Fishing Knots Can Make Or Break A Fishing Trip
By Bob Ives
No, the fishing knots we are going to cover here aren't those bird's
nest looking tangles that happen to your reel after you make a bad cast.
These are the kind that connect your fishing line to your reel, another
line, and the hook. The latter is important because fish don't usually
bring a hook with them. Then again, there's been times I've caught them
with a hook already lodged in their mouth. I couldn't help but look
further down the throat to see what might have happened to the
When I was a kid, my buddies and I used granny knots, which aren't very
secure for fishing. A granny knot will hold something in place that
doesn't wiggle a lot, like a fish, but for angling there is too much
slippage; just like on parts of granny (maybe that's how it got the
Later, I learned how to tie a fishing knot called the improved clinch
knot. This one works well if you remember to tie it right. I say that
because on one of my fishing trips, the knot failed me; or rather, I
failed the knot. Let me explain.
First, let's clarify what the 'tag end' of the line is. The 'tag end' is
the short end of the line left over after you run the line through the
eye of the hook and that will be left over after you have tied the knot.
The knot is tied by running the line through the eye of the hook, coming
back over the eye with the tag end, and twisting it around the line 5 or
6 times. Then you take the tag end and run it through the loop that was
created next to the eye below the twisted line and bring it back around
through the loop that was created at the side of the twisted line as a
result of running the line through the loop that was created next to the
So, I go on this chartered saltwater fishing trip off the coast of
Fraser Island and we were after tuna. The crew handed out the tackle,
lines were in the water and delighted guests started pulling in tuna
like crazy. I was so excited I was trembling. I just knew this was going
to be the day I caught my biggest fish ever.
But, a big one hit my bait and broke my line. I had to put on a new hook
and retie my knot. I hadn't been fishing for awhile, but I 'thought' I
remembered how to tie the improved clinch knot. So, I retie my rig. It
turns out I forgot a step: I didn't run the line though that last loop I
described above. It felt like a secure knot, and it would have been fine
for bream, but not for saltwater fishing.
Soon, I got bit by another big tuna and the fight was on. This was going
to be great! What memories I'd have, right? Well, I have them, but not
of catching a big tuna. What I remember is that I tied that fishing knot
wrong, so I lost my fish.
I've haven't been saltwater fishing again, but if I go, I now know at
least a couple fishing knots I can use to make sure I keep my catch.
Even if you only go fishing once in awhile, take the time to learn at
least one really good fishing not. It can make or break your next