The 8 Best Fishing Knots for Beginners

You don’t have to be a scout to rock knots. It can be a bit intimidating though, as a beginner, as there are so many different types of knots out there. However, it’s really worth practicing a few of the basic knots, before you go on your first big camping trip. This would be one of our main fishing tips for beginners.

After all, you’re unlikely to be able to catch 3G to learn them at the lakeside! To set you on your way, no matter the time of year, we’ve put together our top picks of easy knots to learn, that don’t sacrifice on strength, usability or durability.

Check out the best fishing knots for beginners below. At the end, I’ll also go over the 10 best fishing knots for catching bass, specifically.

Arbour Knot

 

 

(Photo source: https://troopleader.scouting.org/fishing-knots)

The arbour knot is a great basic knot to start out with. Although it’s not the hardiest or strong, knot we’re going to teach you how to make, it will really come in useful on your fishing trips. One reason why the arbour knot is useful to know, is that it’s versatile. You can use it to tie your fishing line to the spool of any type of fishing reel: whether it be a fly reel, spinning reel or baitcasting reel. 

The purpose of the arbour knot, because it isn’t as strong, isn’t to pull in your fish once they have bitten. It won’t be able to hold, probably, if a fish has taken all the line down to the end of your reel spool. However, it is strong enough to hold in the event of you losing a rod and reel overboard and you have to pull it up by the line. 

Fly line can be expensive, and you don’t want it to go to waste. What you want to avoid is being spooled. This is when a strong fish takes off with the bait, pulling all of the line off your reel. If you tie an effective arbour knot, with a secure connection of your fly line to the reel, it could save your expensive fly line from being spooled.

Another knot that can be used to tie a line to a reel is the Uni Knot, which we will outline later on, but used in this context you only need to do one or two wraps of the Uni Knot instead of the five or six used to tie on a hook.

 

How to tie an Arbour Knot:

 

  • Start by wrapping your line around the arbor (the central post of a fishing reel to which fishing line is attached) of the spool with the tag end of the line (the end used to tie the knot). Then tie a simple overhand knot around the standing part with the tag end.

 

  • Then tie a second overhand knot in the tag end about an inch or two from the first overhand knot.

 

  • Lastly, pull the standing part of the line to slide the first overhand knot down to the spool and the second knot to jam against the first. Then trim the tag end of the line, so it’s not flying about. 

 

Clinch Knot

The Clinch knot is one that every fisher or angler should have in their arsenal. It’s one of the most popular fishing knots around, so if you know anyone who even goes fishing even occasionally, they should be able to demonstrate yo you how to tie this simple knot. This knot is easy to tie, to remember, and is still very durable. Unless you need your knot for a specific purpose, you could probably use the clinch knot. 

How to tie a Clinch Knot:

 

  • Start by threading the tag end of the line through the eye of your fishing hook. It doesn’t matter whether you come from above or below.

 

  • Next, you need to wrap the tag end of the line around the taught line, going back into the reel, four or six times, depending on how hardy you want it to be.

 

  • And now you make the knot: pass the end of the line through the loop that you created in the first step.

 

  • To make what’s called an “improved clinch knot”, feed the line through the loop that was created in the last step. This will make the knot even more strong and durable. 

 

  • The last step to complete your clinch knot, is to pull it really tight. With a lot of these knots, used for fishing, it helps if the line is a little moist, to get a really tight knot. You can wet it up a little bit in your mouth before pulling it tight. 

 

  • Now your knot is complete, all you need to do is cut the excess line off to about an eighth of an inch, to avoid having an annoying spare bit of line flying about. 

 

A boat on the water.

Once you’ve learned how to tie fishing knots, the water is yours.

 

Orvis Knot

The Orvis knot is a strong and easy alternative to clinch knot. As we’ve seen, even the clinch knot is super easy to tie, so the orris knot is a perfect starting point for beginners, especially for those who find tying knots tricky! The Orvis knot, just like the Clinch knot, is perfectly suited for fly fishing. The Orvis Knot is a very strong and easy to tie knot that works in diameters up to 30 lb.

 

How to tie an Orvis Knot:

(source: fishing.org)

  • Start by threading the tag end of the line through the eye of your fishing hook from below.

 

  • Form a loop by bringing the tag end over the standing part of the tippet on the far side. The tippet is a specific gauge monofilament line that is attached to the end of the leader, to which you tie the fly. The tippet is usually the smallest gauge line on your rig and is virtually invisible to the fish. Give yourself plenty of tippet.

 

  • Next: form a figure eight by crossing the standing line and threading the end back through the first loop formed.

 

  • Fold the tag end over and take 2 turns around the loop just formed (the second loop). Make sure these turns start at the far side of this second loop.

 

  • With a lot of these knots, used for fishing, it helps if the line is a little moist, to get a really tight knot. You can wet it up a little bit in your mouth before pulling it tight.

 

  • Tighten the second loop against the standing part by pulling on the fly and the tag end. Then let go of the tag end and pull on the fly and the standing part until the knot snugs neatly against the eye. 

 

  • Now your knot is complete, all you need to do is cut the excess line off to about an eighth of an inch, to avoid having an annoying spare bit of line flying about.

 

Double Uni Knot

The double uni knot is used by anglers in both salt and freshwater for joining lines of similar or different strengths. It works well and is durable, and some find it easier to tie than the Blood Knot, so it’s a great knot for beginners to start off with.

What makes this a great knot for fly fishing, is that The Uni Knot forms a loop that slips closed when fish strikes. If you’re attempting to tie braided line to monofilament, make 8 turns with the slippery braided line and 5 or more turns with the mono.

(source: n1outdoors.com/uni-knot)

How to tie a Double Uni Knot:

 

  • Overlap the ends of lines to be joined. Take the end of the line from the left and double back and make 3 to 4 wraps around both lines and through the loop that you originally made. Pull the tag end to tighten.

 

  • Repeat with the end of the line on the left making the same number of wraps with most lines. However, if you’re using a braided line, instead you should double the number of wraps.

 

  • You have now tied two Uni knots. To form the double uni knot, pull the standing lines in opposite directions, sliding the two knots together.

 

  • With a lot of these knots, used for fishing, it helps if the line is a little moist, to get a really tight knot. You can wet it up a little bit in your mouth before pulling it tight.

 

  • Wet the knot and pull on the fly, tag end, and standing part of the line at the same time.

 

  • Then give the tag end of the line one more pull, and cut the excess line off to about an eighth of an inch

 

Mural is on wall in El Cotillo, Fuerteventura.

Fishing knots come in all shapes and sizes and most fishermen have their go-to-knot.

 

Palomar Knot

The Palomar knot is a great knot for beginners to learn, especially if you if you want the best knot to use with braided fishing line. A braided fishing line might be a good option for you to start with, as it’s slightly cheaper than some of the other types of line, and is sometimes less fiddly.

It’s also easier to see, and practice tying knots with. The Palomar can look pretty tricky, but once it’s mastered, it’s close to being a perfect knot. It doesn’t take much time to perfect, either: so get practicing, and you’ll be able to perfect it in no time. 

 

(source: 101knots.com)

How to tie a Palomar Knot:

 

  • Double about six inches of the line up, so they’re lying side by side, and pass the doubled line through the eye of the hook.

 

  • Next, create a simple overhand knot with the doubled line. Make sure the hook is hanging at the bottom of the line, and ensure that you’re not twisting the lines. 

 

  • Slide the doubled line under the hook and back up, above the eye of the hook.

 

  • To complete your Palomar knot, tighten by pulling on both the standing line as well as the tag end. It helps if the line is a little moist, to get a really tight knot. You can wet it up a little bit in your mouth before pulling it tight. 

 

  • Then give the tag end of the line one more pull, and cut the excess line off to about an eighth of an inch.

 

Davy Knot

The Davy Knot is named after Davy Wotton, a British Fly Fishing pro. There are many benefits to knowing how to tie a davy knot: they are fast to tie, once you’ve practiced them a few times, and they’re really strong. These are both necessary attributes of an effective fly fishing knot.

Once learned, the Davy Knot can be tied very quickly which gets you back to fishing in no time at all, if you happen to break a line. It is also a little knot, which means it’s a good knot for small flies

 

(source: fishing.org)

How to tie a Davy Knot:

 

  • Firstly, thread 3 or 4 inches of the line (the leader or tippet) through the eye of the fly hook.

 

  • Then loosely form an overhand knot with the end of the line, ahead of the hook.

 

  • Bring the tag end of the line back over and through the overhand knot and the hook itself.

 

  • Tighten the knot by pulling on the tag end to draw up the knot, then on the main line to set the knot. You can wet it up a little bit in your mouth, to lubricate it, before pulling it tight.

 

A man holding a fish in a stream.

Learning the art of tying fishing knots is like learning the art of precision.

 

Surgeon’s Knot 

The Surgeon’s Knot is a very useful knot to know how to tie and is easy enough to learn as a beginner. This knot is one of the best and easiest to tie knots for joining lines of equal or unequal diameters. In low light conditions or with cold hands, on winter fishing trips, or when time is of the essence, join your lines with the Surgeon’s knot instead of the more complicated Double Uni Knot. Surgeon’s Knot can also be used to join lines of different materials. It is just two simple overhand knots with the entire leader pulled through the knot each time. When properly tied, the Surgeon’s Knot approaches 100-percent line strength, so it’s worth practicing and practicing until you’ve perfected it.

 

How to tie a Surgeon’s Knot:

 

  • Firstly, overlap the tag ends of the two strands you are joining by 4 to 6 inches. The section not attached to the rest of your leader and line (in most cases a new tippet) should be held in your left hand.

 

  • Next, form a loop in the overlapped strand and pinch the junction of the loop with the thumb and forefinger of your right hand.

 

  • With your left hand, wrap the standing part of the tippet (or smaller piece) and the tag end of the bigger piece through the loop 2 times. 

 

  • With knots used for fishing, it helps if the line is a little moist, to get a really tight knot. You can wet it up a little bit in your mouth before pulling it tight.

 

  • Tighten this knot by holding both short and long ends on each side and pulling quickly and tightly. To tighten this knot, you must pull all 4 ends tight. Make sure all strands are snug, and the knots are tight and are not going anywhere, then cut the excess line off to about an eighth of an inch, or trim to as close to the knot as possible without risking it unraveling. We’d recommend taking a camping multi-tool with you: check out our top recommendations here

 

To tie the Triple Surgeon’s Knot, all you need to do is tie a total of three wraps of the loop through the overhand knot. Of for a double surgeon, obviously, you just do two wraps. There is some added security and strength with the Triple Surgeon’s knot, but the knot does get a bit large and bulky, so make sure to think about your use for the knot before deciding which one to tie. 

 

Pitzen Knot

The Pitzen Knot may be a little more complicated, but once you’ve got used to, and practiced many times, tying the other knots we’ve overviewed, this is a great knot to graduate on to. The reason for this is that the Pitzen knot can offer you incredible strength.

Consider choosing it if you’re targeting a particularly large or boisterous catch, for extra strength and durability. The Pitzen knot, also known as the Eugene Bend or 16-20 Knot, is known to hold up to 95% of the line’s breaking strength. So although it might be a bit more fiddly, it’s well worth the effort. 

 

(source: fishing.org)

How to tie a Pitzen Knot:

 

  • Firstly, thread a line through the eye of the hook.

 

  • Then loop the tag line back under the taught standing line.

 

  • Using your index finger as a stop, hook the line all-around your finger.

 

  • Then wrap the line back around the paralleled lines four times.

 

  • Pass the tag end back through the small loop created by your finger.

 

  • And lastly, to complete your Pitzen Knot, tighten the knot by sliding the knot down to the eye of the hook. Do this with your fingers rather than by pulling the standing line. With knots used for fishing, it helps if the line is a little moist, to get a really tight knot. You can wet it up a little bit in your mouth before pulling it tight.

The 10 Best Bass Fishing Knots

When it comes to knot tying for catching bass, 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 (see video explanation)
  2. Unit Knot (see video explanation)
  3. Surgeon’s Knot (see video explanation)
  4. Albright Knot (see video explanation)
  5. Trilene Knot (see video explanation)
  6. Snell Knot (see video explanation)
  7. Non-Slip Loop Knot (see video explanation)
  8. Arbor Knot (see video explanation)
  9. San Diego Jam Knot (see video explanation)
  10. Perfection Loop (see video explanation)

Final Verdict:

So there we have it: a starting guide for knot tying, of fishing knots for beginners. Whether you’re going saltwater or freshwater fishing, these knots will never do you wrong. And what’s even better is that despite them being so simple to learn, you don’t have to compromise on knot strength. Get practicing, and then get on out there! 

Bonus tip: Check out this useful video on how to tie two of the most important fishing knots in the sport!

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
Riley Draper

Riley Draper

Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.