Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more frustrating than losing a fish that you’re on the brink of getting into the boat. Often times, these fish get away because the knot connecting the line to the hook doesn’t hold.
While it may seem a bit mundane, the knot is in fact a significant part of any fishing rig ranging from a cane pole all the way to thick offshore fishing rigs. Without a good knot, your bait and hook will not stay attached long enough for you to actually get the fish to the boat – you’ll go through all of the work without the reward!
To avoid this problem, offshore fishing charters around Cocoa Beach use one of the following 6 knots depending on the circumstance to ensure your lines stay intact during an exhilarating fight.
- Loop knot – This is the most common fishing knot probably because it’s one of the easiest to tie. To start, take the end of your line and tie it over the main line about 10-12 inches up, but don’t tighten! Next, run the end through the eye on your hook or lure and then back through the loop. Once you’re past the loop, wrap the end of the line about 5 or 6 times around the main line. To finish the knot, run the line back through the loop and pull tight.
- Clinch knot – This type of knot is commonly used for attaching tackle, hooks or swivels. First, you will run the line through the hook or swivel and then wrap the line 5 or 6 times around the main line. After wrapping the line, you will first run your line through the small loop just above your hook and then through a larger loop before pulling it tight.
- Palomar knot – Although the loop or clinch knots are more common, the Palomar knot is considered the strongest for attaching tackle or hooks. To start, you will double-over about 10 inches of line and feed these through the eye. With the doubled line, you will tie a simple overhand or “square” knot. Next, take the looped end and pull it down past the hook. To complete, pull the looped end and your main line to tighten.
- Uni knot – This type of knot is a popular method for joining two lines together or for attaching the line to the spool on your reel. The first step is to make sure at least 6 to 8 inches of line are together. You then take one of the lines and make a circle that covers both lines. Next, take the looped line and wrap it around the other line around 6 to 8 times and then pull tight. Repeat the same process for the other line.
- Surgeon’s knot – Sometimes, you may need to join two lines of differing sizes. Some rigs will have a thicker line on the spool but a thinner line running through the loops to the bait. To tie this knot, first overlap 8 to 10 inches of line. You will next tie a simple overhand knot with the co-joined section, but make sure your loop is big enough to fit a leader through. Take the line with your leader/hook and pull it through the loop first and then pull the other end through. Next, pull the two ends to complete the knot.
- Swivel knot – Many fishing rigs have what’s known as a swivel that serves as a transition between your main line and your leader. Your first step is to double the line over and put the folded end through the eye of the swivel. Next, you will rotate the end of the line one turn to make a twist between the swivel and the end of the line. You then take this loop and bend it back over the swivel toward the main line from your rod. Hold these two lines together with one hand and allow the swivel to slide down to the bottom of your double loops. Continue holding the two lines in one hand and use your other hand to run the swivel through both loops at least 6 times. Next, let go of the double loops and pull the swivel. You will see several smaller loops forming as you pull. To complete the knot, hold the swivel with a pair of pliers, keep pressure on the double line and push the newly formed loops down toward the eye of the swivel.
All illustrations courtesy of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
This list of knots is not exhaustive – however, these 6 are considered the most commonly used ones aboard offshore fishing charters around Cocoa Beach. Click here for a more exhaustive list.
If you’re new to offshore fishing and this seems confusing, that’s okay. Charters in Cocoa Beach and throughout Florida will tie the right knots for the particular type of fishing and the particular type of rig you’ll be using.
Capt. Joe Smith of Fin Factor Charters in Cocoa Beach has extensive experience tying a variety of knots for offshore fishing. Patrons can be assured the knots will hold when trying to get a fish into the boat. Visit FinFactorCharters.com to learn more Cocoa Beach offshore fishing charters or to schedule a trip today.