Basic fishing knots

Improved Clinch Knot

The Improved Clinch Knot is a popular, easy-to-tie, all-purpose knot. It offers up to 95 percent of the original line strength.
  • Thread the line through the eye of the hook or lure leaving about 6-12 inches of line
  • Leaving a small space between the line and the hook eye, twist the tag end around the standing line five times
  • Pass the tag end back through the small space you made near the hook eye then run the tag end back through the second loop you created
  • Pull on the tag end to partially tighten the coils then pull standing line slowly away from hook to slide the knot down toward the eye (it helps to wet it with saliva). Closely trim tag end

Palomar Knot

Over 95 percent in strength, the Palomar knot is good for lines up to 20 lb. test. Because it’s double-run through the lure or hook eye, knotted, and then looped over the hook or lure, it may tangle more easily. But it’s still a favorite knot of many anglers.
  • Fold about 6 inches of line over on itself
  • Take the folded line and pass it through the eye of the hook or lure (if the eye is small you can run the line through once and then double back through the eye to form the loop)
  • Make an overhand knot just above the eye of the hook, leaving a couple inches on the tag end of the folded line
  • Open your folded line, which is now a loop and pass the loop over the hook or lure
  • Pull both the tag and standing line to close the loop
  • Trim tag end

Arbor Knot

This knot is used to tie new line to the spool of your reel.
  • Wrap your line around the spool with the tag end of the line then tie a simple overhand knot around the standing part
  • Tie a second overhand knot with the tag end an inch or two away from the first overhand knot
  • Pull the standing part of the line to slide the first overhand knot toward the spool
  • Keep pulling on the standing line until the second overhand knot snugs up next to the first
  • Finish by pulling both knots tight to the spool and trimming the tag end

Snell Knot

Snelling means tying the knot away from the eye of the hook. These fishing knots work well for any type of fishing to increase strength and improve catch rates with bigger fish. Also popular with bait fishermen.
  • Start with an up-turned or down turned eye hook
  • Pass the line through the hook and form a large loop along the shank of the hook
  • The tag end should lie along the shank of the hook
  • Pass the loop over the point of the hook…
  • …and around the shank and the tag end, forming a wrap down the shank towards the curve of the hook
  • Repeat 6-10 times depending on the weight of the line and size of the hook
  • Pull on the standing line to tighten the snell and trim off any excess tag end

Double Uni Knot

This knot is a good one to know because it works well when tying a leader (usually fluorocarbon or monofilament line to a reel with braided line). Many anglers do this because fluoro sinks better than braid and is less visible to fish underwater.
  • Overlap the ends of lines to be joined
  • Take the end of the line from the left and double back and make 3 to 4 wraps around both lines and through the loop that was formed
  • Pull tag end to tighten
  • Repeat with the end of the line on the left making the same number of wraps unless tying with braided line in which you should double the number of wraps
  • Pull the standing lines in opposite direction to slide the two knots together
  • Trim ends close to the knot
Knot illustrations for use exclusively on Zebco.com.