You know that feeling; you’re about to land a decent fish when all of a sudden the line goes limp and the excitement in your chest bottoms out like a Datsun on a speed bump. You reel the line in to find you’ve only got yourself to blame – the knot didn’t hold.
That’s why we reckon learning how to tie a few basic fishing knots is just as important as buying the right fishing gear. Once you get it down pat, knot-tying is one of those things that moves from being borderline infuriating to downright satisfying and, dare we say it, even meditative.
So we put together a little video to show you how to tie five basic fishing knots. Practice tying these knots and commit them to memory. This way you’ll be covered no matter what scenario you find yourself in.
The uni knot is one of the strongest knots for tying hooks, swivels, and sinkers to the end of your monofilament line. The uni knot will not slip, and once you’ve got the knack, you’ll find it an easy knot to tie. The weight of your mono will determine how many twists to make around the mainline. On lighter line, aim for seven or eight twists: on heavier leaders keep it to three or four for optimal knot strength.
The Palomar Knot
The palomar knot is one of the great all-rounders. It’s best used for tying swivels to your mainline or leader, but it's also great for tying hooks and sinkers as well. The palomar knot is most effective with braided line but can also be tied with mono. The palomar knot is favoured for its versatility and because it can be tied in one smooth motion with practice – even in the dark.
The Albright Knot
If you need to tie two lines together that are very different in diameter, you can’t go past the albright knot. By creating a loop in the larger diameter standing line, you eliminate the chance of the smaller line slipping. The albright is commonly used by fly anglers for tying tippet to their leader. The albright knot is also great for tying monofilament as a backing when spooling a reel with braided line because of its streamlined shape.
Double Surgeon’s Loop
Many of the knots included in the video above can be used in a range of fishing scenarios. The double surgeon’s loop is a good example of a knot that is often used by fly fishing anglers to create a loop at the end of their main line for connecting trace and indicators. But the double surgeon’s loop can also be used with boat fishing rigs. Tying the double surgeon's loop in the middle of your leader makes dropper rig for tying multiple hooks or sinkers. It’s a really versatile knot and one that every fisho should have up their sleeve.
Uni to Uni Knot
Not all knots are for tying gear to the end of your line. Occasionally fishing line breaks or you need to tie different types of line together. The uni to uni knot (sometimes referred to as a double uni knot) allows you to join two lengths of line together. Whether you’re tying a fluorocarbon leader to your braided mainline, or joining two lengths of mono together, the uni to uni makes a strong streamlined connection.
It’s best suited to tying line together that is similar in diameter. If one line is much lighter than the other, make sure you wrap it around the mainline a couple more times so that the knot is even on both sides. Learning how to tie the uni knot first will make the uni to uni knot much easier to master.