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- Bryan Shrum
Knots For Catfishing
Original post made by Darrel Miller(Cornhusker) on April 3, 2002
Knots For Monofilament Line
Much time is spent by fishermen talking about and studying the multitude of fish lines available today. Knots do come up in the conversation from time to time. Usually the discussion is short and does not cover more than 1 or 2 knots at best. My experience has been with the old nylon and dacron braided lines and in the past several years with monofilament lines. I have not fished the new braided “Super Lines”. Therefore, my comments will be directed toward monofilament lines only.
It had not occurred to me that the knot in monofilament line was the weakest point in my set up. A couple years ago the light came on and I began looking into knots and knot strength. Many knots will continue to draw down under load and eventually cut the monofilament line causing the line to break at the knot. Other knots slip until they let go. Either way the line and terminal tackle separate. I believe that some knots can reduce the strength of your rig up to 50 percent of your line test weight.
I began comparing numerous knots recommended by the tackle and line manufacturers. I searched for information on the internet about knots and knot strength. There are more knots, opinions on knots and recommendations than can be read and understood in a lifetime. Well maybe not quite that many, but close to it. There are web sites to show you how to tie anything from neck ties to mountain climbing rigs. The largest collection of knots, actually links to other knot sites, I have come across is at
Two other very nice sites on the internet were suggested by members of this message board not long ago.
These are but a few of the many, many web sites available to help you understand the suggested use for a knot and how to properly tie it.
I decided the best way to handle my problem was to select the minimum number of simple knots and learn to tie them well. I wanted to select knots for strength so I devised a rather crude means of testing, but it satisfied my needs. I would tie several knot types in a single piece of monofilament line, clamp one end so as not to cut the line and pull the other end until the line broke. Then I would examine the end of the line at the break and if it failed in the knot, that knot was eliminated from the list. I came down to 5 knots that are reasonably easy to tie and seem to demonstrate good strength. These knots happen to be my choice for monofilament line, yours may be different.
Starting at the point where the line connects to the reel is the Arbor Knot.
For connecting terminal tackle such as swivels and hooks, the Palomar Knot. This knot has been the easiest to tie and consistently get a good knot. It has demonstrated superior strength over the other knots I use. If I was allowed only one knot for all things, this knot would do the job. For example, with a little planning the palomar knot can be used though out a rig having a 3 way swivel. First tie the hook and sinker leaders to the 3 way swivel. Next tie the main line to the 3 way. Now tie on the hook and sinker. This would produce the strongest arrangement I know of with the exception of the hook tied directly to the end of the main line.
An alternate knot for hooks is the Snelled Knot
Sinkers are generally connected with a Loop Knot. I found the King Sling, Blood Bight and End Loop Knots to be very similar in the way they are tied. In fact they appear to be the same knot with different names. The only variations is in the number of times the line is wrapped over itself.
Although the picture shows the loop tied at the end of the line, I use it along the line like a dropper loop. This knot appears to have greater strength when used as an end of line loop than when it is used as a dropper loop and both ends of the line are pulled in opposite directions. I use it as a dropper loop in the line when I want to attach a second hook or when I want the sinker to be non-slip at the bottom and the hook located between the swivel and the sinker. The hook is tied to a 8 to 10” leader before being attached to the dropper loop.
I have spent time practicing tying these knots. They must be tied in the daylight and in the dark. A good knot poorly tied is a bad knot and it will let you down. I firmly believe that a consistently high quality knot is needed if you are going to rely on your rig to handle a good fight and let you push the fighting drag on your reel. A couple of points about tying the knots need to be mentioned.
When you have formed the knot and are about to snug it up and pull it tight, spit on it or wet it somehow before pulling it up. The saliva or water act as a lubricant and coolant for the line. It allows the line to be pulled very tight without heat buildup damaging the line and the added slip will allow the knot to form as it should.
The other thing to remember is that a line that is twisted in a knot is not laying as it should and may be cut under heavy load. After you have wet the knot pull it up slowly forming the knot as you go. Don’t let the line twist or the knot bunch up.
The last 2 knots have to do with the bobber or float stops on a slip bobber rig. I am still trying to decide which I prefer. At this point about all I can say is the Float Stop Knot is easier for me to tie. It can be very easily made more resistant to slipping on the main line with an additional wrap or two around the main line when tying it. Line that has been suggested for this knot are dacron fish line, heavy cotton thread and dental floss.
Last edited by Whistler; 04-10-2006 at 03:25 PM.
Member since July 2002
Staff member from September 2003 until June 2015.
Retired Army - 1975 -1995