Knots, Leaders and Tippets

Knots, Leaders and Tippets

Any fly fisher worth their salt should already know these but they’re still useful to know if you’re a seasoned pro or a rank amateur. Most of these knots are from Grog’s Animated Knots.

Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it.

Backing to Fly Line – Albright Knot

Form a loop in one line (gold, thicker if unequal). Pass the end of the other (blue, thinner) line through the loop and wrap it neatly around itself and the loop 10 times. Then pass the end back through the loop next to itself. Lubricate, pull the knot tight, and trim the ends.

Fly Line to Leader – Nail Knot

Overlap the two lines. Holding the straw and the lines together, wrap the lighter line (blue) around the straw and both lines. Make six complete turns, pass the line through the straw and tighten the knot neatly around the straw. Withdraw the straw. Lubricate, pull the knot tight, and trim the ends.

Note: All the loop knots are useful in connecting loop to loop, ie. Fly Line loop to Leader, Butt Loop, ie. Lefty’s Loop, Perfection Loop and Duncan’s Loop in the leader.

Leader to Leader – Blood Knot or
Uni Knot

This versatile knot can be used can be used for connecting hooks, swivels, rings and lures. Its main advantage is that it retains virtually 90% breaking strain. Easy to tie even in the dark after practice.

Pass the end through the eye. Form a complete loop alongside the standing line. Working inside the loop, wrap the end around both lines five times. Lubricate, tighten so the loop spirals, and slide the knot to the desired loop size. With the loop on a post pull on the tag end and less hard on the standing line. Trim the end.

Double Uni Knot

You can join two lines of varying or similar strengths with this fishing knot. It is basically tying the uni knot with the line doubled, twice at two ends.

Blood Knot

This is a high strength knot to join two similar thicknesses of line. Its main advantage is its low profile enabling it to run smoothly through rod line guides.

Overlap the two lines to be joined. Wrap one end around the other line about six times. Tuck the end back between the lines. Repeat the process with the other line, tucking the end back between the lines in the opposite direction. Tighten and trim. Note: In nylon, tightening this knot alters the appearance.

Can also use the Surgeon’s Loop – it has good strength.

Tippet to Fly – Improved Clinch Knot and Lefty’s Loop

Improved Clinch Knot – Pass the end of the line through the eye. Wrap it around the standing end about five complete turns. Pass the end back through the loop beside the eye. Then pass the end under the final turn. Tighten the knot and trim the end.

Lefty’s (or Non-slip Mono) Loop

Tie a loose overhand knot and pass the tag end through the eye, then back through the overhand knot. Wrap the tag end around the standing end about five times and back through the overhand knot. Lubricate, tighten, and trim the end. Others include Grinner Knot, Perfection Loop, Penny Knot and Duncan’s Loop. Note all the loop knots are useful in connecting loop to loop, ie. Fly Line loop to Leader Butt Loop.
Slim beauty knot
Slim Beauty Knot

Tippet to Shock Tippet – Slim Beauty

Important for saltwater fishing.

Tie a Double Overhand knot in the Tippet and tighten it form two loops. Pass a bight of the main line through the two loops. Wrap the bight four turns around the Tippet and then another four turns outside the first four turns. Tuck the bight under itself. Lubricate, pull tight, and trim the ends.

Tying the Slim Beauty knot.

Fishing Knots at Marinews.com

Fishing Knots at Marinews.com

Unfortunately, this site appears to be defunct, however, here is a PDF of all knots that could be found.

Happy tying!