When I first began fishing, I tied everything with the only knot I knew. In fact, I didn't even know how to tie it without instruction. I cut out the back of a Stren mono filler package and kept it in my tackle bag so I could reference it. Eventually, as my skills and techniques grew, so did my knowledge of knots and their appropriate applications. Whether you are a novice, weekend warrior or professional angler, these are the 5 knots we believe everyone should know.
Improved Clinch Knot
Application(s): Pretty versatile knot; best on non-braid connections to crankbaits and jig
I have no idea how to tie a clinch knot but I know that the Improved Clinch knot is have never failed me. I use it to connect my non-braid line to crankbaits, swivels, jigs, and basically anything else that is not a hook. It's strong, quick and easy to tie. I usually wrap about 5-6 times. It is important to note that you can use this knot on braided line but for braid, I have a better knot. See Double Palomar below.
Easy Snell Knot
Application(s): Best knot for direct-to-hook
This is the only knot I use when I am connecting directly to a hook for my Texas and Carolina rigs. It is incredibly strong and unlike the original snell knot, it's easy to tie, hence the name. It is important to have your line enter the hook eye from the hook-point side. In theory, when you set the hook, the angle created will result in a better hook-up ratio. I've never tried going through the back side of the eye but the theory makes sense. Furthermore, I always feel like I have a direct connection with my hook since my line is directly tied to the shank of the hook. I always wrap 10 times around the hook before pulling the line through
Double Palomar Knot
Application(s): Braided line to anything
When it comes to braided line, this knot is the only knot I ever use. It's incredibly effective and probably the quickest knot to tie. If you know the regular palomar knot, it's the same thing except you wrap the loop twice before passing it around the hook. I like the regular palomar knot but I like the added security and strength of the double palomar. Either one are great for attaching anything except when you are doing a line-to-line attachment or directly attaching to a hook (see Easy Snell Knot above).
Double Uni Knot
Application(s): Line to line connections only
I tried numerous knots when I first started using a fluorocarbon leader. I saw my leader and lure flying off into the unknown due to tying it improperly. It may have been the Albert knot but I digress. The only line to line knot that I have been able to repeatedly tie quickly and efficiently is the Double Uni knot. I wrap less with the leader line and more on the main line. This way, if I have to break off, I know my knot will break on the leader side. I tend to wrap 6 wraps with my leader and about 10 wraps with my mainline. This knot slides together better if you put a little spit on it.
Drop Shot Knot
Application(s): Drop Shot technique
One of the techniques I resisted for a long time was the drop shot. When I first tried it, no matter which knot I used, the hook was always in the wrong direction. I even resorted to purchasing those special drop shot hooks by VMC with the built-in double swivel, but even that got too expensive compared to everything else I was fishing with. It wasn't until we needed to test our 10-4 Tackle UFW Ultra Finesse Worm that I had to try drop shot again. With 10 years of online resources created between when I first tried drop shot to when I needed to bring it back, I found a knot that is easy and quick to tie and leaves my hook point right where I want it. I wrap 4 times around the hook before I pull tight. This knot also slides together better if you put a little spit on it.