How many times has this happened to you? You’re finally able to get out on the water after a long week at work. You hook into what feels like a trophy fish, only to have the knot break while bringing it in. This basic connection you tied to your line or hook is a very important element. Knots are rarely as strong as the fishing line, but tying a proper knot will greatly reduce your chances of losing a fish. Here’s how.

5 Tips to Tie Tougher Fishing Knots

There are four basic steps I always use to tie a strong knot, whether the knot is used to tie line to leader or to a hook or jig. I learned to tie a series of good knots that I felt confident in, that can withstand abuse from my fishing environment, and that serve my specific purposes.

Many anglers pick their favorite knots on the percent of the strength of the line at which the knot will break. For example, a knot testing 90% will break at nine pounds of tension in a line testing 10 pounds. Regardless of what knot you choose, practice, practice, practice.

woman holds up a fishing knot
Regardless of what knot you choose, practice, practice, practice. | Feature photo: Dee Kaminski

1 Wrap Neatly

Knots usually feature multiple wraps that finish with the tag end passing though a loop, then pulled tight to lock it in. This wrap should be tied neatly where they line up next to each other and do not cross over. Remember, a single crossed wrap can cause that knot to not lock in properly, leading to wear on the knot and breakage during hookups.

2 Lubricate

This basically helps you slide the knot closed more easily. Most anglers wet the line with their saliva.

3 Slow Down, Pay Attention

After I lubricate the knot, I pull the knot tight slowly avoiding friction, keeping my eye on the knot to make sure it is still neat until tightened. One or two more seconds to tie a good knot is worth the wait.

Trim the tag end close to the knot with a nail clipper or other trimming tool. Do not use your teeth or burn the tag end. Heat damages the line.

4 Test Your Knot

Grab your main line in one hand and the leader in the other or your lure or plug (be careful not to accidentally release it). Pull apart, giving good tension. I usually have fishing gloves on so I make an extra wrap around my palms, giving extra tension for testing. Another way is to use a Finger Saver Ring from Daiichi Seiko. Both ways will help with avoiding the braid cutting into your fingers or hands.

5 Go with Glue?

If you are looking to add a little extra insurance and piece of mind, some ‘experts’ coat some of their knots with glue. These glues vary in their stiffness and viscosity.

Loon’s UV Knot Sense seems to be the most popular as it cures quickly under UV light and once dry, remains flexible, making the knot pass easily through guides without issue. Another example is Zap-A-Gap, which is versatile in its uses. It dries fast and strong like superglue. It dries very hard and can cause issues with passing through your guides if you use too much.

Dee Kaminski is a Native Watercraft pro staffer, tournament master and owner/guide of Reel Kayak Fishing Charters. She is a frequent contributor to Kayak Angler.

Regardless of what knot you choose, practice, practice, practice. | Feature photo: Dee Kaminski



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