Fishing 101
The when's, where's and how-to's

If you go fishing, you’re going to tie knots. A simple overhand (“granny”) knot won’t work for tying line to hooks, lures and swivels, for connecting two lines, or attaching line to your reel.  A hook snell, Palomar knot or improved clinch knot are used to tie monofilament line to a hook, lure, swivel or other terminal tackle. A blood knot joins two similar-size lines. The surgeon’s loop makes a loop at line’s end. An arbor knot is used to tie line to a reel spool. A nail knot splices backing or leader to a fly line. See the following illustrations and directions for tying these knots and practice before you go fishing.

Popular Fishing Knots

Hook Snell
A strong knot for tying line to a bait hook

Hook snell Insert one end of leader material through eye of hook just past turn and barb. Pass other end through eye in opposite direction leaving large loop.
Hold both lines along shank. Use line hanging from eye to wind tight coils from eye toward hook, 5 to 10 turns.
Move fingers to hole coils inplace. Oull leader extending from eye until entire loop has passed under coils. With coils snugged up neatly, use pliers to pull tag end, clinching up snout. Clip tag end and the loop knot in end of leader.

Blood Knot 
Used to join two similar-size lines.

Blood knot Overlap ends of the two lines for about 6 inches. Take tag end of one line and make 6 turns around the two lines. Take tag end and insert between tag end of other line and standing end of the line being manipulated. Hold on to tag end and repeat procedure for other line.
Pull each tag end to begin to tighten knot.
Moisten knot. Tighten completely and clip tag ends.

Palomar Knot 
Excellent for tying monofilament line to a hook, lure or terminal tackle.

Palomar knot Double about 4 inches of line and pass loop through the eye.
Let hook hang loose and the overhand knot in doubled line.
Pull loop of the line far enough to pass over hook, swivel or lure.
Pull tag end and standing line to tighten. Moisten before fully tightening. Clip tag end.

Improved Clinch Knot
Used to tie monofiliment line to a swivel, lure or other terminal tackle.

Improved clinch knot Pass line through eye of hook, swivel, or lure. Double back and make five turns around the standing line. Thread line through first loop above the eye. then through big loop as shown.
Hold tag end standing line while coils are pulled up. Moisten and slide tight against eye. Clip tag end.

Nail Knot 
Used to splice backing of leader to a fly line. A small plastic or metal tube works as well as a nail.

Nail knot Pull at least six inches of fly line and lay the tube against it. Then fold the line back around the tube or nail. Take the end of the backing or leader and place it through the loop formed in the fly line.
Hold the line between your thumb and forefinger. Take the protruding end of the backing and wrap it loosely five to seven times back toward your thumb. Holding these coild so they won't overlap, bring the end of the backing and push it through the loose ends.
Holding the coils, carefully pull out the tube or nail, pulling the backing out as much as possible at the same time. With the tube pulled out, the coils will appear soft, but don't let go of them. Pull form both ends to gather the coils.
Adjust the coils as necessary and then pull hard on both ends to make the coils bite into the line. Tighten the knot and clip off the excess.

Surgeon's Loop 
Used to make a loop at line's end.

Surgeon's loop Double end of line to form a loop and tie overhand knot at base of double line.
Leave loop open in knot and bring doubled line through one more.
Hold standing end and tag end and pull loop to tighten knot.

Arbor Knot 
Used to tie line to a reel spool.

Arbor knot Thread line through line guide, around spool, and out through the gude. Tie overhand knot over standing line in end of tag end.
Tightened both knots. Pull on standing end until knot passes through line guide and snugs up around spool.