Knot Very Difficult
By Captain Galen Pruett
A good solid knot is an important key to reeling in a good fish. Usually if you break off a fish before you bring it up to the boat, it is due to a poor knot. While you don’t need to be an expert or know how to tie an extremely difficult knot, a few good knots will help you go a long way.
I recently entered into a knot tying contest in Sport Fishing magazine where I earned third place for the Bristol knot. The magazine judged each contestant on breaking strength.
If you can learn to tie three to four knots it would help you out tremendously. There is no need to find the most complicated knots. Actually, the easier it is, the better. While you are out on a boat you don’t want to have to refer to a book or diagram. Find something that is easy to remember and practice tying it over and over again. Below are directions and diagrams on how to tie the Bristol, along with the Bimini Twist and the Clinch Knot.
The Bristol is used for connecting line to leader. This knot is easy to tie and it slides through the guides and above rollers without catching. Another benefit of the Bristol is that it is unlikely for it to pick up weeds and grass when coming through the water.
1. Pass the tag end of the leader through the loop of doubled line.
2. Keeping your index finger hooked around the leader, wrap the tag end 5-7 times around the doubled line.
3. Pass the tag end back through the loop formed by your index finger, in the opposite direction from which it entered in step one.
4. Tighten the knot by moistening the lines with saliva and pulling on both the standing part of the leader and the double line. Trim the tag end, which should protrude at a 90-degree angle.
The Bimini Twist is used for doubling line so it can be used with other knots, like the Bristol. This knot is a good one for trolling.
1. Begin by making a loop and twist the line at least 20 times. Depending on the length you wish to make the double, two people may be required.
2. Alternately, you may attach the double to something (use a cleat or a rod in a holder and place the line over the rod butt) if another pair of hands is not available. In this case stand inside the loop facing away from the rod, and towards the knot. Be careful of line damage at the end of the double if you do use this method.
This example shows a short double being made. The double end can be placed around the knee or your foot for a double a bit longer. Apply steady tension so the twists come together. Ensure that tension is maintained at all times.
3. Keeping tension on the standing end (line to the reel), relax slightly the tag end and let it run down over the original twist. This process can be assisted by placing a finger in the ‘v’ at the bottom of the twist.
4. When the twists are completely wrapped, make a half-hitch around the right leg of the loop and pull tight. This will prevent the knot unraveling temporarily and allow you to proceed to the next step.
5. Complete the knot with a four turn locking hitch around both strands of the loop. Moisten the line with saliva and pull the tag end slowly. Use you thumb and forefinger to draw back the turns as you tighten them. Trim the tag end but leave enough line so the knot doesn’t unravel, which may (unlikely if tied correctly) happen if it is constantly moving in and out of rod guides. The unraveling can be prevented by applying super glue to the knot. A rubber type glue such as Aquaseal or Pliobond is also very useful.
The Improved Clinch is for connecting tackle; i.e. hooks to line.
1. Pass the line through the eye of hook, swivel or lure. Double back and make 5 turns around the standing line. Hold the coils in place; thread end of line through the first loop above the eye, then through the big loop as shown.
2. Hold the tag end and standing line while coils are pulled up. Take care that coils are in spiral, not lapping over each other. Slide tight against the eye. Clip tag end.
Captain Galen Pruett has been fishing off the Texas Gulf Coast for over 25 years. To book a fishing trip with him, call 409-457-2339 or visit his website at www.cowboybootsandbathingsuits.com for more information.
Thanks and good fishing out there !