How to Tie Bolen Knots

by Keith Dooley
Use a bolen, or bowline knot to form loops in heavy fishing line.

Use a bolen, or bowline knot to form loops in heavy fishing line.

The bolen or bowline knot is well known and used especially by those who enjoy boating and sailing. The bowline is relatively easy to tie, especially with some practice, and does have other applications besides to boating. Forming a loop when correctly tied, the bowline knot can be useful when tying and creating homemade saltwater fishing rigs that require a loop. Learning to tie the bolen is worthwhile due to the knot's range of useful applications.

Hold the free end of a length of heavy monofilament fishing line. Form a working loop several inches from the end or further down the line based on personal preference and the type of rig being tied. Position the free end of the line so it extends from the working loop in the opposite direction of the main line.

Hold the working loop securely in place and form a larger loop with the free end of the line by turning the free end back toward the working loop.

Maintain the size of the larger loop and do not tighten it down. Feed the free end of the line up through the working loop and around behind the main line.

Pull the free end of the line from around the main line and then back through the working loop.

Arrange the size of the larger loop based on the rig being tied. Moisten the working loop and pull down tightly. Trim excess line from the knot as necessary with sharp scissors.

Items you will need

  • Monofilament fishing line (30 pound test or heavier)

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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