UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

5 Must-Have Knots

5 Must-Have Knots
Tom Redington explains how to use five easy to tie knots.

Most anglers, pros included, look for any little edge to increase their catch, and that includes even the knots they tie to attach lures to their lines. With that in mind, picking the best knot to use with all of today’s lines can be a challenge.

Guiding customers for big bass on legendary Lake Fork for the past 10 years has provided a great laboratory for me to test a variety of knots in demanding conditions. Customers often bring their own gear, so I’ve tied knots on dozens of line brands and types. Lake Fork lunkers often reside in thick timber or heavy grass, yet heavy fishing pressure sometimes requires light line to trick these educated old fish. Through experimentation and experience, I’ve settled on a few knots that hold up to hard-pulling fish, even on light line.

Before I review the knots that I use and rely on, let me recount a few lessons that I’ve learned.  For starters, no knot is very strong if it isn’t tied properly. Most knots aren’t very complex, but it does take a number of times practicing a new twist or wrap to be able to draw them together neatly and evenly. The more you tie a particular knot, the better you get at it, both in terms of the quality and the speed required to tie it. If you’re able to tie a knot really quickly, you’ll be more inclined to retie your lure should you notice a little nick or fray in the line. This will help you land a few extra fish in the long run. Therefore, I suggest you master a few knots, and, if you don’t tie one perfectly, cut it off and do it again. 

Based on those principles, here are the line and connection types I use, with descriptions of the knots that I use with them most often:

Monofilament/Copolymer: It’s hard to beat the Palomar knot here. Super-quick and easy to tie, it consistently tests as the strongest knot for this line type. Life is complicated enough as it is; no sense overthinking this one.

 

Fluorocarbon: Fluoro is notorious for snapping on the hookset, so choosing the right knot for it is critical. I’ve experimented with a number of knots, but tying a uni-knot with the line doubled is the strongest that I’ve found. It’s hard to find instructions for this knot online, but you simply double up your line before threading it through the needle eye of the hook, then tie it like a regular uni-knot, leaving you with three tag ends to cut off. I go with seven wraps for 10-pound-test or less, six wraps for 12- to 17-pound test, and five wraps for 20-pound-test and heavier. Last I’d heard, this is the knot that Aaron Martens ties with fluoro. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.

 

Braid: These lines are so slick, a lot of knots will slip and come undone under pressure. Again, the uni-knot works well here. I don’t double my line as I do with fluorocarbon, but I do wrap my line twice around the eye of the hook before starting my knot (thread your line through the eye of the hook once from the left and out the right side, then come back through the left side and out the right again before starting your knot). If tied properly to a stout hook, you’ll only wish the knot would fail with 50-pound-test or stronger when it’s snagged on the bottom. Pull up an oak tree or old Oldsmobile? Yes. Break? No.        

 

Jigs: If you swim a jig through grass or flip weeds, you’ve probably tried a hundred jigs in an effort to discover the most weedless version. The problem is, most of us tie them to our line with a knot that has a big tag end standing out – a big weed catcher on the front of an otherwise weedless jig. For jigs in the grass, try a Trilene knot. It has a tag end that snugs up at the eye and points back toward the hook, keeping your knot (the leading point of your jig) weedless too. It’s strong and easy to tie with mono and fluoro.

 

Fluoro Leader-to-Braid: Most guys use a double uni-knot here, and it’s a good choice. I prefer the surgeon’s knot, however. It’s extremely easy and quick to tie, which lessens the ordeal of retying if I break off a rig in a tourney. Most knot guides show the surgeon’s knot being tied with two wraps, but I’ve found five wraps result in the strongest knot. A leader takes extra time to tie, plus the knot clicks through the guides and is an extra weak spot to fail should you hook a big fish. However, braid with a fluorocarbon leader is the best combo of strength, feel and stealth in a lot of situations. From 30-pound-test leaders on 65-pound-test braid to 6-pound-test leaders on 6-pound-test braid, the surgeon’s knot has been a steadfast connection for me.

 

Follow Tom’s fishing tips and updates at Facebook.com/TomRedingtonFishing and Twitter.com/Tom_Redington. For fishing articles and videos, check out his website, LakeForkGuideTrips.com.   

Tags: tom-redington  blog 

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

Prepping for the 2020 Fishing Season

This is one of my favorite times of the year, the (not so) calm before the storm before the tournament season kicks off down south in January. READ MORE »

I’m Signed up and Ready to Go

I’m Signed up and Ready to Go

Following a great season in 2019, I just signed up for the FLW Pro Circuit for 2020. Foremost, I’m excited about the opportunities that are being provided by MLF and FLW. I see overall growth in the platform as we strive to be a bigger and better industry. READ MORE »

FLW Foundation Volunteers Have a Big Impact on Youth

FLW Foundation Volunteers Have a Big Impact on Youth

For the past several years, the FLW Foundation has been working diligently on a mission to introduce young people to their local natural resources. One strategy employed by the Foundation is to host free youth fishing derbies across the country. READ MORE »

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

One of the easiest and most controllable ways to save time and be efficient on the water is to keep tackle organized and accessible. Hard baits are easy to organize in Plano boxes, but soft plastics can sometimes cause a bit of a headache. Here are some tips for doing it based on how I go about tackling the issue.  READ MORE »

How to Land More Bass

How to Land More Bass

My technique for fighting a bass depends significantly on the equipment – my Dobyns rod, Ardent reel, Seaguar line and Cornerstone Baits – that I’m using at the time. READ MORE »

God, Grace, Grit

God, Grace, Grit

Life isn’t always easy, and we all find ourselves in situations that seem impossible to overcome. But with God, grace and grit we have not only persevered, we have risen. And we are continuing to rise together, and can commit to uplifting one another along the way. No matter what you are going through on or off the water, know that with God, grace and grit, but most of all God, anything is possible. READ MORE »

How to Prepare for Big Water 

How to Prepare for Big Water 

As many of you know, fishing big water for giant smallmouths is my favorite type of fishing. Competing on the Great Lakes, 1000 Islands, St. Clair, Champlain and other big Northern fisheries is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes it gets rough, which is why it’s critical that you have the correct equipment and understand how to use it. READ MORE »

How to be a Pro Angler 

How to be a Pro Angler 

I get a lot of questions from young and old anglers alike about the steps to becoming a pro. I guess maybe sometimes I take it for granted. The process seems somewhat obvious to me. How to execute on it might not be simple, but the steps you need to take really are. There are only a couple of ways to get into this sport, and they all start at the grassroots level, in $200 and $300 tournaments.  READ MORE »

Introducing Myself

Introducing Myself

I want to start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I grew up in Pennsylvania about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. I grew up fishing for whatever would bite with my grandfather and in middle school I had a friend who started taking me with his dad down to the Chesapeake Bay. That was my first time ever on a bass boat, and I was immediately hooked! READ MORE »

Riding the Roller Coaster

Riding the Roller Coaster

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog, although it seems like the last one was just yesterday. This season has flown by, and I finally have some down time before the last stop on the FLW Tour at Lake Champlain. This Tour season has been full of ups and downs, and I’ve learned a lot. READ MORE »

The History of the Drop-Shot

The History of the Drop-Shot

FLW Tour pro James Niggemeyer recalls his first introduction to the drop-shot, as well as what came before it and how he developed his tackle to have better success with this capable finesse bass bait. READ MORE »

From Dead Last to Making Money

From Dead Last to Making Money

If you were hanging out with me at the FLW Tour event on Seminole recently, you would have thought I won the tournament. I was congratulated by every pro I saw, and they were being genuine. READ MORE »

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Fishing the Worst Conditions

Watching giant bags of bass caught down in Texas and Florida on FLW Live during FLW Tour events has many anglers dying to get on the water. The only problem is that a lot of people are still facing some of the toughest conditions for catching a bass – cold, muddy, moving water.   READ MORE »

How to Deal with Dock Talk

How to Deal with Dock Talk

If you fish tournaments or follow tournament fishing, you know about dock talk. It’s the chatter that goes on among bass fishermen during and around tournaments on subjects such as how the fish are biting, what patterns are in play, the weather and just how much of a grind it’s been. Dock talk can be dangerous. It can lead you astray if you listen to the wrong person. It can hurt your confidence if you hear about someone else really catching ’em doing something different. It can distract you from your game plan and your goals. Dock talk rarely gives you the complete story. READ MORE »

Moving into My New Office

Moving into My New Office

The new year to many professional fishermen also means a new boat. Some people like the smell of a new car — who doesn’t, really? But the smell of new fiberglass is better than that. It’s better than the smell of warm apple pie to me. READ MORE »

How to Work in Fishing

How to Work in Fishing

There was a time when the only way to make money at fishing and to express your love for our sport was by fishing tournaments, but that’s just not true anymore. With the growth curve we’ve had, the economic muscle of the fishing industry has spawned some interesting opportunities that didn’t really exist years ago.  Now, there are many jobs in the fishing industry that allow someone with a creative mind to indulge in what they love to do. I get to be around a lot of pros, but my job has also brought me into contact with a lot of folks with other jobs in fishing. So, here are four people I think you should follow and study if you know you belong in the fishing industry, but you don’t know exactly where yet. READ MORE »

Why We Need More Winter Bass Tournaments

Why We Need More Winter Bass Tournaments

FLW Tour pro Brian Latimer explains why he loves winter bass fishing and tournaments. READ MORE »

Get More out of Guide Trips

Get More out of Guide Trips

Guide trips are great opportunities to learn about bass fishing and to have an enjoyable day on the water without the pressure of having to find fish and figure out patterns on your own. I highly recommend them, especially if you’re sitting around during the offseason with nothing much to do. READ MORE »

Martin’s Final Prep for the 2019 Tour

Martin’s Final Prep for the 2019 Tour

Getting mentally prepared is the biggest thing for me. There’s a process, and it has to be done. Everything has to be ready so when I roll into Texas to start practice for Sam Rayburn on Jan. 6 I know exactly where every piece of tackle is stowed and exactly how every piece of equipment works and exactly what I need to accomplish to support my sponsors and keep my own media  projects on schedule. Sometimes the preparation goes into panic mode, like I’m in hyperventilate mode or something, but that’s just part of it. READ MORE »

Life Between Seasons for a Pro Angler

Life Between Seasons for a Pro Angler

As busy as a Tour pro stays from August until December, getting things lined up for the following year, I still find time to relax a bit. Like most fishermen, I also enjoy passing time in the fall and winter by going hunting.   READ MORE »