6 Best Fly Fishing Knots for Beginners and Why They Matter

When you first start learning about fly fishing, it can seem a bit intimidating — especially if you’re used to the world of traditional spinning gear. There are literally dozens of fly fishing knots you can use based on the situation or your preferences, but let's keep it simple and stick with the basic fishing knots.

Besides, like my friend Joe Mahler (Fly Casting Instructor and Author of Essential Knots & Rigs for Saltwater) says about how to tie a fishing knot, "The best knot is the one that you can tie quickly and confidently in three-foot waves." Point being, once you master the fly fishing knots for beginners below, you can always learn a few more and then use your favorites.

1. Uni Knot and Uni-to-Uni Knot (or Double Uni Knot)

These easy fishing knots can be used for every type of connection, making them among the best fly fishing knots. If you don't have much extra time to learn and practice new knots or prefer to keep things really simple, you can actually use the Uni-to-Uni Knot for your fly line connections and the Uni Knot for attaching your fly to your leader. The Uni-to-Uni Knot or Double Uni Knot is strong and will easily run through the guides on your rod.

2. Arbor Knot

These knots are used for tying backing to reel. Arbor Knot s are among the most versatile fly fishing knots for beginners since they’re not only useful for tying fly backing to a reel, but for tying any kind of fishing line to the spool of any type of fishing reel.

3. Albright Knot

This knot is ised for tying line to line.The Albright Knot is a good knot to use when tying two lines of unequal diameter (such as your backing to your fly line). This knot will slide readily through your guides when tied the right way and when a fish takes out enough line to reach your backing.

4. Surgeon's Knot

This knot is used for tying line to line. The Surgeon's Knot  is one of the best fly fishing knots to tie when you need to join two lines of differing diameters -- such as tying tippet to a leader. It is one of the easiest knots to learn and will allow you to select the proper size tippet given the size of the fly you want to use.

5. Nail Knot

The Nail Knot can be used for your fly line-leader connection. It is a bit more complex than other fly fishing knots for beginners because you'll need to use a nail-knot tool or small tube as an accessory in order to tie it properly.

6. Non-slip Loop Knot

This knot is used for tying your fly to your line (also known as a terminal knot). Since one of the main goals when using any fly or lure is to obtain as much motion as possible to attract the fish, the Non-Slip Loop Knot  are among the best fly fishing knots because they give your fly plenty of room to wiggle and shake in the water.

Once you've researched and learned how to tie each of these fly fishing knots for beginners, it's time to practice your fly casts. Find out which casts are best to use in different situations by watching helpful videos on fly casting basics.

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.