Best Fishing Knots

Best Fishing Knots

improved clinch knot

Making Sure It Does “Knot” Break

Tying the correct fishing knot is a skill that is crucial to success out on the water. Understanding which knot to use for specific situations can help you gain confidence so that you won’t have to worry about breakage when setting the hook or fighting the fish of a lifetime.

Remember that practice makes perfect so don’t be afraid to spend a few hours learning how to tie each knot correctly. The extra effort will pay off on the water guaranteed.

These are a few of the standard fishing knots that we’ve chosen, simply because they aren’t too difficult to tie yet they retain enough line strength to fight any size fish. Whether or not you use these knots, you should at least have a full understanding of how to tie each one so that you’re prepared for any situation.


Before we move onto the types of knots it’s important to understand a few things.

  • Always wet the knot before cinching. The lubrication helps it to avoid any fraying or twisting of the line when tightening. This can easily be done with your saliva or dip it into the lake if you don’t want to use your mouth.
  • Be careful of cutting your hands when tightening thick line. Thicker mono, fluoro and especially braided line can slice your hands if you apply too much pressure. Always use tools such as pliers to help save yourself from deep cuts.
  • When using braided line you can use a lighter to either “cut” the line or burn tag ends to prevent slipping. Fire works much better than a scissor for braid! Just make sure the flame doesn’t get too close to the knot and weaken it.
  • Don’t cut tag ends too short to avoid the knot slipping. Don’t leave tag ends too long either, especially when fishing weedy areas where vegetation can easily snag on the tag end.


palomar knotThe Palomar Knot is also one of the strongest knots ever invented. I use the Palomar for anything that the loop can fit over simply because I trust the strength and reliability of this knot.

The Palomar Knot is an absolute must when tying a drop shot rig for bass fishing as it allows you to control exactly how much tag end you need.


snell knotThe Snell Knot is commonly used for most bait fishing as well as specific techniques such as flipping and punching for largemouth bass. This knot pulls on the hook more directly due to the fact that the line wraps around the hook shank instead of the eye. This results in a better grip on the hook and allows for a more effective hookset.

When bass fishing the Snell knot is important for flipping and punching situations with a Texas Rig. The knot actually allows the hook to stick out at an angle when pressed against the tungsten weight, giving the hook point more exposure during a hookset. This may not seem drastic but it can greatly improve your hookup ratio during flipping and punching.

I love the Snell Knot for any sliding sinker or Carolina Rig as well. This knot gives me a much better hookup ratio when setting hook on feisty surf perch or big bat rays and leopard sharks that suck my bait off the bottom and take off.


improved clinch knotThe Improved Clinch Knot is popular amongst most anglers for its ease of use. This simple knot is perfect when attaching your line to weights, rigs, swivels and just about any type of lure. With your knot being the last thing you want to fail on you, having a strong, quick and reliable knot comes very much in handy especially in a time crunch.


san diego jam knotThe San Diego Jam Knot has been proven to be one of the strongest knots out there. When I’m big-game fishing offshore for yellowtail, dorado, bluefin, yellowfin, etc. this is the only knot I trust besides the Palomar. It retains more line strength than the Improved Clinch Knot when using higher-pound fluorocarbon leaders. When you have a fish that could be over a hundred pounds at the end of your line you want a knot that won’t let you down under extreme pressure.


dropper loop knotThe Dropper Loop Knot allows you to create multiple loops anywhere on your main line. This is perfect for tying your own shrimp fly rigs for rockfish or making DIY Sabiki rigs for baitfish such as mackerel, smelt, sardines, etc.

There are two ways to attach hooks or lures to a dropper loop.

  1. Simply pass the loop through the eye of the hook and wrap the loop around the hook for a secure grip.
  2. Cut one end of the loop close to the knot on the main line and use a Snell Knot to attach any hook.


  • When tying multiple loops make sure to give enough space between each to avoid hooks catching each other. An 8-12” gap is perfect.
  • When tying with thicker line use less wraps around the main line – this helps the loop cinch better when tightened.

These are my confidence knots for almost every situation I fish in. Obviously there are many more types of knots out there but these have been the most reliable through the years.

I hope this helped! Stay tuned for a breakdown of trusty connection knots that won’t tear up your rod guides. Tight lines!