All saltwater fishing knots have one thing in common they weaken the line theyre tied in. The single characteristic of all good saltwater fishing knots is that the degree of the inevitable weakness is as little as possible.
A good fishing knot, properly tied, will reduce the strength of the line by about 20% - a poor one, or a good one tied carelessly, by 50% or more, so its important to know the right one to use and to be able to tie it properly.
A large part of tying it properly is making sure the line is moistened (accurately applied saliva is good for this) before pulling the knot smoothly together, whilst ensuring that all loops come together evenly so that the entire knot absorbs the forces that will be imposed upon it.
Whole books have been written about knots and knot tying. Theres more than one knot for any particular application, and theres often more than one way of tying it. But relax you only need to know one good knot for each application, and the ones you really need are described here.
If you decided to learn how to tie just one saltwater fishing knot - make sure it's the Uni-Knot!
As one of the easiest fishing knots to tie, and with a breaking strength only slightly less than the line its tied in, you can use it to attach the line to your swivels, hooks and lures (although the Rapala Knot is a better knot to use for lures) and also to join two lines together.
The Braid Knot is the most secure way of connecting a swivel to braid lines.
It's been designed to deal with the special qualities of today's hi-tech braided lines, which can have a tendency to slip when tied with some other knots.
The Snood Knot is the one to use for joining mono to hooks with cranked eyes, where it will hold the hook shank in-line with the hook length rather than allowing it to rotate, as would a Uni-Knot.
Conversely, it shouldn't be used on hooks with straight eyes, as it will hold them off at an angle - use the Uni-Knot for those.
The Dropper Loop (also known as both a blood loop and a snood loop) is designed to stand off from the line at 90 degrees - and therein lies the problem. No line likes a sharp bend like this - it will always create internal stresses resulting in an inherent weakness. But the version described here is one of the strongest.
The Albright Knot, sometimes known as the Albright Special Knot, is fishing knot developed specifically for joining mono line to a single strand wire leader without having to use a barrel swivel at the connection.
Not a dance style from the early sixties as you may first think, the Haywire Twist is the way to connect single-strand wire leaders to lures, swivels and hooks.
To attach your lure to a mono leader of less than 150lb breaking strain, the Rapala Knot is the best way to go. This knot doesn't snug up tight to the lure, but creates a loop which gives the lure freedom to move as its designers intended.
For larger diameter mono, and all multi-strand wire line, you'll need to use a crimped connection.
For a single-strand wire leader, the Haywire Twist is your only option.
Special leader knots are required for connecting the main line to the leader. And this is not always straightforward. For instance, the lines may be of two completely different materials, or of very different diameters.
Here's how to tie the Leader Knots you need for connecting all types of line types and diameters.
Just a few saltwater fishing knots will meet all your needs, but make sure to use the right one for the type of line you're tying it with.
Youll find it next to impossible to tie any of the above saltwater fishing knots in monofilament line much heavier than 150lb breaking strain, and absolutely impossible in any type of wire line.
Crimped connections are the only way to go for heavy mono, nylon-covered wire and cable. Even crimps wont hold in single strand wire; use the Haywire Twist knot for all connections in this material.
Use it to create a reinforced loop in heavy mono. Note the requirement for a crimped sleeve to finish it off.
And that, I believe, is all the saltwater fishing knots you'll ever need.
If you like the idea of having the most popular sea fishing knots all together in one place for easy reference, this handy little pocket guide is just the thing.
It sets out in step-by-step instructions and nicely drawn sketches how to tie all the knots you'll ever be likely to need - 18 of them in all.
Being spiral bound it opens flat, leaving both hands free to tie the knot - and it's waterproof!