastening a fly to a leader.
Photo via Fishing Monroe County
2. The Blood Knot
Unlike the improved clinch knot and the Palomar knot, a blood knot is not used to fasten fishing line to hooks or lures, but is instead utilized for tying two pieces of fishing line together. Used often fly fishing or for making use of broken or odd length fishing lines, the blood knot is an easy-to-learn and valuable skill to have on any fishing boat.
Photo via Fly Fisherman
The blood knot is best for tying two pieces of similar fishing line together (i.e. comparable diameter, etc.), but can come in handy for any makeshift fishing line situation if you find yourself in a pinch.
3. The Improved Clinch Knot
Chances are, if you’ve been fishing for more than about a week, you know how to tie an improved clinch knot. It’s one of the most important knots in all of fishing, used by most anglers to secure their hooks, lures, or swivels to the fishing line.
Photo via Maxima Lines
The knot is strong and firm and has become a reliable standby for fisherman of all stripes because it can hold up in battles against big fish. If you learn to tie one knot, this is the one you need to know.
4. The Surgeon’s Knot
Like the blood knot, the surgeon’s knot comes in handy when you need to attach two different pieces of fishing line. Unlike the blood knot, the surgeon’s knot is optimal for fastening together two fishing lines of different diameters.
Photo via MidCurrent
It’s easy to tie and is essential for any angler, especially if you’re the kind of fisherman who keeps bits and pieces of old fishing line lying around for future use.
5. The Spider Hitch Knot
Used to boost the strength of a fisherman’s line, the spider hitch knot is a lesser-known, but no less useful knot to have in your arsenal. By forming a double line, the spider knot is able to take on heavier hooks or leaders.
Photo via Florida Sportsman
Furthermore, have a double line gives you extra security: if one of the strands breaks during a battle with a fish, you still have the other one holding strong so you can keep fighting until you have the big one reeled in.