Oh No, Not Knots
Knots have played an integral part of our survival. Primitive man used knots for hunting, trapping, and shelter. The purpose of a knot is to securely attach one or more items using rope, twine, cord or chains. Without them, what would the world look like? Science, physics, mathematics, and religions would certainly not be what they are today.
For our purposes, we will talk about inshore fishing knots. There is no great necessity to know a multitude of knots, two to three is all you will need. Tying knots correctly is as important as your fishing gear and tackle. An inshore angler needs to know a line to line knot and a line to terminal tackle knot. As a beginner, there is no need to be intimidated by this process. This is no magical trick or lost art form, there are an endless number of knots and countless tutorials and animations that can be found on the internet to assist you.
The days of tying a steel leader to your mono-filament and a hook are long gone. When picking the knots to use, there are many variables to keep in mind. Line diameters, knot strength, position of tags, knot size, and so many other variables. There are so many knots available, the one common ingredient is that they must be tied correctly. One less twist or too many loops and your work is futile, the knot won't hold and there goes your fish.
Unlike fishing, knot tying can be practiced virtually anywhere. All you will need is fishing line, twine, or even shoelaces and you're in business. Most tackle stores carry the equivalent of knot tying flash cards that are very helpful for a novice. Once you know two or three knots well, you will be surprised how it becomes second nature. A good angler can tie knots in heavy seas, cramped quarters, and minimal light. The longer it takes you to tie a knot securely, the more it eats into your fishing time. If you are depending on a seasoned angler to tie your knots for you, this will wear thin very quickly and that seasoned angler may not fish with you anymore.
You may know everything there is to know about targeting fish, you may have the best rod and reel on the market, but without proper knot tying your success rate will be very low. There are absolutely no excuses for improper knots, there are too many other ways to lose a fish without having to worry about that. There is nothing worse than setting the hook on a monster fish, just to have your knot slip and bye, bye. Do your homework, it is just one less thing you will have to worry about when you are going after that trophy fish.
Published in Guy Harvey’s The Online Fisherman April 2016