Knot-Tying Basics

Use our guide to learn a few of the most widely used fishing knots.

Surgeon’s Knot

When to Use
The Surgeon's knot is an excellent choice for joining lines of similar or unequal diameters (such as a heavier leader to a lighter main line). It also works well when joining lines of different materials.

Holding Power
95+%

Tips and Tricks
This connection is so simple that it can easily be tied in the dark. You must pull evenly on all four lines in order to properly seat the knot.

Surgeon’s Loop

When to Use
Just as versatile as the Perfection Loop, the Surgeon's Loop also serves as a more robust substitute for the dropper-loop rig used for bottom fishing. Simply cut one side of the loop to create a short leader, tie your sinker to the longer tag line, then bait up and drop down.

Holding Power
90+%

Tips and Tricks
Alternately, you can cut the loop to create a long leader and a short branch to the sinker, allowing you to suspend a bait either above or below the sinker.

Double Uni-Knot (Uni-to-Uni Splice)

When to Use
This is an excellent choice for joining lines of either similar or different diameters. The double uni is ideal for connecting superbraid main line to mono or fluorocarbon leaders.

Holding Power
90 to 100 percent

Tips and Tricks
This is a go-to knot when you don't want a swivel between the main line and leader, such as in casting situations in which only a short trace leader is necessary.

Palomar

When to Use
A simple and trusted connection to terminal tackle, the palomar can easily and quickly be tied in braids or mono. It's exceptionally strong, and the double wrap around the eye provides extra chafe protection during long battles with stubborn fish.

Holding Power
90 to 100 percent

Tips and Tricks
Inspect each palomar to make sure the double loops around the hook eye lie parallel, not crossed, because overlapping line can cut into itself and break. If crossed, cut and retie.

Improved Clinch Knot

When to Use
Easy to learn and easy to tie, this is a reliable connection to hooks, swivels and lures. Suitable for use with monofilament and fluorocarbon lines, but not a good choice for superbraids.

Holding Power
90 to 95 percent

Tips and Tricks
Pass the line through the eye twice to create a double improved clinch, which offers better chafe protection and 95 percent plus breaking strength.

Perfection Loop

When to Use
Easy to tie even in heavy mono or fluorocarbon, this connection creates a loop that can be sized to suit. By allowing hooks or lures to swing freely, it lets live baits swim more naturally and provides extra action to lures.

Holding Power
85 to 90 percent

Tips and Tricks
Great for topwater lures, it can also be used for loop-to-loop connections, such as when attaching leaders to fly lines.