How to Tie a Fishing Hook

A fisherman is only as good as the equipment he carries. Ask any avid fisherman, and he'll tell you that the darkest day she can remember while fishing was the day the trophy fish got away because of an equipment failure. Knowing how to tie a good hook knot can help you avoid joining the ranks of those who have caught and lost. This article will focus on three good, simple all-around knots, but a serious fisherman will learn which kinds of knots are best used in which situations.

Decide which fishing knot you want to tie. There are dozens of different kinds of knots to choose from. Certain knots will be better than others depending on the situation--weather, hook type, line type and fish type all come into play.

Tying a clinch knot. The clinch knot is a good knot for beginners because of its simplicity and the design of the knot, which tightens as the tension on it increases. The first step is to feed the line through the eye of the hook. After you have a good length of line through the eye, wrap the part of the line that has been through the eye back around the part of the line that hasn't five or six times, but not tightly. Once this step is completed, there will be a loop of line through the eye of the hook. Feed the line through this loop. This will create a large loop from the top of the coils down to the eye of the hook. Feed the line through this loop and pull the line tight. Finish the knot by sliding the coils down toward the eye of the hook.

Tying a hangman's knot. There are several variations of this knot, named for its resemblance to a noose toward the later stages of tying. First, feed about 20 cm through the eye of the hook. Align this line with the line that hasn't passed through the eye of the hook. Wrap the lead line around this doubled part five or six times, starting near the eye and wrapping up the line. Tighten to form the shape of the knot, then finish by pulling the knot down the line next to the eye of the hook.

Tying a Palomar knot. This knot is well regarded in fishing circles as one of the strongest fishing knots. Start by doubling the line and passing the loop through the eye of the hook. Tie this into a simple overhand knot--think of the first step in tying a shoe. Pull the end of the loop down and pass it over the hook. Finish by pulling it tight.

Practice, practice, practice. The weakest link between the fisherman and the fish isn't the rod or the line or the reel. It's the knot connecting line to hook. Make sure you can tie a knot securely every time before you get to the lake. It's an awful feeling to fight a fish right up to the boat only to watch him swim away thanks to a faulty fishing knot.


  • It's best to practice unfamiliar knots on things besides barbed hooks until you gain familiarity with the knot.

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