The below fishing knots are tested and proven to offer at least 90 percent of the original line strength when tying tackle (lures, swivels, sinkers, bobbers, etc.) to a line. You don't have to learn all of them. But sometimes learning a complicated knot can be challenging and rewarding. First, learn how to tie a fishing hook with some of the basic knots that allow you to simply enjoy your hobby.
IMPROVED CLINCH KNOT (SKILL LEVEL - EASY)
If you are looking for the best fishing knots for securing your line to a lure, swivel, clip, or artificial fly, consider learning the popular Improved Clinch Knot. It offers up to 95 % of the original line strength. The key is to make five turns of the tag end around the standing end before running the tag end back through the formed loop.
- Thread the line through the eye of the hook or lure leaving about 6-12 inches of line.
- Leaving a small space between the line and the hook eye, twist the tag end around the standing line five times.
- Pass the tag end back through the small space you made near the hook eye.
- Then run the tag end back through the second loop you created in step 3.
- Pull both the standing line and the tag end slowly away from hook.
- Moisten your lines with saliva or water
- Pull only the standing line firmly away from the hook
UNI KNOT (OR DUNCAN KNOT) (SKILL LEVEL - EASY)
Some consider the uni knot to be the best fishing knot for tying an eyed hook to a leader. Don't be afraid to cut the end short with this knot. It'll hold. These fishing knots are great to learn because they work well with braided or monofilament fishing line, and can be used to tie lines of unequal diameter together.
- Pass the line through the eye of the hook and double back parallel to the standing line
- Make a loop by laying the tag end over the doubled line, while both lines face the same direction
- Next, make five or six turns with the tag end around the doubled line and through the loop
- Holding your swivel or hook in one hand and both ends of the line in the other hand, pull them apart gently so the knot is almost tied, but not yet tight
- Moisten the lines with some saliva and pull only the standing line firmly away from your hook or swivel
- Lastly, trim the tag end to complete your knot
PALOMAR KNOT (SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE)
Some anglers think Palomar knots are the best fishing knots for light fishing lines (especially braided line which will not pull out of this knot) as they retain much of the original line strength. Learn how to tie a fishing hook with this knot and see what you think.
Over 95 percent in strength, the palomar knot is good for lines up to 20 pound test. Because it's double-run through the lure or hook eye, knotted, and then looped over the hook or lure, it may tangle easier. But it's still a favorite knot of many anglers.
- Fold about 6 inches of line over on itself
- Take the folded line and pass it through the eye of the hook or lure
- Make an overhand knot just above the eye of the hook, leaving a couple inches on the tag end of the folded line
- Open your folded line, which is now a loop and pass the loop over the hook or lure
- Pull both the tag and standing line to close the loop
NON-SLIP LOOP FISHING KNOTS (SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE)
Non-slip loop knots create a fixed loop so a hook can move freely. It is best with larger lines where a tight knot, such as the Improved Clinch can impede hook, bait or lure movement.
- Tie an overhand knot about 10 inches from the end of the line. Pass the tag end through the lure eye and then back through the overhand loop
- Above the overhand, wrap the tag end around the standing line five times
- Then pass it back through the overhand knot once more
- Moisten the lines with saliva then pull tight
SNELLING AN EYED HOOK (SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE)
Snelling means tying the knot away from the eye of the hook. These fishing knots work well for any type of fishing to increase strength and improve catch rates with bigger fish.
- Start with an up-turned or down turned eye hook. Pass the line through the hook and form a large loop along the shank of the hook. The tag end should lay along the shank of the hook
- Turn the entire loop around the shank of the hook and the tag end, forming wraps down the shank towards the curve of the hook. Depending on the size of the hook and the size of the line, you might need 6-10 wraps
- Pull on the main line to tighten the snell
SPADE-END KNOT (SKILL LEVEL - INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED)
A spade hook has no eye. So you have to tie a knot next to the flat, bent end of the hook shank. Spade hooks are small. So don't worry, it will hold.
The spade end version relies on the same method as above, but you don’t have to pass the main line through the loop because there is no loop.
Now that you’ve learned how to tie a fishing hook with various fishing knots, you’re ready to build a fishing rig at the end of your line.