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The 6 essential knots for carp fishing

February 14th, 2010

When  you 1st start fishing there are a multitude of knots that you have to learn, indeed when you 1st go out ( hopefully with someone who knows what they are doing) each piece of end tackle seems to require a different knot. Someone people who are “self taught” and seem to go through life with only a few knots using them whether they are appropriate or not. Once in Morrocco I witnessed a local fisherman using nothing more than a series of over hand knots to secure everything… no doubt he had plenty of stories about ” the one that got away”

Anyway I have compiled here a series of how to guides to each knot and a little explanation as to why you would use that particular knot, due to the numbers of images in each guide I have created each knot page as static page in the “Articles” section and each of the paragraphs below links to each of the knots.

Figure of 8 knot

Regular readers will recognise this knot as one that was the subject of its very own article. This knot is the jack of all trades, if you want a loop in almost anything from fluro carbon to soft braid and anything in between go for this one above all others. It forms a really strong loop that will not slipand one that the loop naturally lines up with the direction of tension. Click here to see how to tie the figure of 8 knot

Loop to loop

Any match man worth their salt will know this one as it is the normal way that you will join the pre tied hook links to your main line. When it an essential knot in carp fishing ? well if you use plastic or lead core leaders this knot is essential for linking the leader to your mainline. Some people scoff at linking this way and use a grinner knot however the loop to loop is (in my opinion) stronger than a grinner and can be disassembled without cutting your line. For example, I will often swap rigs and lead systems by preparing a new leadcore leader, lead, rig etc then when I wind in it is just a matter of removing the old system from the main line and replacing it with the new. Easy. Click here to see how to tie loop to loop  knot

Knotless knot

What can I say about this knot that has not been said before ? it is the basis of 99% of al of the carp rigs out there, it simultaneously combines a knot with a method of attaching and positioning the hair on the back of the hook. A word of caution, tie it properly as the instructions show as if you begin the whipping of the shank the wring way you will cause issues. Additionally if you are using this knot with flurocarbon check the knot regularly and do not reuse hook links between sessions ( especially if you have caught heavily). I have never lost a fish with a flurocarbon failure but I have spotted several dodgy knots before I cast out that failed with even moderate pressure.. you have been warned. Click here to see how to tie the knotless knot

Trilene knot

This is the knot that I use when ever I need to attach a line to a metal loop of some kind ie a swivel, a hook ( assuming I am not using the knotless knot) and is is also 100% reliable especially with coated braid as it does not slip. Basically it is a modified blood knot which I am sure that we all know from our youth however by passing the material through the eye twice and then passing the tag end through that loop the issue with slippage is removed. Good for all kinds of lines. Click here to see how to tie the trilene knot

Water knot

This knot initially looks very hard to tie and for years I dismissed it as being an oddity and only useful for mono to mono deployments. This is not the case however, I use it almost exclusively for mono to braid situations whether it is for joining a shock leader to my main line, joining a combi link together or attaching a length of  fluro to my braided mainline for zander fishing.  This knot does it all. A small tip, if you are attaching a shock leader bundle 90% of the leader together as otherwise you will spend your time threading 5m of leader throught the loops when you are tying it. Click here to see how to tie the 4 turn water knot

Stop / marker knot

This knot is an essential to any carp fisherman. Some people use tape to mark their line however as I have no idea what the chemicals in the adhesive of the tape will to to my mainline I will stay well clear. The knot is a very simple knot and can be used not only for marking distances on your line but also as an anchor point on a hook link for putty if you need. When you are tying be very careful that you don’t trap the main line. If you do you could weaken it and if you have just cast out 100 yards, that is 100 yards of line you will be putting in the bin. Click here to see how to tie the stop / marker  knot

In summary whilst there are far more knots out there that I have not covered here, if you can tie all of the above then you are well on your way to becoming a proficient fisherman.  Other knots might do some specialist tasks slightly more efficiently the ones above will cover almost every situation that you will ever experience and by the time you need one of those you are past this guide any way 🙂

Tell me what you think, either post a comment below or if you want to contact me more privately drop me a mail on the “Contact me” tab above. I’m listening !

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