|There is one small hitch
encountered by many first time knot-tiers. Their expert
instructors seem to assume that their fellow fishermen are
familiar with the Surgeon's Knot, the Bimini Twist and the like.
But long before I moved into the field of knot-tying, I was
content to join a line-to-swivel, swivel-to-trace and
trace-to-hook via a Simple Loop Knot, where the loop is made
only perhaps 25mm long - just long enough to pass over the hook
The Loop Knot can be tied readily in the dark, and equally
readily attached to swivel and hook. If fishing for flathead,
you may have more confidence in your gear if the loop to the
hook is made about 12.5cm long, thus taking the fish on a
As experience is gained, you may wish to move on from the
Loop Knot to knots that lie closer to hook and swivel.
One of these is the Half Blood Knot, which is more correctly
half of the Barrel Knot. THIS KNOT WILL SLIP. It has cost me
more fish than I want to remember.
If you must use it, then you have two choices:
a) Stop the end of the line with a simple Overhand Knot, and
draw it against the turns of the knot.
b) or make the Half Blood Knot into a Clinch Knot.
The following illustrations are fairly well all-purpose, but
for tropical waters we strongly suggest that a 35-45lb mono
leader be used prior to attaching a lure. If you are going after
fish like mackerel, it is also a good idea to use black wire and
- Pass the line through the eye of the hook, or swivel.
- Double back. make five turns around the line.
- Pass the end of the line through the first loop, above
the eye, and then through the large loop. Draw the knot into
- Slide the coils down tight against the eye.
Another beautifully simple knotthat can be tied in the dark, The
Jansik Special is a high strength knot tied as follows:
- Put 15cm of line through the eye of the hook.
- Bring it around in a circle and put the end through
- Making a second circle, pass then end through a third
- Holding the three circles of line against each other,
wrap the end three times around the circles.
- Either hold the hook steady with pliers, or make it fast
to boat's rigging or safety lines.
- Holding strain on the hook, pull on both ends of the
line to tighten.
The Palomar Knot is another very simple knot for terminal
tackle. It is regarded by the International Game Fish
Association consistently as the strongest knot known. It's great
virtue is that it can safely be tied at night with a minimum of
- Double about 12.5cm of line, and pass through the eye.
- Tie a simple Overhand Knot in the doubled line, letting
the hook hang loose. Avoide twisting the lines.
- Pull the end of loop down, passing it completely over
- Pull both ends of the line to draw up the knot.
There are at least 6 variations of the Hangman's Knot, - all of
them excellent for terminal tackle, swivels and hooks. The
"standard" Hangman's Knot holds only five turns when tied in
monofilament nylon. If tied in rope, and used for its stated
purpose, it takes eight turns.
- Pass a 15cm loop of line through the eye.
- Bring the end back on itself, passing it under the
- Make five loops over the doubled part.
- The formed knot is worked into shape.
- The knot is sent down the line, against the eye of the
hook or swivel.
This is a much simpler variant. In all likelihood, this Grant's
Uni-Knot. I have used it for more than fifty years and it has
never failed me, whether tied in 1kg or 50kg monofilament. It
was taught to me by the late Wally Kerr, a top flathead
- Pass a 15cm loop of line through the eye.
- Lock the upper part between thumb and forefinger, making
- Make two more loops over the double part, holding them
too, between thumb and forefinger.
- Pass the end through the two loops just made, plus the
first loop made in step2.
- The formed knot can now be drawn into shape, and worked
down against the eye of the hook or swivel.
Snelling A Hook
One small problem is the variety of names that may be applied
to the one knot, for example, a Granny is a False Knot, a Clove
Hitch is a Waterman's Knot, an Overhand Knot is a Thumb Knot.
But when we come to snelling a hook, the length of nylon
attached to the hook may be a snell or a snood.
I now find that the actual job of tying the snood may be
called snoozing, while snelling is often jealously thought of as
an art restricted to the fly fisherman. I have fished with
bottom-fisherman on the Great Barrier Reef who routinely snell
Restricted to lines of breaking strength less than about 20kg,
the process is a simple one.
- Pass the end of the line, trace or tippet through the
eye twice, leaving a loop hanging below the hook.
- Hold both lines along the shank of the hook.
- Use the loop to wind tight coils around the shank and
both lines, from the eye upwards. Use from 5 to 10 turns.
- Use the fingers to hold these tight coils in place. Pull
the line (extending from the eye) until the whole loop has
passed under these tight coils.
- With coils drawn up, use pliers to pull up the end of
Joining Line To Line
There are two top grade knots used to join one line to
another, where these are approximately of the same thickness.
These are the Blood Knot and the Hangman's Knot - also called
the Uni Knot by the International Game Fish Association.
Where there diameters are very dissimilar, either the Surgeon's
Knot should be used, or the thinner line should be doubled where
the knot is formed.
- Lie the ends of the two lines against each other,
overlapping about 15cm.
- Take 5 turns around one line with the end of the other,
and bring the end back where it's held between the two
- Repeat by taking 5 turns around the other line, bringing
the end back between the two lines. These two ends should
then project in opposite directions.
- Work the knot up into loops, taking care that the two
ends do not slip out of position.
- Draw the knot up tightly.
Version Of The Hangman's Knot
A better join can be made using one of the Hangman's Knots,
known to the International Game Fish Association fisherman as
This is a knot used for attaching the line to the spool of
- Overlap the two lines for about 15cm.
- Using one end, form a circle that overlies both lines.
- Pass the end six times around the two lines.
- Pull the end tight to draw the knot up into shape.
- Repeat the process using the end of the other line.
- Pull both lines to slide the two knots together.
Earlier mention was made that if the two lines to be joined vary
greatly in their diameters, the lesser line may be doubled at
the knot, or the Surgeon's Knot may be used. In the latter case,
it will probably be necessary to have one of the lines rolled on
a spool, or perhaps wrapped on a temporary card, so that it may
be passed through the loop.
- Lay the two lines against each other, overlapping about
- Working the two lines as one, tie an Overhand Knot. It
will be necessary to pull one line (say the leader)
completely through this loop.
- Pull the leader through this loop again.
- Pass the other end through the loop.
- The formed knot can now be worked into shape.
The offshore fisherman often have a need to tie a double line
- a long loop of line that is obviously stronger, and easier to
handle, than the line itself. In accordance with International
Game Fish Association Rules, the double line may be up to 4.5m
long in lines up to 10kg, and as much as 9m in heavier lines.
The double may be tied by means of the simple Spider Hitch with
lines to 15kg. The big game boys use the Bimini Twist, a double
that is normally formed by two people who make the intitial
twenty twists. The Bimini is obviously beyond the scope of this
little book. It's smaller brother, the Spider Hitch, is a much
faster and easier knot for the light tackle fisherman.
- Form a loop of the desired length, say 1.25m.
- Twist a section into a small loop.
- This is the only tricky part - hold this loop with thumb
and forefinger, the thumb extending above the finger, and
with the loop standing up beyond the tip of the thumb.
- Wind the doubled line around the thumb and the loop 5
- Send the rest of the long loop through the small loop,
and pull gently to unwind the turns off the thumb.
- The knot is now formed and worked into tight coils.
Offshore Swivel Knot
This is a special knot used for attaching a swivel to a double
- Put the end of the double line through the eye of the
- Rotate the end half a turn, putting a single twist
between the end of the loop and the swivel eye.
- Pass the loop with the twist over the swivel. Hold the
end of the loop, together with the double, with one hand,
and allow the swivel to slide to the end of the double loops
that have formed.
- Continue holding the loop and the lines with the right
hand. Use the left hand to rotate the swivel through both
loops 6 times or more.
- Keep pressure on both parts of the double line. Release
the loop. Pull on the swivel and loops of line will start to
- Holding the swivel with pliers, or (better still)
attaching it with a short length of line to the rigging,
push the loop down towards the eye while keeping pressure on
the double line.
Surgeons End Loop
Loops are made for the purpose of attaching leaders, traces
or other terminal tackle. They have the advantage that they can
be tied quickly and in the dark.
The Surgeon's End Loop is an easy way to go.
- Take the end of the line and double it to form a loop of
the required size.
- Tie an Overhand Knot at the desired point, leaving the
- Bring the doubled line through the loop again.
- Hold the line and the end part together, and pull the
loop to form a knot.
Blood Bight Knot
Another end loop can be tied quickly and easily using the Blood
- Double the line back to make a loop of the size desired.
- Bring the end of the loop twice over the doubled part.
- Now pass the end of the loop through the first loop
formed in the doubled part.
- Draw the knot up into shape, keeping pressure on both
The Blood Bight Knot is often used for attaching a dropper
when fishing deep water with several hooks.
Some anglers attached the hook directly to the end of the
loop, which should be at least 30cm from the end of the line.
This is not a good practice, especially when the fish are
shy. Far better to attach a single strand of nylon to a short
Blood Bight Knot, using another Blood Bight Knot, or a Surgeon's
A better method of forming a loop, or loops, in the line
above the sinker is to use the old Dropper Loop. This draws into
a knot that stands out at right angles to the line.
If desired, the loops can be made long enough to have a hook
set on them. And once again, this is not a good practice unless
the fish are biting-mad, which they rarely are.
- Form a loop in the line.
- Take hold of one side of the loop, and make 6 or more
turns around the line itself.
- This is the tricky part - keep open the point where the
turns, or twists, are being made.
- Take hold of the other side of the loop, and pull it
through the centre opening. use a finger in this loop so
that it is not lost.
- Hold this loop between the teeth. Pull gently on both
ends of the line, making the turns gather and pack down on
either side of the loop.
- Draw up the knot by pulling the lines as tightly as
possible. The turns will make the loop stand at right angles
to the line.
Tucked Sheet Bend
Usually employed by the fly fisherman, the Tucked Sheet Bend
is commonly used for joining the backing line to the tapered
line. It is not an especially compact knot, but has a very
strong attachment which cannot be said for the more
aesthetically pleasing Perfection Loop.
- Make a Blood Bight (see above) at the end of the backing
- Take the end of the tapered line. Pass it through the
Blood Bightand make a simple Sheet Bend.
- Now pass the end of the tapered line back through the
closed loop of the Sheet Bend.
- Hold both ends of the tapered line to tighten and draw
The float fisherman uses a running float for casting and general
handiness, and stops the float from running up the line by using
the Float Stop. It has the advantage that the stops moves
readily over the rod guides, but grips the monofilament nylon so
tightly that it will not slide over the line.
It should be made with about 12.5cm of nylon, usually the
same diameter as the line itself.
- Take 2 turns (3 if necessary) around the main line at
the chosen point.
- Bring both ends around to form a Surgeon's Knot (see
- Tighten into shape bringing the coils close together.
I have included the still-used Turle Knot for old times sake.
Also known as the Turtle Knot, and Major Turle's Knot, it is
simplicity itself to tie, but is one of the weakest knots.
It should never be used for light lines, and there are better
knots for use with heavy ones.
- Pass the line through the eye of the hook.
- Make a simple loop.
- Carry the end of the line on to make a Simple Overhand
Knot upon the loop.
- Pass the loop over the hook.
- Draw up into shape.
Double Turle Knot
Tied in monofilament nylon, the Turle Knot may slip unless
another Simple Overhand Knot is made at the end of the line
where it leaves the Turle Knot.
It is improved substantially by using the Double Turle Knot.
- Pass the line through the eye of the hook or swivel.
- Make two simple loops, and carry the line on to make a
Simple Overhand Knot around both loops.
- Pass both of these loops over the hook or swivel.
- Pull on both parts of the line to draw the knot up into
shape against the eye of the hook or swivel.