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A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing Knots

A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing Knots

A fishing knot is used to secure a fishing rope or line to a swivel, hook, or lure.  It can also be used to join two lines with different diameters together.  Aside from choosing a great fishing location and knowing how to cast, knowing how to tie a fishing knot (and the right one) could be the difference between your next photo-worthy catch or the age-old story of “the one that got away.”  

Luckily, you have us to help you learn exactly what fishing knots you need to know to find success out on the water.

Choosing the Best Rope for the Job

First and foremost, your fishing knot can only be as strong and reliable as the Rope you are using.  The most popular fishing line for tying fishing knots are braided or monofilament fishing lines.  SGT KNOTS Fishing Rope is a lightweight, monofilament floating rope specially engineered for commercial, sport, and fly-fishing.

This water-resistant cord is designed with a sturdy yet flexible inner foam, offering total buoyancy in both fresh and saltwater.  It is also a great material for building nets, and the go-to choice for commercial fishermen catching fish, crab, and lobster.  

Since the foam core is wrapped in a monofilament polypropylene shell, you will feel confident knowing you have a rot, mold, mildew, and moisture-resistant rope built for years of water use, at a more affordable price compared to other Nylon Rope or Polyester Rope options out there.

Tips For Tying Your Best Fishing Knot

Commercial fishermen rely on their equipment and fishing knots to support the weight of a big catch, so you can bet they will do all they can to make sure they have tied the best fishing knot.  Here are a few tips shared by industry experts on how to tie the best fishing knot.

Lubricate the Rope

One of the best tips for tying a fishing knot is making sure your rope is lubricated before tying.  This can help secure your knot without generating heat, which can affect the rope.  You can do this with water, saliva, and even vegetable oil.

Tighten the Tag End

Before moving on to the third tip, be sure to tighten the tag end of your knot rope.  This will help ensure that your rope will not slip through the knot and become unraveled. 

Trim Off Excess Roping

Another helpful tip for tying your best fishing knot is to trim away any excess rope left over after tying the knot.  Try to trim as close to the knot as you can, without over-trimming.

Hitch vs Loop Knots

It is one thing to know how to tie a fishing knot, and it is another to know the difference between the different types of fishing knots, and what each of them brings to the table to help make your fishing trip a success.

Simply put, loop knots form a loop, and are often considered a desirable knot in certain fishing situations in need of more freedom of movement and enhanced lure action.  Hitch knots, on the other hand, are used to connect a line to the hook swivel, fishing reel, or tackle, and tend to offer more efficient breaking strengths than loop knots.

Breaking strength and efficiency of your knot should always be taken into consideration based on the type of fishing you do, as one may be more beneficial than the other from one situation to the next.  This strength chart can help you digest the difference between the different breaking strengths of fishing knots.

6 Essential Fishing Knots & How to Tie Them

Now, onto the meat and potatoes: how to tie a fishing knot!  These six fishing knots are considered some of the most important for securing lines, hooks, and swivels, and are just the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the dozens of fishing knots you can learn. Nevertheless, these six fishing knots are a great place to start!


Fishing Knot #1: Palomar Knot

Considered the strongest all-around fishing knot for attaching line to a hook, or fly to a leader, the Palomar Knot is a hitch knot with a high breaking strength often recommended for use with a braided line.

How to tie a Palomar Fishing Knot:

  1. With about six inches of main line doubled, run it through the hook eye.
  2. Next, double the loop back, making an overhand knot around the doubled line. Be sure to leave a loop large enough to pass the lure or hook through!
  3. Pull the loop down and around the lure or hook.
  4. Wet the line and pull both ends of the line tight to secure.


Fishing Knot #2: Hangman’s (Uni) Knot

Known interchangeably as the Hangman Knot, Uni Knot, Duncan Loop, or Grinner Knot, this loop knot is a dependable and versatile fishing knot for tying monofilament rope to terminal tackle for a variety of fishing situations.

How to tie a Hangman’s Fishing Knot:

  1. Run your fishing line through the hook eye, doubling back parallel to the standing line.
  2. Next, lay the tag end over the double line to form a loop.
  3. With the tag end in hand, make six turns around the double line and through the loop.
  4. Wet the line and pull the tag end to secure turns.
  5. Finish by sliding the knot down to the eye, or leave a small loop if desired.


Fishing Knot #3: Fish-N-Fool Knot

The Fish-N-Fool knot is a hitch knot similar to a uni knot but with a higher breaking strength.  It was first made popular after winning its category in the North American Fishing’s “Knot Wars” series.

How to tie a Fish-N-Fool Fishing Knot:

  1. Run the end of your fishing line through the hook eye twice, leaving 6” of tag end out.
  2. Next, form a loop hanging below the standing line. Hold the loop in place, making five to six turns with the tag end around the double line and through the loop.
  3. Wet lines and pull tag end to secure, making sure they coil neatly around your standing line.
  4. Slide your knot down to the eye to secure in place.


Fishing Knot #4: Snell Knot

A favorite among fishing pros, the snell knot is a great hitch knot for anglers looking for a reliable fishing knot that can withstand the rigors of heavy flipping and punching.

How to tie a Snell Knot:

  1. Run a line through the hook eye and down the shank of the hook, forming a loop below the hook with the line.
  2. Pass the tag end of the line around the hook shank and through the loop four to six times, keeping wraps tight to each other.
  3. Work the coils down the shank to the eye.
  4. Tighten by pulling the tag end and standing line.

Fishing Knot #5: Improved Clinch Knot

The Improved Clinch Knot is a fishing hitch knot widely used for tying terminal tackle to a monofilament line, and is not recommended for braided line or for lines with a breaking strength greater than 30 pounds.

How to Tie an Improved Clinch Knot:

  1. Start by threading the end of the line through the eye hook, doubling back to make five (or more) turns around your standing line.
  2. Next, bring the end of the line back through the first loop, then again through the big loop.
  3. Wet the line and knot, and pull the tag end down to tighten coils, sliding tight against the eye.
  4. Clip tag end close.


Fishing Knot #6: Kreh (Non-Slip) Loop Knot

Also known as the Non-Slip Loop Knot, the Kreh Loop Knot is a fishing knot ideal for when you need more action on the bait, and made popular by fishing legend Lefty Kreh.

How to tie a Kreh Loop Knot:

  1. Create an overhand knot in your fishing line roughly 10 inches from the end.
  2. Pass the tag end through the hook eye and back through the overhand knot loop.
  3. Next, wrap the tag end four to five times around the standing part. Then, bring the tag end back through the overhand knot, making sure to enter from the same side as you exited from before.
  4. Wet the knot and pull the tag end slowly, cinching wraps loosely together. Then, pull your loop and standing line in opposite directions to secure.
  5. Trim the excess tag end.

Stay in the Loop

Whether you need the scoop on the best fishing knots or would like guidance on Knot Tutorials, SGT KNOTS has the tips, tricks, and rope advice you need to stay in the know.   Be sure to check us out on Facebook (SGT KNOTS Supply Co), Instagram (@SGTKNOTS), and the SGT KNOTS Pinterest page, where we display the best ways to use our rope products every day for work or play!

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