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The Best Fishing Knots that You Need To Know

Even when spending minimal time on the water, your angling success will improve if you become proficient at tying fishing knots.

There are lots of fishing knots for addressing various needs, from securing lures to joining different types of line. But, particularly for the beginning angler, knowing just a handful of the best fishing knots is adequate.

Read on to learn more about some of the best fishing knots, from when to use them to how to tie them. And when you can, make time to practice tying, so you won’t fumble around during actual fishing time.

best fishing knots

Best Fishing Knots for Attaching Hooks and Lures

Obviously, knowing how to attach a hook or lure is a foundational angling skill. Even if your hooks and lures are already secured to your line, there’s always a chance they could get hung up on obstructions. If you have to cut your line to get it free, you’ll need to tie on a new hook or lure.

Read on to learn about some of the best fishing knots for keeping hooks and lures securely on your line.

Snell Knot

Indispensable for securing a baited hook to fishing line, the Snell knot can also be used to attach lures to your line. To start, pass some line through the eye of your hook or lure. Form a loop with the line, and then take the loose end and wrap it around the hook or the top of the lure several times.

From there, simply pull on the main section of the line to tighten the loops around the hook or top of the lure.

snell knot

Improved Clinch Knot

The Improved Clinch knot is among the best fishing knots for attaching lures to fishing line. It’s also handy for attaching hooks. To begin tying the Improved Clinch knot, move 6 inches to a foot of line through the hook eye or lure.

Then, twist the end of the line around the line above the hook eye or lure six times. Leave a small space where the line first wraps around the hook eye or lure. Run the end of the line through the new loop.

To finish the knot, pull both the end and main part of the line away from the hook or lure to tighten it.

improved clinch knot

Rapala Knot

The Rapala knot creates a loop that can help your lure move more freely, to more effectively attract the attention of any nearby fish. It takes its name from the lure manufacturing company that suggested it as a way of attaching its lures.

To tie the Rapala knot, first tie an overhand knot a couple of inches from the end of the line. Feed the end of the line through the eye hook at the front of the lure. Then, feed the line through the open overhand knot.

Next, wind the end of the line three times in front of the overhand knot. Pull the head of the line through the overhand knot, and then through the loop created when you made the three winds. Moisten the line and pull it tight to close the knot.

Uni Knot

The Uni knot is one of the best fishing knots for attaching a hook to your fishing line. To tie it, begin by passing 6 inches of line through the eye of your hook. Wrap the end of the line around the line on either side of the hook eye at least six times. Leave a loop below the wrapped line.

Pull the end of the line to tighten the six wraps. Then, pull the coiled section of the line down toward the hook eye. Once the coils are snugged up against the hook eye, use scissors to trim the line from the end of the knot.

uni knot

Trilene Knot

The Trilene knot, a certain contender as the strongest among the best fishing knots, is an ideal way of attaching hooks or lures. It works particularly well with monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line.

The Trilene knot owes much of its strength to the fact that the fishing line passes twice through the eye of the hook or lure. Once the line goes through your hook or lure the second time, take the end and wrap it around the main line a half-dozen times.

Then, pass the end of the line through the two loops you created when bringing the line through the lure or hook eye. Finally, moisten the knot and pull it taut to complete one of the best fishing knots you can learn.

Pitzen Knot

The Pitzen knot is yet another of the best fishing knots for attaching a hook to your fishing line. And, it’s also useful for attaching lures, or if you’re a fly angler, getting a fly on the end of your line. One caution is in order, however: The Pitzen Knot works best on lighter-rated fishing lines.

To tie the Pitzen knot, first thread some line through the eye of your hook, lure or fly. Then, wrap the end of the line four times around the line on either side of the eye. Next, pass the end of the line through the loop created at the top of the wrapped section of line.

Finally, moisten the line and pull the wrapped section against the eye of your hook, lure or fly. Once the knot is pulled tight, trim the end of your line.

Best Knots for Joining Fishing Line

There are a number of reasons that anglers need to know how to join fishing line, mostly for connecting different-sized sections of line. It’s a common issue in fly fishing. And in other types of fishing, it’s routine to use a monofilament line leader between a hook or lure and braided line.

Read on for a look at some of the best fishing knots used to join fishing line.

Blood Knot

The Blood knot has an unsavory origin, taking its name from its use during the days of sailing ships. The Blood knot was used at the end of whips to draw blood as punishment.

It’s a very simple knot for tying fishing lines together. The first step is to overlap the ends of the two lines. Twist one end around the other for five turns, and bring the end of the line back between the two lines.

Next, take the other end of the line and wrap it around the two lines in the opposite direction of your fist twist. Then, bring the end of the line between the two lines. From there, pull the two ends of the line in opposite directions, drawing the two overlapped sections together tightly.

Once the overlapped sections are snug, cut away any excess line.

blood knot

Surgeon’s Knot

The Surgeon’s knot can be used to tie two lines together and will work whether or not both lines are the same size. It’s particularly handy when time is of the essence, such as when fish are biting heavily.

Start the Surgeon’s knot by placing the lines atop each other with several inches of overlap. Form a loop and bring the ends of both lines through it. Finally, moisten the area of the knot and pull all four ends of the two lines taut.

surgeons knot

Double Uni Knot

The Double Uni knot is one of the best fishing knots for joining dissimilar types and sizes of fishing line. It is sometimes referred to as the Back-To-Back knot.

To tie the Double Uni knot, first overlap the two lines by about 6 inches. Wrap the ends of each side of the overlapped lines around each other four times. Next, pull the end of each wrap through the loop that was formed.

At this point, you have tied two Single Uni knots. To finish the Double Uni knot, simply pull the opposite ends of the two lines to bring the Single Uni knots together.

Alberto Knot

The Alberto Knot is particularly efficient at joining two fishing lines of different sizes, which makes it one of the best fishing knots to use. To tie it, begin by forming a loop in the smaller of the two lines you want to join. Next, insert the end of the larger line through the loop.

Wrap the line seven times, moving away from the loop, and seven times while moving back toward the loop. Pull simultaneously on the two line ends and on the main part of the two lines. Once the knot is tightened, trim the ends.

Best Knot for Attaching Fishing Line to Reel Spool

One of the most important knots you’ll tie for your angling adventures is the knot that keeps your fishing line attached to the spool on your fishing reel. Thankfully, things don’t have to get too complicated here, with the Arbor knot recognized as one of the best fishing knots for this job.

The Arbor knot will, in effect, serve two purposes. In addition to keeping line on the reel, it holds strongly if your rod goes overboard and has to be pulled up by its line.

Read on to learn how to tie the Arbor knot, which works for spinning reels, baitcasting reels and fly fishing reels.

Arbor Knot

The Arbor knot takes its name from the part of the reel spool called the arbor. A reel’s arbor comprises the cylinders located in the middle of the reel, where the namesake knot is tied.

To tie the Arbor knot, wrap the end of your line around the arbor, and tie an overhand knot with the end of the line. After that, tie a second overhand knot a couple of inches from the first one.

To finish the knot, pull the line so that the first overhand knot is snugged up against the reel spool. Continue pulling the line until the second overhand knot snugs up against the first overhand knot. As the final step, trim the end of the line close to the Arbor knot.

arbor knot

General Tips for Tying Fishing Knots

Now that you’ve been introduced to a range of the best fishing knots, it’s time for some general rules for tying and maintaining those knots. Read on to discover ways to ensure your best fishing knots will be as effective as you’ll need them to be for a day on the water.

Joining Different Types of Line

Most anglers will routinely find themselves needing to connect different types of fishing line. When that happens, it’s important to know that different situations will require different knots to ensure a secure connection.

For example, when connecting monofilament line to braided line, you should choose either the Nail knot or the Albright knot.

For the Nail knot, run the monofilament line through a small tube, and then hold the tube beside the braided line to form a loop. Wrap the monofilament line around the braided line and tube a half-dozen times, and remove the tube.

Pass the end of the monofilament line through the loop, moisten the two lines, and pull the knot tight. Finally, trim the ends of the two lines to clean up the knot.

For the Albright knot, create a loop in the braided line, and put the end of the monofilament line through the loop. Then, wrap the monofilament line around the braided line at least ten times. From there, put the monofilament line back through the loop and tighten the knot.

The Albright knot is also ideal for joining braided and fluorocarbon lines. Alternatively, you can use the Double Uni Knot, described earlier in this post.

Keep Line Wet When Cinching Knots

Another tip for tying knots in fishing line, mentioned earlier in this post, is to keep the lines wet as you are pulling different sections together. Simply dipping your line into the water from the boat, dock, or shore will reduce friction as the knot comes together. If it’s not practical to dip your line in the water, you can dampen it with your saliva.

Without dampening even the best fishing knots, you’ll run the risk of creating nicks and abrasions in your fishing line. In turn, those irregular surfaces may not hold together particularly well.

Check Knots After Every Catch

Hopefully, your days on the water will be filled with plenty of opportunities to reel in a catch. In the middle of the excitement of landing multiple fish, it’s very important to pay attention to the condition of your gear.

Part of paying attention to your gear is inspecting the knots in your fishing line after each catch. Reeling in a fish creates all sorts of tension, friction, and other issues, each of which can loosen knots. Checking your knots can help ensure that you won’t lose any fish.

Wrapping up the Best Fishing Knots That You Need to Know

Now that you’ve learned about the best fishing knots, you just need to practice. Then you’ll be ready to use them when needed without unduly interrupting your time on the water.

As you’re gaining confidence with your knot-tying ability, take time to read the many other fishing posts at Life in Minnesota. You’ll learn everything from where to go ice fishing to which lures and live baits work best on the state’s lakes.