Knots help connect you directly to the fish, and there are a bazillion knots that serve different purposes. To lessen the confusion, we've selected a handful of popular, time-tested favorites and provided standard examples of how to tie each one. Keep an eye on our blog and social media for fresh informational and instructional content regarding other knots, too! Click on any image in the following galleries for instructions and a closer look.
*Knot Note- It is recommended to moisten any knot before cinching it tight.
Improved Clinch Knot
Suggested Uses- Tying fly to tippet
Insert the line through the hook eye.
Wrap the tag end around the main line five times while keeping the small opening in the line near the hook eye.
Insert the tag end through the opening near the hook eye.
Take the tag end and pass it over the wraps and back through the large loop created during Step 3.
Pull the main line and tag end evenly to snug the knot tight. Clip the excess.
Suggested Uses- Joining together two lines of different diameters / fly line to backing / fly line to leader butt
Double over the thicker/stiffer line (chartreuse) and pass the thinner line (orange) through the loop you created.
Hold both the thick and thin lines slightly below the loop opening. The orange tag end is hanging from behind the thick main line.
Take the tag end and wrap forward ten times towards the loop. You may have to pause and inch your thumb and forefinger forward as you go to keep the wraps secured.
While holding all of your wraps securely, run the tag end through the loop so that it exits on the same side the line first entered at the start.
Carefully pull on all of the lines to tighten the knot down evenly. Trim the tag ends.
Suggested Uses- Tying on the tippet section
The orange line represents the tippet, while the chartreuse line represents the butt section.
Form a loop with both lines.
Take the tag end of the butt section and the entire length of the long tippet and run them around the loop two times.
Pull all four lines evenly to cinch the knot down. Clip the tag ends.
Suggested Uses- Fly line to leader butt
*For the Nail Knot, I used a Tie-Fast tool which makes tying this knot a breeze!
Run several inches of the leader butt (orange line) past the tip of the tool, then use your thumb to pin the line against the flat spot on the tool.
With the tag end through the notch of the tool, neatly wrap the tag end five to eight times going away from the tip.
Secure the wraps with your index finger, and pass the tag end through the wraps and out the tip of the tool.
Run about an inch of fly line (chartreuse) through the middle of the wraps. While still securing the wraps with your index finger, take your other hand and grab the tag end of the butt section (orange line). Quickly and sharply pull it away from the tool.
If done correctly, the knot should have transferred from the tool onto the fly line without bunching up. Tug both ends of your leader butt (orange line) to tighten, then clip the excess.
Uses- Backing to spool
Wrap the backing around the core of the spool (a line spool simulates the reel spool here).
Taking the tag end, make a simple overhand knot over the main line and snug it down.
Make another simple overhand knot in the tag end.
Pull the main line to tighten the knot. The two overhand knots will jam together against the spool. You may have to use your fingers to work the knot down tightly against the spool's surface. Clip the tag end.