How to Tie a Snell Knot

A Snell Knot is used to attach leader or fly-fishing tippet directly to a hook. This terminal fishing knot is often considered to be one of the strongest because of the way it evenly distributes friction.

Tying a Snell Knot

The snell knot was originally invented for use with eyeless hooks, but it's still widely used today. Saltwater anglers often use it when live bait fishing, it's a popular knot with freshwater bass anglers who flip and pitch Texas rigs into matted vegetation, and fly anglers use it to keep the hook straight when fly fishing with a tube fly.

There are several advantages to using a snell fishing knot. First, this knot can be tied with monofilament, braid, or fluorocarbon line. Second, this type of knot stays in line with the shank of the hook, making it stronger and easier to obtain a good hook set. Third, this fishing knot does not come loose or slip out easily.

The one time tying a snell knot wouldn't be to your advantage is when fishing for species that have sharp teeth since the leader is connected to the shank of the hook versus the eye of the hook.

Easy Snell Knot Tying Instructions

If you spend some time practicing, learning to tie a knot like the easy snell isn't hard. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to start tying a snell knot.

  1. Run the tag end of your line through the hook eye toward point of hook.
  2. Form a small loop and bring tag end behind the hook shank. Leave about 4 inches of tag end to work with.
  3. Wrap the tag end around the hook shank and line, working from point to eye.
  4. Make 5 to 7 wraps, and then feed the tag end through the loop, underside to topside.
  5. Hold wraps in place, and then pull the tag and standing end to tighten.
  6. Trim the tag end.

Types of Snell Knots

Just as with other types of fishing knots, there are different variations of the snell knot. Some of the most common variations include:

  • Easy Snell Knot
  • Uni-Snell Knot
  • Double Hook Snell Knot
  • Sliding Snell Hook Knot
  • Egg Loop Knot
  • Improved Snell Knot Nail Snell Knot

You may want to start by learning how to tie an easy snell first, and then try the other variations once you've learned how to tie the easy version.

Once you have tied the easy snell successfully, learn how to tie a few of the common line-to-line fly fishing knots.