Knots, love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are typically the smallest (and cheapest) part of our setups that have the biggest influence on whether you land a fish. There are three knots I use constantly while fishing and I’m going to give you the lowdown on how to tie them.
Starting at the line to leader connection it’s the Perfection Loop. Since you are reading this, chances are you are a Postfly subscriber and have been receiving the Postfly leaders (sans loop). When I first started fishing with Postfly products, I was not well versed with tying this knot, however, as with most things, practice makes perfect, but in this case, a Perfection Loop.
Start by giving yourself enough material to work – finger size and dexterity will influence this. Make a small loop with the standing or long end of the line towards you, now make another right in front of it – roughly the same size. Here’s the kicker… loop the tag end around again and pass it between the two loops. Pull the second loop through the first (forceps make this easier) and you have a Perfection Loop – hopefully. This knot is perfect for making loop-to-loop connections with your fly line and works perfectly with the braided loop ends you recently got in your monthly subscription – PERFECT!
Double Surgeons Knot
The next knot in line is the Double Surgeons Knot. I know, I know – you like the Blood Knot more…here’s the thing, I am terrible at tying that thing and when its cold, and if the wind is blowing, there is even less of a chance I can do it. The Double Surgeons Knot is easy peasy – even with cold fingers. Start by overlapping your leader and tippet (once again give yourself enough to work with without wasting too much material). Make a loop (with the leader or standing end facing you) and pull the tag end of your leader and the length of your tippet through the loop (moving away from you). The knot should look like an overhand knot. Ok, now repeat that last step, pull tight and clip the tags! This is a good and simple knot for leader to tippet or tippet-to-tippet connections. The Blood Knot may be prettier and move through the guides better but this will keep your line in the water longer with a faster tie time.
Double Surgeons Knot
The final knot, which may be the most important, is the one that connects your fly to the tippet (or leader, if that’s how you roll). The Clinch Knot, this knot can be used 90% (made that up) of the time and used on almost all flies. You can use a no-slip loop knot or modified figure – 8 if the situation applies, but for most of your fishing a Clinch Knot will work great.
When I started fly fishing I tied the improved clinch knot (Google it) it works great but takes longer to tie and gets more fiddly if your fingers are cold or the line is thin. Either way, I changed to the (unimproved) Clinch Knot and never looked back.
Start by passing the tippet through the hook eye. Pro Tip: hold the fly in your handy dandy forceps! Bring the tag end around and start wrapping the tag end up the line, 5-6 or 7 wraps will work just fine. Spinning the fly in your forceps will make this even easier. Take the tag end of the line and pass it through the little opening created by the spinning of the tippet above the eye of the hook. Moisten the knot with spit or water and pull tight. Pull tight using the fly and the standing end of the line – don’t pull the tag end. Clip the tag and huck the bug!
Big River Collective is a tag-team duo, Ryan Michelle Scavo (@RyOutside) and Sam Scavo (@S_Scavo). They are content creators – photographers, writers, & more. – and lovers of Postfly & The Wade blog. They do a lot of playing outside including chasing trout and rambling around southern Colorado looking for the next adventure with their two kiddos and cattle dogs.