Basic Fly Fishing Knots You Must Know

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All anglers agree that knots are the unsung heroes of the fly fishing world.

We always read about how to cast properly, where to fish and what to wear while we’re doing it. However, we don’t get much press about what’s arguably a critical component of fishing.

That’s why today, we decided to go back to basics. Below are the most common and basic fly fishing knots you should know as well as a step-by-step method by Boys’ Life.

Double Surgeon’s Loop

This knot is one of the easiest to learn at an early stage. It’s used to add a tippet to the leader.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Double the tag end of the line then create a single overhand knot in the double line.
  2. Hold the tag end and standing part of the line in your left hand then bring the loop around, inserting through the overhand knot again.
  3. Hold the tag end and standing line in your left hand then pull the knot to tighten it.

Nail Knot

The nail knot is used to tie a fly line to the backing or to attach a leader to the line. If you don’t have a nail you can use, you can go for something with a similar, small diameter like a thin tube.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Hold the nail along the fly line and the backing between your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Lay a loop of line along the nail and, with the free end, wind the monofilament around the nail, loop, and leader about six times. Now, pull on both sides of the line to tighten it, making sure you end up with a smooth knot.
  3. Hold the “coils” between your thumb and forefinger. Remove the nail then tighten the knot all the way.

Turtle Knot

Another common knot is the turtle knot, which is often used to create a connection between the leader and the fly line.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the front, pass the end of the leader through the fly’s (or hook’s) eye then slide the fly up the leader.
  2. Create a loop with a slipknot in the tip of the leader.
  3. Pull the loop over and around the fly, bringing the free end around twice, like a double overhand knot, ensuring you tighten it in the end.
  4. Pull the leader and wrap the loop around the back of the hook’s eye then tighten and trim the end.

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