As anglers, we spend hours reading about the right rods, reels, line, and presentations necessary to catch more and bigger fish. We ruminate over the best way to dissect a piece of cover or better understand what our electronics are telling us. We’re even amateur meteorologists, and pay close attention to prevailing weather patterns.
Lost in all this analysis is a detailed understanding of arguably the most crucial component of fishing success – a strong knot.
The knot you use to tie on your bait is critical. You can have the right setup, be in the right place, and get the big bite, but you won’t get the fish back to the boat if your knot fails.
To remedy that – we’ve put together the following list of 7 fishing knots that every angler should know, and an instructional video from AnimatedKnots.com to help you practice:
1. Improved Clinch Knot
Called by many the “fisherman’s knot,” the improved clinch is a great all-purpose knot that can be tied quickly, and works for most low-impact and recreational presentations. Use it to tie on live-bait presentations, small lures and rigs for panfishing, and it’s also an easy one to teach kids. Although it’s not the strongest, it is a good choice for beginners and anglers just looking for a recreational escape.
2. Palomar Knot
One of the strongest and simplest knots to tie, the Palomar consistently ranks among the highest for knot strength and durability. It also works equally well with braid, monofilament, and fluorocarbon. The downside to the Palomar is that it’s ungainly for bigger hard baits, and if not wetted properly can cause the line to burn while cinching up. An excellent choice for most presentations.
3. Loop Fishing Knot
The loop knot is ideal for any bait that needs to maximize freedom of motion. This is especially key for topwater poppers and walkers, as it allows them to create their optimal surface commotion.
4. Snell Knot
Snell knots were originally designed for live bait fishing, but in recent years have become the ideal knot for flipping and pitching. Because the knot attaches at the hook shank instead of the eye, the snell provides maximum rotation on the hook set and increases penetration on the hook set.
5. Albright Slip Knot
The Albright knot is the best choice for tying two lines together. Commonly used for securing a fluorocarbon leader to braided main line, the Albright slip is strong, and small enough to easily slide through rod guides. The downside of the Albright slip is that it can be difficult for beginners to tie.
6. Blood Knot
An alternative to the Albright slip, the blood knot is also an excellent choice for securing a fluorocarbon leader to braid. It’s much easier to tie, and also maintains good knot strength. Make sure to wet both sides of the line before cinching to prevent line abrasion.
7. Arbor Knot
The arbor knot is the best choice for securing line to a reels spool. It is simple to tie and cinches quickly – minimizing annoying line slippage on a reels arbor.
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