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Popular Fishing Knots

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These and more fishing knots are available on waterproof plastic cards at Pro-Knot – Illustrations (c) 2011 John E Sherry.

Improved Clinch Knot

The improved clinch knot has become one of the most popular knots for tying terminal tackle connections. It is quick and easy to tie and is strong and reliable.

The knot can be difficult to tie in lines in excess of 30 lb test. Five+ turns around the standing line is generally recommended, four can be used in heavy line. This knot is not recommended with braided lines.


Thread end of the line through the eye of the hook, swivel or lure. Double back and make five or more turns around the standing line. Bring the end of the line through the first loop formed behind the eye, then through the big loop.

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Wet knot and pull slightly on the tag end to draw up coils. Pull on the standing line to form knot with coils pressed neatly together.

3. Slide tight against eye and clip tag end.

Blood Knot

Use this knot to join sections of leader or line together. It works best with line of approximately equal diameter.


Overlap ends of lines to be joined. Twist one around the other making 5 turns. Bring tag end back between the two lines.
Repeat with other end, wrapping in opposite direction the same number of turns.


Slowly pull lines or leaders in opposite directions. Turns will wrap and gather.


Pull tight and clip ends closely.

Rapala Knot

The rapala knot is a popular method to tie a lure or fly to a line such that it can move freely and unimpeded by the knot.


1. Tie a loose overhand knot and feed the tag end through the eye and back through the overhand knot.


2. Make 3 turns around the standing line and bring tag end back through overhand knot.


3. Pass tag end through loop that is formed.


4. Moisten line. Pull on standing line while holding tag end to close knot. Pull on both tag and standing line to tighten knot down.

Dropper Loop Knot

This knot forms a loop anywhere on a line. Hooks or other tackle can then be attached to the loop.


1. Form a loop in the line at the desired location. Pull line from one side of loop down and pass it through and around that side of loop. Make 5+ wraps around the loop, keeping a thumb or forefinger in the new opening which is formed.


2. Press bottom of original loop up through new opening and hold with teeth. Wet knot with saliva and pull both ends in opposite directions.


3. Pull ends of line firmly until coils tighten and loop stands out from line.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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