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Fishing Knots I Don't Know

by: Lloyd Tackitt 1/29/2013

This will probably get me in trouble, or laughed at, but here goes...

I have read many an article about fishing knots, and I have never used any of those knots (except two) in my fishing life.  In fact, I know exactly two knots.  Just two.  Occasionally I'll look one up for a special purpose, but I only know two fishing knots by heart.

I'm a little suspicous of those fishing knot article writers.  Other than professional fishermen, I kind of suspect that there are only a few anglers that know more that two or three knots by heart.  I know there will be some, some people get turned on by knots and more power to them - I get turned on by a lot of things like whisky and cigars, but not knots - but other than a few knot buffs my guess is that most of us just kind of fumble along with a limited set of knots.

I know the improved clinch knot (I use it for about everything) and the blood knot (used to splice two lines together) and that's it.  Anything else and I have to look up the knot I need in a knot book written by a knot buff.  Just for fun I googled fishing knots and immediately found a site with 59 knots listed.  59, can you imagine knowing 59 knots?  I can make the improved clinch knot work in almost any circumstance - except splicing lines together.  In fact about the only other two fishing knots I use are the ones used to tie the fly line to the backing and the leader to the fly line. 

I get around to changing my line so rarely that I have to look that backing knot up.  I get completely around the leader knot by using the slip over chinese finger trap type thing with a loop on it, thus saving a knot.  Then I tie an improved clench knot from my leader onto the loop - although I'm sure it is entirely the wrong knot for the purpose, I've never had that knot fail on me. 

I quit tying flys, so I don't need fly tying knots now.  I can tie a slip knot when I need to, but it's not a fishing knot, and of course I can tie a square knot and I can tie my shoes.   Other than that...I don't remember any other knots by heart.  Guess who wasn't a boy scout?

My life is knot simple. (groan)  I guess this makes me a knot head, although it seems like that term should be reserved for the guys that know 59 knots.


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Member comments
Flyrodn, CO   1/30/2013 10:02:31 AM
And one needs to becareful when sampling whiskey and discussing knotty problems with the wife. The slightest slip of the tongue and you'll end up with another knot. Giving a whole new meaning to knot head.
tracks, CO   1/30/2013 10:21:44 AM
I've definately forgotten more knots than I know, and thusly I use wrong knots for the wrong things all the time. And those chinese fingercuff loops, Fantastic!
Coyute, CO   1/30/2013 3:40:38 PM
I'm with ya. I use the same knot for my fishing stuff that I do to tie my shoes. :P
IceFishingFool, CO   1/30/2013 4:23:38 PM
(Write) on Dave LOL
MLP5420, CO   1/31/2013 5:34:26 PM
Got me thinking about how many knots I know by heart and its 7. Used to attach a hook and two lines together but I use one 98% of the time. Good read
oley, CO   1/31/2013 7:59:36 PM
A slip knot works when a square knot is tied below it to snuggle up to the slip knot. I don't use it often but it certainly doesn't break when used even in fly fishing. It's easy, it works and anyone can tie it. I have caught some impressive salmon with it as well as steelhead too. That and an improved clinch are my go-to knots for anything that swims in fresh water and most salt water too. And Fmyrodn hit the nail on the head too...
oley, CO   1/31/2013 8:01:10 PM
Oops, that Flyrodn.... Darn fat fingers...
OldMikkDale, CO   2/1/2013 12:38:00 AM
You may want to consider the breaking strength for the type of line. The Blood knot for mono is 10.7 lbs. No other listings. The Improved Clinch Knot is mono 20.4, Fireline 11.5, fluoro 13. The Palomar is a poplar knot, mono 17.37, braid 17.36 and fluoro 15.11. These are all test done by Berkley. It is easy to set up one' own system for testing. Of course if you are not breaking off at the knot, why change? Good fishing!
Wuandbeag, TX   2/1/2013 8:23:21 PM
The Royal Navy insisted that able seamen in the 18th century know 6 knots..bowline, reefing knot (just a modified square knot), what we know as a trucker's hitch, a taught-line hitch, a figure 8 stopper knot, and how to tie a cleat. With that, you can sail a square-rigged ship through a hurricane. If you add an improved clinch, you're cooking with gas. Throw in a clove hitch, and that's all you'll ever need to get through LIFE! Then there are knot snobs like there are wine and beer (”I only drink homebrew”) snobs. Again, if it were good enough in the 18th century, it's good enough or me. :)
Lloyd Tackitt
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