How To Tie Fishing Knots – Step By Step Guide


For some people, fishing has already become a hobby or even a source of livelihood. Yet, not everyone knows how to tie different fishing knots. We usually think that one type of knot will do in all fishing spots we go to. However, have you asked yourself, “Which fishing knot is best for certain types of fish?”, “Which are the strongest fishing knots?”, and many other questions.

In reality, one type of fishing knot will be good for some situations, but not so good in other situations. In this guide on how to tie fishing knots, you will learn several fishing knots that you can use the next time you hit the waters. Get your line, hook, and thread, and let’s start with the most basic one!

The Clinch Knot

Most of us learn the clinch knot when we were kids. The clinch knot can be used when fishing for almost any type of fish including bass, trout, panfish, or even large salmonids and steelhead flourish. You will use a clinch knot when you want to connect a hook, swivel, or sinker eye to a leader or line.

To do the clinch knot:

  • First, take the line and pass it through the eye of the hook.
  • Then, start taking wraps along the mainline with the loose end (fewer wraps if you’re using a thicker line, about four wraps; for thin lines, up to eight).
  • Take the end of the line and tuck it in the loop closest to the eye.
  • Finally, tighten the knot.

You can trim the loose end of the line as needed.

The Improved Clinch Knot

Improving the clinch knot – to make it more “snap-proof” by 10-20% – is easy. It is a clinch knot with a minor modification:

  • After passing the loose end of the line through the loop closest to the eye, you just have to pass it through inside the loose section of the line.

The Double Clinch Knot

The double clinch knots doubles the “snap-proof” feature of the clinch knot. To do the double clinch knot correctly, you just double the line you use (by folding the mainline) and do a clinch knot.

The Turle Knot

The turtle knot is a classic fishing knot used frequently in fly or spin fishing. Compared to the clinch knot, the turle knot does not have the stiffness of several loops, which affects how a hook lies when submerged in water. Because of this, the turle knot is also less visible underwater, making it better in not disturbing fish.

The turle knot is best when using a thin line and a small hook. To do the turle knot:

  • First, pass the line through the eye of the hook and form a loop around the shaft of the hook.
  • Then, tie an overhand knot loosely before tightening it around the eye.

The Snell Knot

You intend to use the snell knot if you want great strength and for hooks that have bait. This type of knot is what you typically see tied to Eagle Claw hooks. The snell knot is not advisable for fish with sharp teeth because the fish might just tear the wraps, losing your hook.

To do a snell knot:

  • First, run the loose end of a line through the eye of a hook, with the end pointing toward the hook.
  • Then, form a small loop and bring the end behind the hook shank, with enough length to work with.
  • Start wrapping the end around the hook shank and the link, working from the point to the eye. Around 5 to 7 wraps will do.
  • Then, pass the end through the loop, from the underside to the topside.
  • Pull the end and the line to tighten towards the hook eye.

The Sliding Snell Knot

The sliding snell knot is a slight variation from the snell knot above. It is best used for salmon fishing. Simply pull on the lead hook to adjust the bend in the bait. This brings the tailhook closer to the head and allows for more spin because of better bending in the bait. However, an unnatural spin will result if you put too much bend in the bait.

The Egg Loop Knot


The egg loop knot is best when targeting catfish, steelhead, or a migrating salmonid because it keeps baits attached more firmly to the hook. You can, therefore, save more baits and fish some more. This knot is especially useful for baits that are difficult to attach to a hook such as fish eggs and roe. Treatment of bait is recommended for this type of knot.

To do the egg loop knot:

  • Start with a long line, about four feet, and pass it through the eye of the hook. Hold this with your thumb and forefinger.
  • Wrap the line about 10-20 times toward the bend in the hook.
  • Hold the wraps firmly and pass the line back through the eye of the hook in the opposite direction.
  • Wrap 5 times more.
  • Pull the line to tighten the knot.
  • Using the line, form a loop on top of the hook to hold the bait.

So far, you have learned knots that connect a line to a hook. The last two knots you’ll learn in our guide on how to tie fishing knots will teach you how to tie two lines together.

The Surgeon’s Knot

The surgeon’s knot is one of the easiest knots to tie two lines together. Fly fishers may well know this knot if they still cannot differentiate a cautery from a curette. This is a quick fix when you need to change your tippet in some situations.

To do the surgeon’s knot:

  • Start by laying two lines parallel to each other, overlapping them several inches.
  • Then, form a loop using both lines with enough overlap to tie an overhand knot.
  • Pull the lines through the loop twice.
  • Finally, tighten the entire knot.

The Blood Knot

The blood knot, usually dubbed as the strongest fishing knot, is mostly used to tie two lines together. The blood knot is compact and will be able to go through the water with minimal interference.

To do the blood knot:

  • Start by placing the ends of a line together, overlapping several inches.
  • Then, wrap one line to the other at least five times. Place the end of this line at the intersection of the two lines.
  • Also, wrap the other line to the first line at least five times in the opposite direction. Pass the end of this line through the loop at the intersection in the opposite direction of the first line.
  • Pull both lines in the opposite direction to tighten the knot.

You may cut the ends as needed.

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The best way to master all these fishing knots is to practice. Just remember that each type of knot is used for different situations. So, go ahead, try the fishing knots you have learned from this step by step guide and see yourself hauling more fish the next time you go fishing.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!