Fly Fishing Knots, What Knot To Do?

Fly Fishing Knots, What Knot To Do?

There are so many fly fishing knots available to learn that a new fly fisher is often overwhelmed by the options and has a bit of trouble deciding which knots to tackle. Experienced anglers often overlook the difference a knot could make in their presentation or numbers of landed fish, not to mention the effect a knot can have on the numbers of flies you keep/lose.

If you are new to fly fishing concentrate on learning a few basic knots. For Trout you need to learn knots that will connect backing to a reel, backing to fly line, fly line to leader, leader to tippet and tippet to fly. That sounds like a lot, but it really isn't too bad if you break it down. Here are my go-to knots for most Trout applications:

Arbor Knot - backing to reel

Nail Knot - backing to fly line


Nail Knot or Needle Nail Knot - fly line to leader (non-looped fly line)


Perfection Loop - leader to fly line (looped fly line)


Blood Knot or Surgeons Knot - leader to tippet

Clinch or Uni - tippet to fly

https://www.flyfisherman.com/2011/07/08/the-knots-you-need/


If you've mastered the basic connections consider how changing knots might improve your fishing. For example, if you fish streamers in a lake or river would an open loop knot such as a Non-Slip Mono Knot or Rapala Knot allow your streamer to have more action. In most cases the answer is yes. Another alteration is needed when chasing large fish on light tippet. In this situation consider substituting your normal, quick to tie Clinch or Improved Clinch for a super strong connection like a Palomar Knot. The Palomar is the strongest knot I know of and is quite simple to tie. The only drawback I can think of to the Palomar is that it uses a bit more material to tie, so you may burn through more tippet if using it regularly. Another great time to evaluate connections is when using long leaders (dry flies or Euro-nymphing) or fishing with little fly line out of the rod tip (small streams). In those situations it is common to frequently bring the fly line to leader connection in and out of the rod guides. A bulky, uneven connection will hang up in the guides and cause you to loose fish as well as drive you crazy by making you stop fishing to pull the fly line back out of the guides. Try a Needle Nail Knot or Superglue Splice to create a smooth connection that easily slides through the fly rod guides. Welded loops are available on most floating fly lines these days and although they are convenient, they're bulky and don't slide through the guides very well. It is painful to pay nearly $100 for a new fly line and then hack off the end of the line but in many situations doing so will make your time on the water more efficient.

Here is a cool website dedicated to knots:

http://www.animatedknots.com/indexfishing.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com


Grab some line the next time you park it on the couch to watch a game or TV show. Spending a little quality time practicing your knots can only improve your fishing. I know it has mine.

Recommended for You

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere. Fly Tying

Fly Tying Chip's Monster Magic Fly

Dwayne 'Chip' Cromarty - January 15, 2016

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere.

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream. United States

Saving the Chattahoochee River

Ross Purnell - April 23, 2019

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

Breaking the Surface

Breaking the Surface

Attack of the Bass continues as Breaking the Surface attacks bass with fly and lure 12:30pm ET Sunday, April 17th.

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones are brightly colored treasures. Trout

Alpine Lakes for Remote Monsters

Landon Mayer - April 18, 2018

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones...

American River California United States

American River California

MIchael Wier - March 23, 2017

American River California

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

See More Stories

More Learn

How to add movement to your flies for presentations trout can't resist. How-To

How to Imitate Caddisflies

George Daniel with Paul Weamer - October 23, 2019

How to add movement to your flies for presentations trout can't resist.

Steve is a Michael Jordan sort of fierce competitor, but at the same time he'd give you the shirt off his back. Casting

Steve Rajeff: The Gentle Giant of Fly Casting

John Field - December 06, 2019

Steve is a Michael Jordan sort of fierce competitor, but at the same time he'd give you the...

Fifteen minutes of practice every day over the course of a summer or fall season can make you an excellent caster. Casting

Simple Steps to Deliver Your Fly to the Fish

FFM Staff | Photography by Jay Nichols

Fifteen minutes of practice every day over the course of a summer or fall season can make you...

See More Learn

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.