4 Knots Every Angler Should Know

Four basic fishing knots—the Palomar, clinch, loop and splice—will cover 95% of your freshwater fishing applications. Learn to tie them.

1. Clinch Knot
The clinch knot is generally used on single-hook applications for bluegills to stripers and beyond. And though there are many variations of the knot, they share common traits: they’re relatively easy to tie, retain a high level of line strength if tied correctly, and work well on monofilament and fluorocarbon.

2. Palomar Knot
Highly reliable and immensely popular among fishermen of all types, the Palomar is mainly used to secure single hooks and jigs to a mainline or leader. Used with mono, fluoro or braid, this knot is extremely easy to tie and is exceptionally strong.

3. Splice Knot
Use a splice knot to join two lines, whether you’re connecting backing line to the mainline, or attaching a leader to the mainline. The best splice knots are those, such as the uni-to-uni, that can be used to connect two lines of different materials or diameters, and that cinch down small enough to run through the rod’s line guides without snagging.

4. Loop Knot
Every angler should have a loop knot in his arsenal. Use this knot to tie on a billed crankbiat or jerkbait. Because it doesn’t cinch down to the line-tie, it allows the hardbait to wobble freely and achieve its maximum swimming action. Like the clinch knot, there are a number of variations from which to choose.

Bonus: Braid Knot
Because braided lines have a slick surface, fishing knots can sometimes slip, especially with a sloppy tying job. For the most part knots such as the Palomar, improved clinch and Trilene do the job well, but if you have difficulty keeping your knots cinched, consider one or both of those in this video.

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