Within the annals of fishing lore passed down from generations of fishing families lies the subject of fishing knots. Entire books and pamphlets have been written about their use and the numerous forms they take. As a fisherman, it’s always good to know your knots. However, I’ll share with you the 3 fishing knots I primarily use and explain why they can get you by in most situations.
Palomar Knot – The Line To Hook Preference
The properties of the Palomar knot make it one of the strongest, fastest holding knots I’ve ever used. It has over time become my choice knot when tying line to hook. The Palomar knot is known for its strength because of the way it’s formed. Its loop and cinch technique make slipping an almost impossibility.
How To Tie The Palomar Knot
- Have your hook ready within arms reach. Take the end of your line and double it back. Get about 6 inches of doubled line to work with. Pinch the curved end of the doubled line with your thumb and forefinger to flatten it against itself.
- Take up your hook and feed the doubled line through its eye. Make sure not to pull so much line through that your doubled section ends. You should have equal parts of doubled line on either side of the hook to work with once fed through the eye.
- Now take the doubled line and tie an overhand knot, just like you would when you start to tie your shoe. You’ll have a loop on one side, and your line end with continuing mainline on the other. The hook will be dangling in between.
- Next, take the loop end of a line and put the hook through it.
- Lastly, while holding the hook pull both the mainline and the tag (ending part) line to cinch the loop down just behind the eye of the hook. Be careful the loop doesn’t catch above the eye on the actual hook.
- Clip any excess line from the tag end.
That’s all there is to it. It’s simple and easy to remember. It’s also one of the strongest fishing knots known to fishermen. The cinch knot even in its improved version will slip sometimes while the Palomar Knot will hold fast.
Surgeon’s Knot – When A Line Loop Is Needed
Tying loops in our line serves a very specific purpose. Most fishermen have at least one rig that requires a loop to properly set. The loop can be used at the end of the line, or anywhere else along its length. It’s most often used to attach weight, swivels, or hooks. Like all other fishing knots, loop knots can be tied in many different ways. I prefer the Surgeon’s Loop. It’s one of the strongest loops, and extremely easy to tie.
How To Tie The Surgeon’s Loop
- Take a length of line and double it over. For larger loops double more lines. For smaller loops useless.
- Take your doubled line and tie an overhand knot without cinching it down. You’ll have the loop end on one side, and the mainline and end line on the other.
- Now tie a second overhand knot. Maybe it’s better to say just go around again. This forms the Surgeon’s knot. I usually go around three times forming a triple overhand knot so to speak.
- Pull both sides of the doubled line to cinch the knot. If tied at the end of the line, clip the tag end. If tied along the length of the line, you have a nice loop.
My personal favorite use of the Surgeon’s Loop is while rock fishing on the ocean. I can use it to both ties on weight, and attach one or two hooks to my line. Its uses go way beyond this, and its simplicity and strength make it one of my top 3 choices.
The Uni To Uni Knot – 2 Lines Become One
It is another important rig we turn to for other occasions that requires some sort of a leader. If you’re looking for fishing knots that tie line together, the Uni to Uni is my personal favorite. It does take a little practice, but once learned is quick to tie. As far as line-to-line attachment knots go, the Uni to Uni is among the easiest to tie and the longest to hold.
How To Tie The Uni To Uni Knot
- Take the leader or line you want to attach and run it beside the mainline. Give yourself about a foot of both lines to work with. The lines should run beside each other so that each end is opposite one another, instead of the ends coming together at the same point.
- With your forefinger and thumb, pinch both lines at about the center point. On one side, form a loop with the tag line. The line that comes to an end.
- Bring the loop back up to the top forming a complete circle with the tag end pointing back up the mainline. Wrap the tag line around the inside of the loop making sure to also wrap it around the mainline. 5 or 6 wraps will do.
- Pull both ends of both lines to cinch the knot. Let the tag end slip until it comes snug. Leave the knot snug at this point. We’ll wait to tighten it when the other side is formed.
- Repeat this exact process on the other side of your pinched line. Once snug, firmly pull both mainlines away from each other. By tying the Uni knot this way, you’ve created two slip knots that stop and fasten when they meet each other.
- Clip both tag ends close to the knot.
After fiddling with blood knots and other line to line suggestions, I came to trust and depend on the Uni to Uni. It’s a good knot to learn and tie when the action is not on. You’ll get good at it quickly, and won’t mind tying on a quick flourocarbon leader in a pinch.
Final Thoughts On Our 3 All Purpose Fishing Knots
Keep those other knots in the mental tackle box! Knots such as the Albright, Dropper Loop, and Improved Clinch knot are always good to know. Fishermen that use heavy and braided lines would likely have a different list of primary knots. If your purposes are to tie strong knots in mono or fluoro line, you need to look no further than the three fishing knots I’ve covered. Learn them well and you’ll never forget them. Have a different knot you think might be better? We’d like to hear your opinion and have a chance to get back to you.