October 14th, 2002

Fun With Knots (Nots?)
By James Castwell


  • Are you at least just a little sharper then most of the other guys who fly fish?

  • Would you consider that you are however, mostly, just an average guy?

  • Do you use tippet material and know how to tie it on?

  • When you connect a tippet to your leader are you sure you are using the best knot?

  • Which is the 'best' one? Surgeons, barrel, blood, loop-to-loop, other?

  • Are the 'blood' knot and the 'barrel' the same knot?

  • Is the clinch knot also called the blood knot?

  • Is a half blood knot called a clinch?

  • Is an 'improved clinch knot' also called a 'locked blood knot'?

  • Are you getting confused now?*

  • Are you still reading this?

Good, now, winter is coming and you can do this indoors at home, where it's warm.

Take a long piece of whatever you use for tippet; that's not long enough, make it about four or five feet, don't scrimp here. Make a big loop, (the arbor knot will work here) in each end. Make a few turns of the loop around a smooth dowel, (I used a Sharpie pen for this.) Now tie some knots in the tippet, one of each would be fun. Do a good job here, wet them and pull gently and firmly until they are well seated. (You will be glad you did.)

If you have a scale, (I used a chatillion) form a few loops around it and slowly pull. If not, make the loops around another Sharpie, or dowel. I found it interesting as to which knot broke first, and in my situation, what the scale read when it did. I have no intention of letting you know what my results were. The only ones that will count are your results, which knots you use and how well you tie them.

You can take this even further by trying different knots when joining different materials, like mono to fluoro, mono to mono, fluoro to fluoro, etc.

Will all of this make a big difference? Could be. Have fun.

*I have no idea of what the answers are either, any can be easily used to start a bar fight. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

All Previous Castwell Articles
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