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Hold the line- My favourite fishing knots

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Every angler knows the situation: The moment has come, you've hooked a big one. But then suddenly the line goes slack and it's gone. You are kept wondering what had happened and in many cases the fault lies in a poorly tied knot. The ability to tie good fishing knots and the use of the right knot are crucial to get the most strength out of your line. Which also allows you to fish thinner lines, without risking losing fish.

Let me show you some of my favourite fishing knots, that never let me down.

There are general questions you have to ask yourself, when deciding which knot to use, as not every knot is suitable for all kinds of fishing line. I will present some fishing knots, that I have used plenty in recent years and came out as my favorites.

Some general rules:

1. When tying monofilament line, always moisten the knot before tightening. Otherwise, frictional heat, which emerges while tightening may damage your line, resulting in a severe reduction in it's breaking strenght.

2. Watch out for your hands while tying knots with braided line. The thin diameter of braided line can easily cut into your hands when tightening knots.

3. The fresher, the better. Knots don't have to be tied every day, but most knots loose some of their strength over time, so it makes sense to tie them newly every so often.

1. Braid to Mono

A typical situation, where braided main line needs to get connected with a monofilament shock leader are all kinds of sea fishing, such as popping, jigging and others. I use hard mono, or fluorocarbon as a subtle leader for pike fishing as well and directly connect it to my braided mainline. I present you two proven knots, that can be tied with any braid or mono-thick or thin and have an impressive breaking strength of over 90%.

Serviola Special

This is the so called "Serviola Special Knot". This knot is my absolute go-to when connecting braid to mono, as it is easy to tie and very strong. It works for all diameters of fishing line. Here I tied it with 120lb braid and 85lb mono

  1. Tie a figure eight to your monofilament line

  2. Go through both "eyes" of the 8 with your braided line. You will need about 30cm of braid to tie this knot

  3. Do 10-20 turns with the braid with some tension, leave a little loop before the figure 8

  4. Do 10-20 turns with the braid in the opposite direction, again, with some tension

  5. Go through the loop before the 8, once, or twice

  6. Apply saliva and tighten the knot. Start by tightening the figure 8 in your mono

  7. Trim your monofilament line, leave at least 3-5mm

  8. Start to tie half-hitches over the rest of the monofilament line

  9. When the half hitches cover all of the monofilament line, tie another 2-3 half hitches just over the braid

  10. Tighten the knot again and trim the braid. Finished!

FG Knot

The FG is my other favorite knot to connect braid to mono. I have used it a lot in saltwater and it is a very strong and reliable knot. It can also be tied fairly thin, which allows to cast it through the guides. Here I tied it with 120lb braid and 200lb mono

  1. Make a loop of braid (or also several loops) in your hand. You'll need about 30cm of braid for the knot

  2. Wrap the braid around the mono while making 180° turns with your hand, resulting in some kind of crossed wrapping of the braid around your mono. You can basically do as many turns as you want, but 15-20 are enough. Try to make the wraps tight from the start

  3. Tighten the wraps and secure them with a half hitch

  4. Now close the wraps by pulling them tight

  5. Trim the mono, leave about 1-2cm; I also like to burn the end of the mono with a lighter to avoid slipping. When knot is tied properly it will work like a Chinese Finger Trap and the line won't slip through, but I like this sense of extra security, especially when I target strong saltwater species

  6. Continue with tight half hitches, until you have covered the end of the mono and then do a few more

  7. Trim all end of the braid, done.

Braid to swivel (knotless)

Sometimes you don't need a mono leader and want to tie the braided mainline directly to a swivel or hook. In these cases, I use a "knotless" knot, which allows to tie on a swivel while keeping close to 100% of the braid's breaking strength. A great knot for spinning, or catfish fishing. This is also a very easy connection to tie.

  1. Go through the eye of the hook, swivel etc

  2. Do about 10-20 tight turns with the braid

  3. Now do the same amount of turns in the opposite direction

  4. Secure the turns by tying a half hitch to the eye of the hook or swivel

  5. tighten the knot and pull it close together

  6. Tie another 1-2 half hitches to the eye of the hook or swivel

  7. Trim the end of the braid, finished!

Mono to swivel/hook/lure

A classic situation, you have to tie a lure, swivel, weight, or eyed hook to a monofilament line. The presented knots have a breaking strength of about 80-85% and are fairly easy to tie.

Improved Clinch Knot

This knot has become my go-to when fishing with lighter monofilament lines with a maximum of 30lbs or 0.50mm. I used it a lot in freshwater for carp and pike fishing with monofilament main lines.

  1. Go through the eye of the hook or swivel twice to form a loop

  2. Make a few turns with the mono, usually 5-6 are enough

  3. Go through the loop formed in step 1

  4. Moisten the know, tighten it and trim the end, finished!


When I fish heavier lines, such as heavy mono leaders in saltwater, the Uni Knot has always worked well for me. It can also be tied with thinner lines, but I normally use it with 30lbs+ lines. For lines up to 50lbs, it should be around 5-6 turns, heavy lines can be tied with 3-4 turns.

  1. Go through the eye of what you want to tie to your line

  2. make a 180° turn with the line, creating some sort of loop

  3. Pass over the parallel lines, through the "loop" a few times (depending on the diameter of the line)

  4. Moisten the line, tighten the knot and trim the ends, done!

Haywire Twist (Single wire)

Single wired leaders are my go to, when I have to deal with toothy critters, especially in saltwater. Single wire compared to 7x7 wire is a lot thinner, which makes it more subtle in clear water, or with leadershy fish. I love single wire, when trolling in areas with lots of toothy fish, such as king mackerel, barracuda, bluefish etc, but also for baitfishing when wire is needed.

The Haywire Twist is fairly easy to make and gives a very strong connection without sleeves or anything.

  1. Go through the eye of the hook, swivel, or whatever you want to connect to the wire

  2. Do a couple of wider turns, best avoid kinks in the wire

  3. Now do a couple of narrow, tense turns to close off the twist

  4. Trim the end, done.

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