Knots are the unsung heroes of the fishing scene. They get little press, but all the high-tech tackle and secret tactics in the world won’t help you if your knot slips or weakens your line, causing it to break at the moment of truth. Further, the right knots can help you be more efficient, catch more fish and have more fun.
So what is the best knot? It can be hard for an angler to decide. There are countless fine knots for making the critical connections we need during a day on the water though some separate themselves as being substantially better. They are easier to tie and test well both in the lab and on the water. To help you choose the best fishing knot and tie it correctly, we’ve assembled a stellar lineup of top fishing knots to learn, know and use.
A stronger version of the Improved Clinch, the Trilene Knot has yielded 100 percent of the line’s original strength when tested on Berkley’s Knot Wars equipment. It was developed by Berkley specifically for use with its monofilament lines, and excels for joining swivels, leaders and lures to mono and fluorocarbon. After a few practice runs, the Trilene Knot quickly becomes second nature, and is especially easy to tie with lighter pound tests.
HOW TO TIE THE TRILENE KNOT
- Run the tag end of the line through the hook eye twice, forming a small loop
- Pinch the loop between thumb and forefinger to hold it in place, then wrap the tag end of the line around the standing line at least five times and pass the end back through the loops
- Moisten thoroughly and draw tight
For joining superlines to leaders or lures, the Palomar Knot has few equals. In fact, it is the recommended knot for Berkley FireLine. It also works well with fluorocarbon fishing line. Strong and easy to tie, the Palomar resists slipping and has retained 100 percent of the line’s original strength in Berkley Knot Wars testing.
HOW TO TIE THE PALOMAR
- Double about six inches of the main line and run it through the hook eye
- Double the loop back and make an overhand knot around the doubled line, leaving a loop large enough to pass the hook or lure through
- Pull the loop down and around the entire hook or lure
- Moisten well and draw tight by pulling both ends of the line
BONUS PALOMAR—THE NANOFIL KNOT
Berkley’s NanoFil is the thinnest, strongest, longest casting superline. As a result it also requires a little extra care when tying. Fortunately, a doubled version of the Palomar handles the job with ease.
HOW TO TIE THE NANOFIL KNOT
- Double the line and run about six inches of it through the hook eye
- Bring the loop up the mainline and make two wraps through the newly formed loop
- Run the hook or lure through the loop formed by the doubled lines
- Moisten and firmly but gently draw the knot together; do not pull too aggressively on the tag end or you will weaken the knot
BERKLEY BRAID KNOT
Developed by Berkley for use with braided superlines, the Berkley Braid Knot is a great overall choice that works wonders with monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines as well. Crowned a Knot Wars champion after defeating solid contenders including the Fish-n-Fool and Triple Loop Knot, the Berkley Braid Knot has few if any weaknesses.
HOW TO TIE THE BERKLEY BRAID KNOT
- Double the main line
- Insert it through the hook eye and back up the main line
- Going from top down, make eight wraps around both lines
- Thread the loop through the gap between the hook eye and last wrap
- Moisten and tighten by pulling on the main line, tag end and loop
- Trim the tag end and the loop
EUGENE BEND KNOT
Easy to tie and extremely strong, the Eugene Bend, also called the Eugene Slip Knot, is a great choice for monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines. When tied correctly, you’ll hear a slight pop when you draw it tight.
HOW TO TIE THE EUGENE BEND KNOT
- Pass the tag end of the line through the hook eye and form a long loop
- Wrap the loop around the standing line four times
- Run the tag end through the loop
- Moisten and draw tight
UNI TO UNI KNOT
A standout for joining lines of relatively similar diameter, the Uni to Uni Knot is a great choice for adding a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader to your superline mainline. Such a combination couples the low-visibility and easy-casting properties of fluorocarbon with the phenomenal sensitivity and pulling power of superline. The Uni to Uni preserves up to 90 percent of line strength, and is a stronger connection than either the Surgeon Knot or Blood Knot. Note, if you need to join lines of vastly different diameters, the Albright Knot is a great pick.
HOW TO TIE THE UNI TO UNI KNOT
- Overlap the end of the leader material and main line about 6 inches
- Bring the tag end of the main line toward the middle, forming a loop
- Using the same tag end, make 6 to 8 turns through the loop and tighten by tugging on the tag end
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the leader material
- After moistening, pull the standing lines in opposite directions to bring the knots together
Tip: When joining lines of different diameter, making an extra wrap or two with the thinner-diameter line helps secure the Uni to Uni.