How To Tie 3 Basic Fishing Knots

How To Tie 3 Basic Fishing Knots

If you are just starting out in your fishing journey, then it's very important to know how to tie basic fishing knots. Proper fishing knots ensure that your bait, lures or fishing hooks are securely attached to your fishing line. If the knot is weak or poorly tied, you risk losing your tackle, which can be expensive and frustrating. A well-tied fishing knot reduces the chances of your line breaking when you have a fish on the line, increasing your chances of successfully landing a fish. Knowing the correct way of how to tie a basic fishing knot is fundamental for successful and responsible angling and not only increases your chances of catching fish but also promotes safety and conservation practices in fishing. In this guide, we will show you how to tie the three most important fishing knots to ensure your success when out on the water.

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Knot Tying 101: Three Basic Fishing Knots

Fishing and knot tying go hand in hand and for the novice angler, knots are often the first hurdle to overcome when preparing to hit the water. There's an old fishing saying that goes along the lines of, 'If you can't tie knots, tie lots', and while it may prove sufficient enough on smaller fish, any fish of substance will well and truly see that series of knots come undone. If you're new to the sport or can recall when you first got into it, you'll likely remember finding yourself in this exact situation. Knots form the foundation for connecting main lines and leaders to terminal tackle such as hooks and swivels.

Additionally, knots are required to connect one line to another, such as braid to a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. The best way to master the art of knot tying is via repetition, as practice really does make perfect. It also pays to practice knots both at home and in varying conditions outside, such as windy days, full sun, on a boat or after dark with a headlamp on. For those who are finding their feet, we're starting our knot-tying journey with three basic knots that every angler should know. The following are effective for connecting lines to terminal tackle and lures.

1: Half Blood Knot

One of, if not, the first fishing knots you should learn to tie is the Half Blood knot. It's simple to tie and does an admirable job of forming a solid connection between lines and a variety of terminal tackle such as hooks and swivels. For the purpose of this video, and with the material used, we only made three wraps, however, it is advised that you aim for at least five, to form the strongest connection possible.

How To Tie A Half Blood Knot

  1. Thread 10 to 15 cm of leader through the eye of the swivel or hook.
  2. Wind the tag end of the line around the main line five times or more. The number of winds you make will be dictated by the weight rating of the leader line. The lighter the leader, the more winds you will be able to make, and vice-versa.
  3. Pass the tag end through the loop that has formed at the swivel or hook.
  4. Lubricate the line and then tighten the knot by pulling firmly on the main line. Trim the tag end.

2: Uni Knot

The uni knot is one of the first fishing knots you should learn to tie. Not only is it versatile, but highly reliable and easy to master. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find yourself tying it repeatedly, and for years to come. The main purpose of the uni knot is to connect lines with terminal tackle such as hooks and swivels.

How To Tie A Uni Knot

  1. Thread the end of the line through the eye of the hook or swivel. Pull through at least 10 to 15 cm of line to work with and double back to form a loop with the tag end over both lines.
  2. Wrap the tag end over both lines and through the loop. Repeat this process four to eight times, depending on the weight (thickness) of the line being used. Lighter lines require more wraps, and vice-versa for heavier lines.
  3. Add moisture to the knot before pulling the tag end and tightening the whole knot up against the terminal tackle.
  4. Cut the tag end as close to the knot as possible.

3: Loop Knot

The loop knot is typically used to attach a lure to the end of a leader without inhibiting the lure's action. There are many variations of loop knots available to the angler, however this is the simplest to tie. A loop knot should be used when using jigheads, hard body lures, squid jigs and so on.

How To Tie A Loop Knot

  1. Form an overhand knot in the line. Pass the tag end through the eye of the lure.
  2. Pass the tag end through the original loop formed by the overhand loop. Keep the overhand loop open and wrap the tag end around the main line 3 to 5 times.
  3. Feed the tag end back through the original overhand knot.
  4. Moisten the line and pull the loop against the main line to form the knot.

There will be a loop between the knot and the lure eye.

Fishing Knot Basics

When it comes to tying fishing knots, it pays to take your time to get it right, as there's nothing more heartbreaking than losing a fish due to a poorly tied knot. Sure, losing a fish to a pulled hook or a snag is just as heartbreaking, but at least you can lay the blame on things beyond your control. When it comes to knots, it comes down to you and if you're unsure of whether you tied it correctly, or something simply doesn't look right, cut it off and start again. It also pays to ensure you lubricate the line prior to pulling everything up tight. The reason for this is to reduce friction between the line, which can result in line burn and weak spots that are more likely to fail (come undone or snap) under pressure. Once you begin to master the basic knots, you'll be able to broaden your horizons and add some more complex knots to your arsenal.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

When it comes to tying fishing knots correctly, there are several common mistakes which you should avoid:

Insufficient Knot Tightening

One of the most common mistakes is not tightening the knot properly. Always ensure the knot is snug and secure before using it. Always test the strength of your knots before fishing. Apply steady pressure to ensure the knot can handle the stress of a fish.


Don't rush through the knot-tying process. Take your time to tie knots carefully and accurately. When trimming excess fishing line after tying a knot, be careful not to cut it too close to the knot. Leaving a small tag end can prevent the knot from slipping.

Neglecting Lubrication

Lubricating the knot with saliva or water before tightening it helps reduce friction and ensures a tighter knot. Skipping this step can weaken the knot. Some anglers will also try to use overly complicated knots when simpler knots will suffice. Remember to stick to knots you are comfortable with and that suits the situation.

Using the Wrong Knot

Different fishing situations require different knots. Using the wrong fishing knot for the job can result in knots that aren't strong or secure enough. Ensure that the knot you choose is appropriate for the type and diameter of the fishing line you are using. Some knots work better with specific types of lines.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can increase your chances of successfully tying strong and reliable fishing knots.

Keep These Tips In Mind On Your Next Fishing Trip

Now that you know how to tie these three basic fishing knots, all that's left is to go out and try them! Before you head out though, make sure you check out our Adventure Centre for more helpful tips and exciting destinations that you can visit with your friends, family and loved ones. Remember to also check out some of our other articles for helpful fishing tips such as:

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