My New Pal, the Palomar Knot

By Andy Whitcomb

May 09, 2014

I have always been an improved clinch knot guy.

I have always been an improved clinch knot guy. You know, 5-7 twists, tag line through the loop by the hook and then through that loop you just created, and sock it down. I’ve tied it a million times and have great confidence in it. But a couple of cold, dark mornings with uncooperative fingers trying to repeatedly tie drop shot rigs with that knot finally forced me to explore other options.

I’m an old-ish dog so learning tricks isn’t that easy, mostly because of a lack of patience. But if you can tie your shoes, you too, can tie the Palomar knot. A long doubled loop through the eye of the hook. One loose overhand knot with that loop, then drop the hook or lure through that “tag” loop and pull. The long remaining tag line can be cut off or used for attaching a weight for that drop shot rig.

The initial test run for the first time tying this knot turned out to include a beefy 3½ pound smallmouth bass and a bunch of rock hookups. Fishing the bottom aggressively, I eventually broke the monofilament but not before retrieving the stuck jig several times.

I now trust not only the knot, but my ability to tie it hurriedly under windy, rainy, rocking boat, or bear-on- the-shoreline conditions. (That story, another time.) It is a great tool especially for anyone fishing drop shots rigs or heavy jigs on braided line. Can’t wait to teach it to my kids.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.