How To Choose The Best Fishing Knot
So, what is the best fishing knot for a BassHole to catch big bass?
A knote about knots
Your knot is one of the most important elements of your fishing gear. It is what directly connects your line to the hook or lure that your trophy big bass has taken. If your knot “fails” (a BassHole’s way of saying “breaks”), well, that fish, and whatever else it had in its mouth, is history.
4 tips for tying knots
Kno matter which knot or knots you decide to use, there are a few principles that will help you create good, strong knots that should stand up under the pressure of reeling in a fish.
Avoid crossing your line
When you are creating the knot, make sure the line stays parallel, as opposed to crossing over itself. When you cinch (tighten) the knot, watch to ensure the loops are all side by side, not overlapping one another.
Lubricate your line
Before you pull the knot together (again, cinch or tighten), be sure and lubricate monofilament or fluorocarbon line. A handy lubricant is your own saliva. Either put the unformed knot into your mouth and moisten with your tongue, and spit on the knot. Your saliva will help reduce friction and let the fishing line slide together.
When you’re tying your knot, the very end of your line (the shortest part) is called the tag end, and the other side is called the main line. There may be other terms for the main line, but most everyone will call the little bit the tag end. While forming the knot, you will usually pull on both the main line and tag end at the same time. You want to pull steady and slow, and watch the knot form, to make sure it forms correctly.
Check the knot
Before you trust that knot to catch your big bass, take your hook or lure (whatever you just tied your line to) and pull, tug, and make sure the line doesn’t break. Don’t worry about breaking the line! Better the BassHole (YOU!) break the knot than that big bass you want to catch!
How many knots do you need?
You can certainly get a very lively discussion (with possible yelling and cussin’) going by asking what is the best fishing knot to a bunch of fishermen (and fisherwomen?).
In fly fishing, there are a few knots that you will want to learn that you probably don’t need as much for fishing with non-fly gear. So I’ll discuss those specialty knots at some future time (feel free to ask me about these knots if you need to know!).
I like to try and simply things, so I’m going to recommend 4 knots, but will offer links to resources for many others.
Berkley Trilene Knot (or Improved Clinch Knot)
One of these 2 knots is what 85% of BassHoles use for the bulk of their knot tying kneeds. Feel free to do the same! They are both excellent knots.
The Palomar Knot is another knot used by BassHoles, and many who use this knot say they use it for everything. It’s an easy knot to do once you get the hang of it, and is an excellent choice (well, the go to choice according to Kevin Van Dam, and I’m not going to argue against HIS expertise!) for drop shotting (I will definitely be writing more about this technique soon!).
This also a great knot for monofilament, fluorocarbon, and even braided lines, so be sure and add it to your repertoire!
If you have problems with your Palomar Knot “failing” (that means breaking), here’s some advice.
San Diego Jam Knot
I’ll be perfectly honest and admit I had never even HEARD of the San Diego Jam Knot until I started researching videos for this post. But it sounds like a very strong, reliable, easy to tie knot, so I will include it here. If you do use it, be sure and let me know what you think!
This knot just happens to be my own personal favorite. When I was learning fly fishing, I watched a Dave Whitlock video on fly fishing, and he showed the Duncan Loop. It can be tied so that the fly (or lure, or hook) has some play in the loop, or cinched tight to the connector. It’s a very good knot, which tests well for knot strength, and I have never had issues with it breaking (oops, I mean failing!) on me.
So those are my recommendations for knots. I would say learn the Palomar Knot, and at least one of the others.
But, just in the interest of full disclosure, there are a LOT more knots to chose from. Here are a couple of resources to teach you even more knots.
NetKnots.com knot only has a ton of knots, but they organize them by:
So you can see what knot you can use for what type of situation!
Animated Knots By Grog offers knot just fishing knots, but every kind of knot conceivable! They even have knots to tie your tie, so when you catch that record breaking bass, a BassHole can look his or her very best!
So that’s enough about knots to get you into trouble!
Be sure and let me know what knots you use, which you choose, what you love, and what you hate!
Roger, The Smiling BassHole