You have carefully selected your gear, checked it for wear and tear, performed routine maintenance, and are now ready to set out on your next fly-fishing adventure. Before you set out, even if it is to local waters, you may want to consider the knots you will be using on your tackle. Losing a favorite fly to an improperly tied knot, or one that wasn’t suitable for the type of line you used, can ruin an otherwise great day of fishing. Read on to learn about some common fishing knots, like the improved clinch knot, and whether they should make an appearance on your line.
With more options for knots than we care to shake a rod at, it is easy to get confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated when deciding how to attach your latest fly. The improved clinch knot has long been a staple for anglers, and we wanted to give you a chance to look it over compared to some other knots you may encounter in the field. Here we’ve answered some basic questions about the improved clinch knot.
What Is an Improved Clinch Knot?
This is a basic yet strong knot that is usually used for tying your fly to a leader. It is quick and easy to tie, yet offers superior strength over the standard clinch knot thanks to an extra tuck of the line.
What Does an Improved Clinch Knot Do?
Like most knots, the improved clinch knot secures things together. It is particularly useful in securely attaching your fishing line to a swivel, hook, or lure/fly.
How Does an Improved Clinch Knot Work?
The secret to its strength is the extra tuck in the final turn of this knot. Basically, it consists of a series of loops over your fishing line, with the tag end going back to the original loop and being tied off.
How Do I Tie an Improved Clinch Knot?
The improved clinch knot is fairly simple and straightforward. It is completed in 5 steps.
Step 1: Create a loop in your line, either by passing the working end through the eye of your terminal tackle or by looping the line over on itself.
Step 2: Wrap the line around itself 5 times.
Step 3: Pass the working end through the first loop you created in step 1.
Step 4: Now pass the end through the bigger loop you just created.
Step 5: Pull on both ends of the line to fully secure the knot. You can snip the small tag end of the line if you feel it is too long. This final step might seem frivolous, but tightening the knot is important. If you skip the final step, your knot might unravel the first time something tugs on the line.
Is an Improved Clinch Knot Good for All Line Types?
One of the greatest weaknesses of the improved clinch knot is that it should not be used on braided line. Because of the structural design of this knot, using it on braided line will generally end up in slippage. If the knot slips enough, it will come undone and you will lose your tackle, and possibly that fish story-worthy catch.
How We Reviewed
The following products were reviewed based on their Key Features and the Pros & Cons of their use. Some of these knots are more difficult than others to execute, which should be considered when deciding whether you want to try them out on your next fishing trip or keep practicing them at home.
What We Reviewed
PR Bobbin Knot
- Rubber clamping slot features double rubber rings to fix the fishing line, and the operation is more convenient. It is...
- Easy to carry and operate: The body is compact, easy to carry, easy to operate and can easily produce high-strength GT...
- Easy to adjust: It features a retractable design, making it freely adjustable and easy to carry, and a metal conduits,...
The PR Bobbin knot is the strongest fishing knot you will ever use. It features an unprecedented 100% knot strength when tied correctly, which means your line will break before your knot fails—100% of the time. This knot requires tools to complete, which can be purchased for under $100 in most fishing stores. It is a particular favorite of offshore anglers because of its remarkable strength.
There are multiple steps to complete a PR Bobbin Knot (up to 16, depending on who is explaining it). Because of the complexity involved, we feel it is best to watch a video tutorial before trying to complete a PR Bobbin Knot. As a quick overview the steps are:
Thread and spool your braided (main) line onto the bobbin, then tighten the drag. Overlap 10 inches of leader line over the tag end of your braided line above the bobbin, then wrap it continuously over the leader line.
Secure the leader line so that it cannot spin and spin the bobbin tightly around the wraps you made. Pull the leader line tight.
Pinch where the 2 lines overlap and pull the mainline tight. Loosen the drag on the bobbin and remove 1 ½ feet of braid. You can also cut the tag end of the braided line at the bobbin.
Make several alternate half hitches along the leader line, burn the ends (being careful not to burn the braided line), and tie off with a finishing knot to secure the entire knot.
The turtle knot is named after a nineteenth-century British major and angler, Major Turtle, who was known to favor it. It is used for tying a fly or hook to a leader line.
Thread your line through the fly, leaving several inches of tag end to work with. Make a loop with the line, loop the tag end over itself, then pass it through the loop you created twice. Tighten the knot, slip the loop over the fly, and pull the leader to make sure it is fully set. Trim the tag end for neatness.
This knot is one of the strongest braided line to leader knots you will ever use. It can increase the overall strength of your tackle setup and can be done relatively quickly with practice.
Make sure to pull the braided line tight and keep that tension throughout the entire process. Wrap the leader line around the braided line, toward the rod, then pull tight. Repeat that knot, but with the tag end coming toward you. Continue making alternating loops, being sure to pull the leader tight after each loop. Once you have about 20 coils formed, hold them tight and secure the line with 2 hitch knots. Make sure all lines have been pulled tight to secure the knot. Cut the tag end of the leader off and then secure with 2 more hitch knots in the braided line. Cut that end off as well.
- Extruded from high-tenacity co-polymers for a perfect combination of high tensile strength, controlled stretch and...
- Precisely tapered with a stiff butt and delicate, supple tip for positive turnovers and drag free drifts, each leader is...
- Every leader has a strong pre-tied loop in the butt end make it easier to connect with fly line
Also known as the Bristol Knot, this is quicker and easier to tie than the FG Knot without compromising strength.
Make a loop in your doubled line, then wrap the tag end of your leader line around the doubled line 5-7 times. Pass the tag end through the loop held by your index finger and tighten the knot. Finish it by trimming the tag end.
Non-Slip Loop Knot
This is a great knot for attaching artificial lures to a line. It is relatively quick and easy and offers great action for the lure. Also, the direction of the tag end allows you to use the non-slip loop knot in weedy conditions without getting snagged.
Make an overhand loop in your line, then thread the tag end through the eye of your lure. Take the tag end through the downward side of the first loop, wrap it around the line 3 or 4 times, then pass it back through the loop. Pull the knot tight and cut the end.
This is a straightforward and strong knot that has performed well in strength tests. It is versatile and can be used for multiple applications.
Overlap the line and leader over each other by several inches. Form a single loop with the lines, then pass the tag end and entire leader through the loop 2 or more times. Moisten the knot and pull all ends tight to secure.
This is a straightforward knot that is great for teaching to beginners. It can be used in a wide variety of situations, and with lines of varying weights. You can use a single uni knot to attach a hook or lure to a line.
Overlap the ends of lines to be joined, then wrap the line from the left over both lines 3 to 4 times. Take the end through the loop made when you folded it back. Pull on the tag end to tighten. Repeat the process with the other line. Pull the lines to slide the two knots together, then clip tag ends close to the knot.
Craxy Alberto Knot
This knot can be used to attach lines of different sizes and composition together. It is versatile and easy to learn.
Make a loop in your leader line and pass about 10” of the braided line through it. Wrap the braided line around the double line of mono created by making the loop 7 times. Then double back, making 7 more loops over the first set, but in the opposite direction. Feed the tag end through the loop and pull the ends tight. Finish the knot by cutting both tag ends.
- Eight-carrier, high-pick-count, Dyneema radial braid construction – Ultra round, smooth and strong
- Top pro field test comments: "Ultra Strong", "Longer Casting", "Better Handling", "Exceptionally Quiet"
- Incredible strength – The Strongest Berkley Braid ever made
The Trilene knot, also known as the 2-turn clinch knot, was designed specifically for joining monofilament lines. It is quick and very easy to learn.
Run the tag end of the line through the eye of your hook or lure twice to make a small loop. Hold the loop in place, then wrap the tag end of the line around the standing line at least five times. Pass it back through the loops and draw tight to secure.
The Palomar knot was designed to tie monofilament lines. It can be adapted to use in braided line but may lose some of its strength. That loss can be offset by making small adjustments to the knot like doubling up the turns.
Double about six inches of the main line and run it through the hook eye. Take the loop back, making an overhand knot around the doubled line. Leave a loop that is large enough to pass your lure or hook through, then pull the loop around your hook or lure. Pull the ends tight to secure.
The knots we reviewed are used for varying purposes. Those favored by offshore anglers might be a bit much for lighter fishing. Your choice of line material will also matter when deciding on which knots to include in your arsenal. For example, the Trilene knot is excellent for monofilament connections, while the crazy Alberto offers strength when joining different types and sizes of lines. Overall, the improved clinch knot is a favorite of many fly fishermen (and women) because of its simple design and ease of execution.