What’s the weakest link between you and a trophy fish at the end of your line? It could include anything from the mainline to the leader to the last thing you tie on your line which is a single bait hook, multiple hook rigs, or an artificial lure. The common factor in rigging any of these items is the knot.
Fishing the waters of Florida’s East Coast requires tying knots that will hold up to big fish. Be it the Indian or Banana River, or the Cape Canaveral basin, anglers are likely to hook up to a big fish that will test the tackle and rigging.
Fishing knots are one of the first skills anglers must learn to be successful at catching and landing fish. A recent book on fishing techniques devoted an entire chapter to terminal tackle. The chapter is called “As Strong as the Weakest Link.”
That weakest link could be the knot the angler uses to attach the terminal tackle. One of the easiest knots to tie is the clinch knot. The clinch knot is very popular among anglers because it is both easy to tie and strong.
The clinch knot is especially appropriate for children, but is equally suitable for any beginning angler. Anyone can quickly learn to attach their own hooks or lures when fishing by using the clinch knot. The sooner they discover the things they can do for themselves, the sooner they begin to experience the pride of accomplishment that goes with catching a fish on their own.
To tie a clinch knot take the tag end of the mainline coming from the reel and place it through the hook or lure. Twist that tag end around the mainline about 5 or 6 times. This creates a loop or opening below the twist. Run the tag end through the opening. While holding the tag end securely along side the hook or lure slowly apply tension to pull the knot tight.
Always remember to moisten (lubricate) the knot with spit before clinching completely. If the knot is tightened without lubrication friction heats up the line and weakens it, possibly making the knot the weakest link in the rigging. That is exactly what the angler should be trying to avoid.
Finally, take the advice of Capt. Bouncer Smith, a charter captain out of Miami, “Tie every knot like you are going to catch a world record.” Tying good knots will come with practice and that is exactly how to develop the skill. Practice, practice, practice.
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Angler Alert: Don’t forget to log you catch online at the Angler Action Program.