Knot-tying instructions generally use a few standard terms:
The STANDING PART is the main part of the line, running up toward the reel.
The END is the short part of your line. This is where you do the knot-tying. When you are finished tying, the end is the part that you clip. (Use nail clippers.)
A BIGHT is a loop in the line, whether it crosses the standing part or merely runs parallel to it.
Use knots that are easy to tie, although even the strongest knots will fail if they are not tied properly.
All knots will weaken with use. Get in the habit of tying new knots before every trip, and retie knots frequently.
Every knot you tie is better when you follow these basic steps:
1. Pull the end through the eye of the hook. Use plenty of line to tie your knot. You can always trim off the excess later.
2. Form the knot, moisten it with saliva, and then snug it up with a firm, steady pull. This reduces the friction that can might cause abrasions when you pull the knot tightly. A tighter knot also holds better.
Tighten the knot up with a smooth, strong pull. It would be better for the knot to break now than when you're trying to catch a fish.
3. After tying, wetting, and pulling the knot firm, the end will stick out. Trim this with nail clippers, but leave a little extra line in case the knot slips later.
4. Have a good look at the knot, and test it by pulling on it firmly, before putting it to use. If the knot looks odd or damaged, cut if off and tie a new one.
THREE BASIC KNOTS TO KNOW: ARBOR KNOT, PALOMAR KNOT, TRILENE KNOT
THE ARBOR KNOT
You need to tie the line to the reel, and for that you should use the Arbor Knot, which provides a fast and easy connection.
1. Using a foot or so of line, pass the end around the center of the reel and tie a simple overhand knot.
2. Take the end and tie another overhand knot in that also.
3. Pull on the standing part until both overhand knots come tightly together against each other and against the spool. Clip off the excess line, leaving about 1/4 inch.
THE PALOMAR KNOT
The Palomar Knot is the easiest, fastest, and strongest knot for attaching hooks, swivels, and other tackle to your line.
1. Take about 6 inches of line and form a bight, and then pass the bight through the eye of the hook.
If the eye of the hook is too small to allow the double line to go through easily, run the line through once, pull through about 12 inches, and then run the line back through the eye before you proceed to the next step.
2. Tie an overhand knot in the doubled line.
3. Pull the bight far enough to pass it completely over the hook.
4. Wet the line with some saliva to lubricate the knot.
5. Hold the hook carefully and pull the standing part slowly to tighten the knot. If you aren't sure about holding the hook safely, grip it with pliers.
6. Clip the end.
THE TRILENE KNOT
The Trilene Knot (closely related to the Improved Clinch Knot) ties easily and holds up well, and it's one of the easiest to learn. You can use this knot to connect your line to a hook, swivel, or lure, or almost anything else.
1. Put about 12 inches of line through the eye of the hook.
2. Repeat, drawing the line in the same direction, so that you create a double bight at the end of the hook eye.
3. Wrap the end around the standing part 4 to 6 times, moving away from the hook.
4. Pass the end through the double bight next to the hook eye.
5. Wet the knot with some saliva to lubricate it.
6. Hold the hook and the knot in one hand, and pull the standing part slowly with your other hand.
If you don't feel safe holding the hook, grip it with pliers.
7. Trim the end.