8 Fishing Knots to Know

Fisherman tying a knot

A novice fisherman will hit the water armed only with the knowledge of an overhand knot. A real angler wouldn’t dare venture out with such a limited arsenal.

Different situations call for different knots. The knots needed for tying fishing line to a hook are different from the knots needed to join two sections of line together.

To be prepared for anything, learn these knots before you hit the water.


(for tying line to a hook)

1. Thread the line through the eye of the hook, then make 5 to 7 wraps around the line with the loose end.

2. Thread the loose end of the line through the loop closest to the eye, then back around inside the loose section of line.

3. Pull both ends of the line until tight.

4. Trim the loose end of the line if necessary.


(for tying line to a hook)

1. Double your line to make a loop, then push the loop through the eye of your hook.

2. Tie a loose overhand knot.

3. Pass the loop around the end of the hook.

4. Pull on the line to tighten.

5. Trim the loose end of the line if necessary.


(for tying thin line to a small hook)

1. Run the line through the eye of the hook, then tie a loose double overhand knot in the end of the line.

2. Pass the open loop over the hook and tighten the whole thing so that the loop tightens around the eye.


(for joining two sections of line together)

1. Line up the ends of each line together for several inches, then wrap the first line around the second at least five times.

2. Wrap the second around the first at least five times, and bring both loose ends back to the middle between the two lines.

3. Pull tight on each line until the knot is snug.


(for forming a loop in the end of a line)

1. Fold over the end of the line to make a double line, then tie a single overhand knot.

2. Pass the loop through the hole in the overhand knot one more time.

3. Moisten the knot and tighten.


(for attaching wire line to monofilament)

1. Fold four inches of wire line back over itself to form a bend at the end of the line.

2. Run your monofilament line through the middle of the bend, then wrap it once around the bottom of the bend.

3. With the monofilament, make seven close turns around both lines.

4. Pass the loose end of the monofilament above the center strand of monofilament and below the wire line, then pull snug.


(for attaching line to a leader loop, or snelled hook to the line)

1. Pass the end of the line through the loop, then make a simple sheet bend knot.

2. Pass the end of the line back through the loop of the sheet bend.

3. Tighten until snug.


(for attaching monofilament to a hook)

1. Pass the end of the line through the eye of the hook twice, creating a loop that hangs alongside the hook.

2. Wrap the loop around the hook, forming tight coils, 5 to 10 times.

3. Holding the coils in place with one finger, pull the line up until the loop is snug under the coils.


  1. I brought those hook eze because my fingers are bad from a stroke.I tried the next hook with my fingers and tied it faster than the hook eze,so these new gadgets are not worth buying.

  2. It would be great if you could include a one page PDF that is easy to read. I always forget how to tie these as I don’t fish that often. But when I don’t I would like to use them but always forget?

  3. Im a young avid fisherman but i had never heard of the blood knot. Need to try that, thanks for sharing!

  4. What knot is best for 8-pound test line? I use Stren monofilament low-visibility line, and I always use the improved cinch knot, and it seems to work pretty well.

  5. Thanks for the info, we’ll explained harder to do especially when you’ve got kids crying daddy daddy daddy help…gimme a minute so I can fish

    • I totally agree. Light line to small hook, tie a Palomar Knot, followed by the Orvis Knot and followed by the Davy Knot. Practice until you master because when in the flowing water is no time to wonder how to tie the best knot that will not break or slip.

  6. I’ll choose one or two of these to become familiar with and teach them my grandkids when we’re out.Thanks for sharing these excellent examples.

  7. Improved clinch knot keeps untying whenever I pull hard enough. I don’t know why, but I think the problem is in the part after the wraps. Help.

    • I have not had a problem so far. I caught a 15lb catfish 2 nights ago. Maybe bigger and a pike that morning. I think your missing a step (not on purpose) I spit on the line to help ease it tighten and always give myself extra line to tie. Once you have it ready to pull and tighten, bite the free end just to hold, hold line above knot with one hand then pull and slide the noose down simultaneously. Hope this helps and a little practice dont hurt either.

  8. Some of these knots are not easy to tie but keep praticing and they become easier and quicker to tie in a short space of time. Find which works best for you, stick mainly with it but don’t discard the others as they may come in handy at some point in your fishing life.

  9. Thanks! A great help. Just what I wanted. I learned a number of knots in scouting as a kid, that I have used to great advantage my whole life.

  10. I tried moistening the line before pulling tight. What’s the best technique for removing a hook from one’s cheek?

    • If it’s a big nuff hook, ya can push the barb thru, cut it off & withdraw it. If small hook I have yanked a few out but it’s painful and sometimes a little bloody. Or, go to Dr. E Room ….

    • Cut off the barb then pull back out or turn back out. It was chilly one day and family was fishing and dad thought it would be okay for our 2 year old to try and cast a treble hook, short story version felt something rug on my back shoulder blade, the TROUBLE hook caught 2 barbs in the shoulder collar area of my coat, that could have been a jugular, henceforth, trouble hook not treble hook.

  11. thank you, I’m attaching mono-filament fishing line to screw eyes to add to a shelf to keep stuff from falling off. This post answers my question of what knot to use.

  12. Does anyone have a knot for trophy musky and pike? When they hit and im not prepared wrong test and or no liter. They tend to hit what im reeling in every now and then. In the ottawa valley and there are some big boys and girls around even when your not fishing for them.

  13. I have been trying a knot for so many years yet I still CANT DO IT!! I’ve tried every hours, days, years but still cannot. even my fishing buddies, experts cant solve this. The knot I am talking about is CALLED “CanKNOT”. PLEASE HELP! 🙁

    • The knot you want to learn is called the Palomar knot, Poorguy. It is all-purpose, easy to tie, and holds very well. If the instructions above don’t help you, check online for other guidance.

  14. The knot you need to learn is called the Palomar knot. I wouldn’t keep beating your head against the wall trying to make a knot that might not help you, Poorguy. The Palomar knot is all-purpose, easy to tie, and holds great. If the instructions above don’t help, search the web for Palomar knot to find guidance you can use. Good knotting!

  15. I had difficulty with the Palomar knot when trying to thread the doubled up line thru the hook head, so I just put the line thru the hook head and bring it back thru forming my loop. Easier for me, especially if I have a smaller hook, and I dont have to pinch, bite or sqeeze the line to make it small enough to go thru the hook head.

  16. Clinch works well for 8 pound test and smaller but you will usually use heaver line in saltwater. For 20 pound and up I recommend the Palomar. Be SURE your line lays neatly as you tie and be sure you don’t have one piece drop down over the eye as you tighten it. The whole knot should be on top of the eye, away from the hook end.

  17. If you practice these knots with a thin rope it is easier to see what the live end is doing as you turn and tighten the knot.

  18. Not sure if it’s related but how strong his dental floss before it breaks and if so was wondering if I would like to use it in For fishing.🎣

  19. Palomar has been my go to for over 25 years and it has never failed. Used with fluorocarbon, braid or monofilament. Easy to tie and super strong.

  20. here is a tip. practice these with a 1/4 to 1/2 inch rope first. The larger rope will help you to see how the knot is made better and they are fairly easy to untie. Once you do these 100 times each while watching TV or something, you will never forget them. When you move to the mono or braid then the test for the old people, like me, is to be able to see the line. lol It’s like tying a knot blind. See if you can do that you young bucks?

  21. When I use the improved clinch knot, I tie 2 to 3 overhand knots to make sure it don’t untie.

  22. HI there ,I use all the Knots presented here for different applications ,sometimes i gO through the eyelet twice for the clinch knot for Rainbows..CHEERS

  23. I sure appreciate all of the effort it took to put this together,,, and upon studying it,,and several practice attempts,, I am off to Red Lobster, for some fish,,,,, thanks again,,,:)

  24. Thanks fella this knot page has really helped me out only started fishing last week I’m 65 so I left it a wee bit late cheers again stay cool Baz

    • I like the trilene knot for heavier fish, which is the improved clinch knot with TWO loops through the hook eye.. A little tougher for fish to break.

  25. Fantastic roundup of essential fishing knots! Every angler, whether a beginner or an expert, should have these in their arsenal. I’ve personally found the [specific knot from the article] to be a game-changer during my fishing trips. It’s always fascinating to see how the right knot can make all the difference in securing a catch. Thanks for sharing this informative piece. Tight lines to all! 🎣

  26. I use the palomar all the time, but when tying a long leader with hooks to a line, the world’s faire knot can be easier. It’s a bit tricky to tie, but almost as strong as the palomar.

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