Best Fishing Knots to Tie and Throw This Summer
OutdoorHub Reporters 07.27.19
We’re quickly reaching the halfway point in summer, and we hope you’ve spent as much time as possible with a fishing rod in hand. It’s a simple fact that not all fishing knots are equally good. In fact, some are terribly bad. While it is true you can get away with a mediocre knot for low key, casual fishing where the only thing at stake is an afternoon of beer drinking and a few small fish, it is still important to know which knot is right for specific situations. So, to that end, here are possibly the best fishing knots we’ll be tying on this summer.
On a more serious note though, tying a good knot on your hook isn’t some arcane act, but like anything where there are multiple choices, there are going to be a lot of – sometimes – heated debates. But, debate means competing ideas, and when ideas compete, everyone wins. With that in mind, we’ve selected several of the best fishing knots, and leave it to you to hash them out with your buddies over the next fishing trip.
The Palomar Knot
The Palomar Knot is one of the most common, and arguably the single best fishing knots for hooks out there. It comes up again and again pretty much every authoritative guide on tying fishing knots, and for good reason. This is a strong, simple knot that is easy to tie, will hold together when wet, and doesn’t really weaken the line. As an added bonus, it is an excellent choice for braided line, which is something that cannot be said about all types of knots. This knot also works well when using flourocarbon lines, which is well known for its strength while still having excellent sensitivity. One of our favorites is the Sufix Invisiline Casting Flourocarbon. It disappears in the water, casts amazingly well and costs less than many other lines, especially when you buy the 200-yard spools.
The Fisherman’s Knot
Another really popular knot is the aptly named Fisherman’s Knot. While a bit more complex than the Palomar Knot, it offers incredible strength, while still remaining easy to tie, making it one of the best fishing knots going. Is it the best fishing knot for hooks? Well, that’s a rather subjective question, but this old favorite should be in your arsenal of knots. If you only learn to tie a few knots, the Fisherman’s Knot should be one of them, and really unless you do a lot of different types of fishing, you could probably go a lifetime just knowing this and the Palomar Knot.
The Uni Knot
Because braided fishing line has unique characteristics, it doesn’t hurt to learn at least one other knot, and the Uni Knot is onf ot the best fishing knots for braided line. It is true that both the Palomar Knot and the Fisherman’s knot will work well with braided line, but the Uni Knot (also known as the Gallows Knot) is popular with fishermen using braided line. It also works very well with monofilament line, and can even be used for joining two lines together, making it a very handy knot indeed.
The Snell Knot
An often overlooked, but still very handy knot is the Snell Knot. This is an especially useful technique when working with braided line or fluorocarbon line. Snelling a hook is the act of passing the line through the eye of the hook, and then wrapping it around the shank of the hook. This technique can be done several different ways, and offers outstanding strength, particularly when using difficult to work with line.
How will Certain Knots Affect the Strength of My Fishing Line?
Great question. The best fishing knots have to do a lot of things at once. They should be easy to tie, they should not snag on the bottom, or get tangled up in weeds, they should work well with the type of hook or lure being used, and they should not overly weaken the line. However, it is a known fact that tying a knot reduces the strength of a line. The bends and loops in a knot reduce the ability of a line to retain full breaking strength due to the way strain is applied on the line. The best fishing knots for hooks will have a very high breaking strength compared to the original strength of the line. For instance, the famous Palomar knot has about 91% strength. That means on a 10 pound test line, the knot will physically fail with about 9 pounds of pull.
The good folks at Berkley, makers of famous fishing line and equipment have tested many different knots and under controlled circumstances managed to even get well known fishing knots to hold at 100 percent of line strength. Their careful, scientific study of knots and how best to tie them on various types of fishing line should not be overlooked.
Wet line will also influence how well a knot holds. Dry line isn’t as slick, and will hold a knot better, so you’ll want to make sure your line is dry when tying your fishing hook knot.
Braided fishing line presents unique opportunities and problems when tying fishing knots. Because it is much stronger than similar sized monofilament line, it is increasingly popular in areas with heavy weeds or where line breaking is a problem. In addition it offers a high knot strength, allowing you to use knots that might be considered marginal for monofilament line.
Which Knot is the Best to Know?
There are several fishing knots out there that will do the trick, but only a handful of time proven winners will do the job again and again. Some of these knots are universal for all types of lines, and some are not. Learning them is not hard, and you don’t have to have some weird “special knot” to catch fish.
Learn to tie these strong knots and you’ll be ready to catch fish all summer long. Don’t worry if you don’t know them now. Practicing is easy and it only takes doing the steps one or two times to catch on. Have these few knots in your fishing toolbox and you’re ready to hit the water this summer.