“Here’s how to improve the weakest link in your line”
“There are probably more fish lost due to bad knot tying than any other single reason, especially for beginners”, is a common conclusion among captains and deckhands. In California waters just a few basic knots, for various situations, will get the job done. It’s important to know what type of knot to use for a particular application and then practice tying it for best results.
TYING MONO TO HOOK, LURE OR SWIVEL
The Clinch, Improved Clinch, Palomar, San Diego and Uni-Knot are commonly used knots. When using light line, or tying to a heavy lure, try doubling the line before tying to give additional shock protection. For all knots use water or saliva for ease in tightening and trim loose tag ends.
1. Insert about six inches of the tag end through the eye of the hook, bringing it back along the standing part. Make five turns with the tag end around the standing part.
2. Then push the tag end through the small loop near the hook eye and tighten.
1. Same as above.
2. Same as above except before tightening pass the tag end back through the large loop.
3. Then tighten.
1. Form a loop and pass this through the hook eye.
2. Make an overhand knot with the loop.
3. Pass the hook through the loop while holding the tag end and standing part together. Pull slowly until the loop clears the hook.
4. Keep pulling while holding the hook until tight.
1. Pass tag end through hook eye.
2. Bring tag end back to standing line with six inches to spare. Hold the two lines together about four inches above hook eye and wrap loose tag end at least five times over both tag and standing lines. Pass tag end through the lower loop and back up through top loop.
3. Pull both tag and standing line to tighten.
NOTE: This is also a good knot to anchor a line to the reel spool. Before tying, encircle the arbor of the spool twice so that a double noose is formed. Now start tying the knot around the standing line with the tag end and slide down to arbor when completed.
1. Pass the line through the hook eye about six inches and fold to make two parallel lines. Bring tag end back in a circle toward hook.
2. Make six turns with tag end around the double lines and through the circle. Hold double line at point where it passes through the eye and pull the tag end to tighten.
3. Pull standing line to slide knot up against the eye and tighten. If a loop knot is desired so that the hook or lure can swing more freely, simply tighten the knot at the point the desired loop size is obtained.
NOTE: When a fish is hooked the knot will slide firmly against the eye.
JOINING LINES: MONO-TO-MONO AND MONO TO SPECTRA (BRAIDS)
The Tony Pena Knot serves both applications well and has been field tested without failure from yellowtail to black marlin. Below is the basic knot, variations will be noted for different applications. When using stiffer fluorocarbon line, instead of mono, this knot is most effective up to 60-pound test. Above 60-pound, I recommend using crimps rather than knots with fluorocarbon.
THE TONY PENA KNOT
1. Tie overhand knot in mono around braided line. Leave a tag end of 12 to 14 inches in the braided line, (note: with lines over 80 pounds tie a double overhand knot).
2. Holding a loop open with your left hand, wrap braided line ten times around mono, (note: with lines over 80 pounds wrap braided line 15 to 20 times around mono; for light mono-to-mono connections six wraps is sufficient).
3. Wrap braided line ten times back down mono. Space the wraps evenly, so that you are wrapping over on upward wrap each time you make another downward wrap.
4. Push tag end of braided line through the loop you have been holding open.
5. Snug tight slowly. Cut the tag ends closely for ease in casting through rod guides.
NOTE: For lines over 80 pounds adding Pliobond or similar liquid adhesive adds smoothness and durability.
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The Roving Angler