10 Best Bass Fishing Knots
It can be easy to assume that knots aren’t that important to the success of your fishing trip, but they’re actually vital to ensuring your tackle stays together. It’s important to re-tie your lines regularly, so you can be sure your knots are strong and reliable. An improperly tied line could come undone during a cast, threatening the loss of bait, in-line equipment, even expensive technology such as an in-line fishing camera. We’ve previously covered the 8 beginner fishing knots that every angler should know, but in this article, we’ll dive deeper into some of the best knots for bass fishing.
There is no single knot that’s perfect for every fishing situation, so to be a successful angler, not only do you need to know a range of string knots, but you also need to correctly identify which knot to use in which situation. There are also a few guidelines that apply to every situation, no matter which knot you’re tying, applying these methods will help it to be stronger. Firstly, you should always moisten your line before tightening the knot, which allows for less friction, so the end result will be stronger and more secure. As you’re cinching your fishing knot to completion, do it slowly. Watch as the line pulls tight, ensuring the knot retains its proper shape so there are no points of weakness.
Different types of fishing line
When it comes to knot tying, there are a few variables that can have an impact on the knot you can use. There are three main types of fishing line which are popular with anglers, and they are braided line, monofilament line, and fluorocarbon line. Because each of these leader materials has different properties, you can’t use all knots with all types of line. When selecting one of the best fishing knots to catch your next record-breaking bass, make sure the one you choose is appropriate for your line materials.
Many bass anglers choose a fluorocarbon leader as it’s virtually invisible to the fish, an issue if you’re aiming for a finesse presentation. However, this isn’t applicable if you’re fishing in murky waters, so a stronger line might be preferred for such large fish. The best fishing knots are only as strong as the rest of your tackle, so choosing the correct, line, bait, hook, and of course, knot, is important to the success of your trip! Now you’ve learned a few tips to help you make every fishing knot more reliable, let’s jump into the 10 Best Bass Fishing Knots.
1. Palomar Knot
The Palomar knot is regarded by many as one of the strongest fishing knots you can tie. The strength of this knot is about 90% of that of an unknotted line, making it a very reliable one to add to your repertoire. It’s usually used on braided lines and is fairly simple to tie. Here’s how to tie the perfect Palomar Knot:
- Double over about 6 inches of line and pass the end through the eye of your hook.
- Use the line to tie a loose overhand knot, with the hook hanging down at the bottom.
- Holding your overhand knot with one thumb and forefinger, pass the loop of line over the hook, and slide it to just above the eye.
- Pull on both the standing line and the tag end, to tighten the knot into place. It should sit just on top of your hook eye.
- Finish by clipping down the tag end of your line to keep everything neat and prevent tangles.
2. Unit Knot
Another dependable bass fishing knot is the Uni Knot, also known as the Duncan Loop. It’s ideal for when you need to tie on a monofilament line to terminal tackle, similar to the Improved Clinch Knot. This is another angling knot with a strength of more than 90% of an untied line, and also performs well with braided fishing line. It’s the perfect choice if you need to connect a braided line to a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader. To tie a Uni Knot, follow these instructions:
- Run your line through the eye of your hook and then double back, parallel to the standing line. Create a loop by laying the tag end over the doubled line.
- Next, make 6 turns with the tag end, around the doubled line, and through the loop.
- Pull the tag end to compact the turns, ensuring you’ve moistened the line as per our previous advice.
- Slide the knot down to meet the eye to complete, or leave a small loop in between if you prefer.
- Trim the tag end close to the knot.
3. Surgeon’s Knot
The Surgeon’s Knot is one of the best, as well as the easiest, for joining lines of equal or unequal diameters. This fishing knot is quicker to tie than others you might need in the same situation, such as the Blood Knot or the Double Uni Knot. This angling knot is also useful when your two lines are of different materials. At nearly 100% knot strength, this reliable knot is an excellent one to try out on your next bass fishing trip, just follow these simple steps:
- Lay the line and leader on top of each other, and make sure they overlap by at least a few inches.
- Make a simple loop from these two lines.
- Nest, pass the tag end as well as the entire leader through this loop twice.
- If you want to tie the Triple Surgeon’s Knot, pass the tag and leader line through the loop an additional time.
- Wet the line to prevent friction, and pull all four ends tight simultaneously.
4. Albright Knot
Another knot which is ideal for connecting two lines of different sizes or materials is the Albright Knot. Popular amongst fly fishermen and experienced anglers, the Albright Knot slides easily through guides, so your line won’t snag when you need it the most. It isn’t quite as easy to tie as the previous Surgeon’s knot, however, it’s definitely still worth learning. Here’s how to tie the Albright Knot:
- Make a loop with your first line to be connected. If you’re using lines of two different sizes, make sure this loop is made using the thicker line.
- Pass approximately 10 inches of the other fishing line through this loop.
- Hold the three lines between a thumb and forefinger, wrapping the lighter line back over itself, and both strands of the loop.
- Next, you’ll need to make 10 tight turns using the same thinner line. Feed the tag end back through the original loop, and exit through the same side it entered. It’s vital to tie the Albright Knot correctly that the lines exit on the same side of the loop.
- Holding both ends of the heavier line, slide the wraps to the end of the loop.
- Pull the lighter line tight, and clip off the tag end to complete the knot.
5. Trilene Knot
A 100% knot is one that is as strong or stronger than the rated strength of the line. As knots are usually the weakest part of your line and therefore the most likely to break, a 100% knot like the Trilene Knot ensures that it will hold strong. The Trilene Knot is a reliable connection for use with monofilament or fluorocarbon to swivels, snaps, hooks, and artificial lures. This fishing knot is similar to the Palomar Knot, however, where this is better for braided or superlines, the Trilene has a better knot strength for use with other lines. To tie this incredibly strong bass fishing knot, take a look at these instructions:
- Pass the end of your line through the eye of the hook twice in the same direction, creating a loop behind the eye.
- Wrap the tag end around the standing line 5 or 6 times.
- Then, feed the tag end back through the loops.
- With a dampened line, steadily pull the knot tight to complete the Trilene Knot.
6. Snell Knot
A Snell Knot is a method of snelling a hook so that as you retrieve your line, there’s an even pull in a straight direction for the fish. This is a great technique to implement when angling for bass, and you can use it in conjunction with some of our other bass fishing tips. A few different variations of the Snell Knot are used by anglers everywhere, but we think this one is the easiest. Follow these steps to tie a perfect snell knot:
- Run the tag end of your line through the hook eye towards the point, and form a small loop. Bring the tag end behind the hook shank, and make sure it’s at least 4 inches long.
- Starting from the point of the hook, wrap the tag end around the hook shank 5 to 7 times, working towards the eye.
- Feed the tag out through the loop, from the underside to the top side.
- Hold the wraps carefully so they don’t lose their place, and pull the tag end out to tighten. Check that the wraps are neat and even.
- Pull both ends of the fishing line firmly to secure the knot in place, and then clip the free end of the line.
7. Non-Slip Loop Knot
The Loop Knot is an incredibly common knot in all applications, however, you might not know the Non-Slip Loop Knot. Used best with monofilament fishing line, this knot is ideal to give your lure more natural action, as a loop has some flexibility and movement that a tighter knot may miss. This reliable knot, also known as the Kreh Loop, can be created by following these instructions:
- Firstly, make an overhand knot about 10 inches from the end of your line.
- Then, pass the tag end through the eye of your hook, and then back through the loop of the overhand knot.
- Wrap the tag end around the standing line 4 or 5 times, then bring the tag back through the overhand knot once more. Make sure the line enters the loop through the same side it just exited.
- With a slightly wet line, pull gently on the tag end to cinch the wraps into close formation, but not completely tight.
- To secure the knot, pull the loop and the standing line in opposite directions, and then finally trim away the excess tag end.
8. Arbor Knot
The Arbor Knot is different from the other best bass fishing knots, as it’s specifically used to tie your line to your fishing reel. However, this is still an important knot when angling for bass, as otherwise, you risk losing fish, bait, and line to the water. You can use the Arbor Knot with any type of line or reel, find out how by reading the following steps:
- Start by wrapping your line around the arbor of your spool, with the tag end of the line.
- Tie a simple overhand knot around the standing line with the tag.
- Tie a second overhand knot in the tag end of the line, an inch or two away from the first.
- Pull the standing line, sliding the first overhand knot down to the spool so that the second knot jams against it.
- To finish, trim away the tag end of the line.
9. San Diego Jam Knot
The San Diego Jam can be used on monofilament, braided, and fluorocarbon lines, making it a very versatile bass fishing knot. This Jam Knot is quick to tie and easy to learn, so you should definitely use it on your next fishing trip. Just make sure that you pull hard when tightening the knot, and you’ll be able to rely on a strong San Diego Jam Knot to reel in a winning fish! Here’s how to tie a secure San Diego Jam:
- Pass the end of your line through the eye of your hook or lure, and let it hang down. If your lure isn’t heavy enough to weigh down the line, pinch it between your little finger and palm.
- Loop the tag end of your line over your index finger, then make 7 wraps around the double line, down to the eye.
- After that, feed the tag end between the double lines, below the last wrap, and bring it back to the loop on your index finger.
- Run the tag end through this loop, removing your finger from the gap.
- Pull the tag end tight, and slide the knot down towards the lure or hook. Finish by clipping away the tag end.
10. Perfection Loop
Loop knots are useful in all sorts of fishing situations, from freshwater fly fishing to saltwater topwater fishing. The Perfection Loop Knot is a great knot to use when bass fishing as it’s very weedless, important when fishing through cover for bass in fall. While ideal for fluorocarbon and monofilament lines, it’s not recommended to tie a Perfection Loop on a braided fishing line. The Perfection Loop is one of the best fishing knots you can learn, so find out how below:
- Form a simple loop from your fishing line by passing the tag end behind the standing line.
- Wrap the tag end around the standing end once more to form a second loop, and hold it carefully in place.
- Take a third turn around the line, this time crossing over the top of your second loop.
- Holding the tag end in place, pass the second loop you made through the first, and pull it upwards until the knot is tight and secure.
- Trim the tag end, and the knot is complete.
In most bass fishing situations, you’ll only need to know a few of your favorite knots, and it’s likely you won’t use 10 different ones on the same day. However, it’s always good to expand your repertoire, and learning new fishing knots is fun! Now you know the benefits of a few different fishing knots, along with their strengths, weaknesses, and best uses, you can use this knowledge to improve your angling technique next time you go fishing.
The Palomar knot is ideal for jigs and smaller crankbaits, while any loop knot works well with topwater poppers and jerkbaits. Many bass anglers nowadays use a braided superline as the mainline, with a fluorocarbon leader for more finesse, and the Albright Knot is the perfect choice to connect the two. This mainline-to-leader knot is great for preserving line strength, and really helps your hook set in the fish’s mouth. These are just a few applications for some of the 10 best bass fishing knots, so we’re sure you’ll think of some more!
Bonus tip: Check out this video for some handy tips on selecting the right bass lure!