some kind of tippet knot

it doesn’t have a name, it doesn’t have an author; its origins are unknown. it is however a mono-to-mono* knot for joining tippet to leader and/or in a leader makeup and it’s shown to us by Peter Morse.

i’ve been playing around with this knot at home since this video came out. its easy to tie and whether pulled under constant pressure or by hard yanks, it seems as strong as any other. it’s not the prettiest of knots but some don’t care about things like that. enjoy !

monofilament |ˈmɒnə(ʊ)fɪləm(ə)nt| (also monofil)
a single strand of man-made fibre.
• [mass noun] a type of fishing line using a monofilament.

notice how that doesn’t say anything about what that fibre might be made of: fluorocarbon, nylon or copolymer.

EDIT: Warren in the comment section informs us its called the J knot. the rest is still a mystery… 😆

Fly Fishing Knots- Steve Huff’s Double Figure-Eight Loop Knot

a super-great find via Steve Dally for all the knot freaks out there. as noted in The Japanese Figure 8 knot any knot with that magical 8 number immediately gets my attention: ‘the figure of 8 knot in itself is widely recognised and used as a stopper knot in any rope activity. it doesn’t slip or roll, its the kind of knot you can trust your life with. now, those who study knots know that not all knots are compatible between ropes and fishing monofilament but this one is.’
by ‘you can trust your life with it’ means exactly that; i used the figure 8 in one form or another daily when i worked with ropes as a tree surgeon. with things like that it’s not a matter of aesthetics or personal taste but one of complete trust.

so, and as we’ll see below, this knot is basically two stopper knots that slide up snug to each other leaving a straight inline open loop for the fly to swivel around. what’s not to like ?

for a pretty comprehensive selection of fishing knots previously posted on TLC click HERE

the real problem with ‘wind’ knots.

wind knots‘, that’s the denialists‘ term for casting knots and no, they’re not just made by tailing loops or outrageous casting faults but today’s reminder isn’t about the causes of these knots however embarrassing or annoying they may be but of their consequence.
in other words, these knots kink the mono and greatly reduce the original breaking point of the monofilament material they’re made of.
as we’ll see in Simon Gawesworth’s video, percentages on specific materials vary but generally speaking, that reduction is approximately 50% and that puts us in a very precarious situation if a fish takes our fly because well, we’re left with half the strength threshold we originally counted on.
to make things worse and if i understand correctly,  Instron-type machines used to register elongation and breaking strains do so in a steady, smooth, pulling manner but fish tend to not follow the same procedure…
although i can’t prove this with numbers i’m very certain that sudden tugs and bursts of strength means our knotted lines will be even weaker relatively speaking than those 50 or so %.


apart from the denialists, these knots happen to everyone at one point or another and if we want to not get into trouble and leave hooks in fish mouths, there’s only one remedy and that’s to regularly check our leaders and tippets, specially if there’s the slightest doubt or after an obvious yucky cast.
– no knots, carry on as usual.
– find a knot ? is it loose as in the pic ? just undo it and just to be sure, check for kinks.
– did it tighten/seat ? cut it off and rejoin the two pieces.
– if the knot’s too close to the fly or other ‘good’ leader knot, just replace the whole piece and you’ll be able to fish in peace.

Wind Knot D’Ohs, Dos and Don’ts !

in Good Knots we’d seen how wind casting knots are a blessing in disguise but that’s just for the casting part. now, making tailing loops make us feel stupid, frustrated and all the well deserved ha-has from mates don’t help the situation however, and even though tailing loops don’t always result in casting knots, where the real nasty comes in is if we do get them and leave these knots unattended and carry on as if nothing happened.

general knowledge has stated for a long time that an overhand knot in a tippet or leader will reduce that section of mono to approximately one-half percent. in other words, a 10lb tippet instantly turns into a 5lb tippet. that sucks because it completely defeats the purpose of using a 10lb tippet in the first place and to make things even worse, if you think about the mates that saw you make that tailing loop and then see you break off on a fish, well, you know the rest…

the solution is simple and even if its a pain you have to pay for your mistakes; you (and i !) deserve it.
if you notice the ugly TL loop, immediately bring your line back in and check the leader. at this point, its not rare to find an un-seated knot like the ones to the left and all we need to do is undo it carefully, be sure there’s no kinks in it and if all looks good, resume fishing.
if the knot has seated tight that knot either has to be clipped off and rejoined with your preferred mono-to-mono knot or that section of tippet will have to be replaced if the casting knot is close to the fly or next to a mono-to-mono knot higher up the leader.

keep in mind that if you don’t take care of these casting knots, casting karma will come right back and bite you hard…

today’s video from Monsieur Simon Gawesworth removes any doubts about the up-till-now archaic 50% reduction breaking strain statement and the fishing world thanks him for it. enjoy ! (and take it easy when casting… 😉 )

the Perfection Loop knot- Again and again and again and again

the Perfection loop knot has been featured here on TLC more than once. we’ve seen the basic knot and two versions of how to use it as a free-swinging tippet-to-fly junction. one would think that that more-than-enough covers the subject but, Tim Flagler via MidCurrent once again found not only a better way to show us how to tie this standard every angler should know but what really caught my attention is the forth ‘again‘ of this posts’s title: the tippet-to-fly knot that starts at 3:56 in the clip below.

what sets this one apart are the clear and simple techniques used to finely adjust the loop’s size, it’s really a no-brainer that’s super-easy to get right every time and no-braining and getting things right every time allow us to think of more important things while out on the water. things such as chocolate, coffee and maybe even focusing more on why we went there in the first place, to (try to) catch fish. enjoy !

Tying the Blood knot

once again Tim Flagler treats us to another great tutorial and the fly fishing world’s a better place for having people like him around.

blood knot

most anglers are familiar with the all-time classic leader-to-tippet joining Blood knot but some aren’t and some can struggle to get it just right so this one’s for them. on a personal note and to attest to its efficiency, i’ve been using this mono joining knot quasi-exclusively for about forty-five years and can’t remember ever having any kind of problem with it.
follow Tim’s guiding and i’m sure you’ll have the same results. enjoy !

click the top image for a wide selection of knot tutorials previously posted on TLC

Fly Fishing Knots- The Japanese Figure 8 knot

by Keiichiro Iwai via varivastv
although some might, most won’t understand a single word of today’s knot tutorial but with clear and concise visuals i can’t see that being an issue. heck, it even makes the experience a bit exotic and yet another great example of how our activity is greatly appreciated and taught around the world.

the figure of 8 knot in itself is widely recognised and used as a stopper knot in any rope activity. it doesn’t slip or roll, its the kind of knot you can trust your life with. now, those who study knots know that not all knots are compatible between ropes and fishing monofilaments but this one is.

used as an alternative to the Blood knot, Uni-to-Uni or double/triple Surgeon’s to join two pieces of same or different diameter monofilaments, the 8 has the advantage of being much easier to tie than the Blood or Uni, specially in difficult-to-see situations and doesn’t twist the material itself within the knot as much as the Surgeon’s does (i really don’t like that). the joined pieces are also straighter than the Surgeon’s. (a big no-no imo)

figure 8 knotthe 8 knot is smaller than the others. i’ve found there’s no risks in trimming the tag ends flush. both points help to not collect as much debris that might be on or in the water, something that can be a royal pain at times.

you can tie it as Keiichiro does in the video by giving the formed loop a half twist (at 0:56) or by running the doubled strands around the loop like here-
fig8 1-2-3 knot

whichever way is fine and equally effective, just be sure to have the figure-8 shape before tightening up the knot before seating it.
a helpful tip is to wet the joined strands with saliva prior to forming the knot. this sticks them together and makes the whole process easier.
also, be sure to seat the knot well by pulling on all four strands or it’ll leave un-tightened gaps inside the knot.

revolutionary knot ? most definitely not but one well worth having in your bag of tricks. give it a try. enjoy !

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks- Adjusting the Loop size of a Perfection Knot

as a recap and to start off, here’s a reprint of an article on how to construct a Perfection Loop from a while back.

Tying the Perfection Loop

this loop is ‘perfect’ for loop-to-loop line-to-leader or leader-to-leader connections for anything but the biggest of fish. super easy to tie, the loop stays in line with the standing end of the monofilament and not ‘kinked’ to the side as with a Double or Triple Surgeon’s Knot. to be honest, i’m not sure it really makes any difference in leader/fly presentation to the fish but it does because i believe it does. offset kinks look messy !

i really like this video by Jim Thielemann. rarely found on any step-by-steps or diagrams is the trick we find here of passing the line around the thumb to create the second loop. this keeps the whole knot visible with the loops separated as opposed to pinching the ensemble together and then trying to pull the second loop through the first to finalize/tighten the knot. this also makes for a better control of the size of the final loop.


now, for today’s great tip. mostly intended as a strong, quick and easy connection point between the tapered part of the leader and its tippet giving us the advantage of not having to continuously reduce the tapered part’s length as we change tippet, we’ll be creating the Perfection Loop exactly as in the video above but this time we’ll see how to easily reduce the final loop’s size, something that’s rather hard to do when using the ‘standard’ method.
we’ll notice that he uses a headphone jack plug to determine the loop size and to give us a bigger visual understanding of how to do this however, getting a very-very small loop size is the goal so, a largish sewing needle or safety pin helps get  the correct size. an added bonus is these pins are tapered and smooth and this helps slide the loop off.

alexisdepuis‘s video is in frog but don’t fret, the visuals are very clear. what we’ll want to pay special attention to is how the loop size is reduced/adjusted by pulling on the tag end before later seating the knot completely by pulling the standing line, just as in the ‘standard’ version. as with any knot, be sure to lube it up with gooey saliva before pulling anything tight and seating. in this case it would need to be applied before pulling the tag end.
to conclude, a common way of terminating the loop when doing this at home is to add a very small drop of glue and letting it completely dry before adding tippet. that’s not really a necessity but it can augment the ‘confidence factor’.
finally, these teeny-tiny loops aren’t appropriate for a loop-to-loop connection, we simply tie the tippet to the loop with our favourite knot as if it where a hook eye. enjoy !

Davy Wotton’s Davy Knot

coming from Tim Flagler i’m not in the least surprised to see the best Davy Knot video tutorial there is and if that weren’t enough, we also get a ‘Double-Davy’ version for thicker diameter tippets and bigger flies and just to one-up everyone else, Tim demonstrates how to tie either knot with a spring hackle plier, very useful for cold fingers, the seeing impaired or in dark fishing situations.
tip- try the latter with your forceps, it’s even easier and we always (should) have them on us anyway. enjoy !

Tying the Perfection Loop knot with a Fly – part 2

we’d already seen this same knot demonstrated by my buddy Scott Loudon two and a half years ago but since this newer video just came out i thought a little refresher wouldn’t hurt.
having used it quasi-exclusively when using a loop knot since seeing Scott’s tutorial, i’ll not go into breaking strain figures as i’ve no idea and don’t really care… but i haven’t had a single knot failure since.
no, i haven’t caught any monstrously huge fresh or saltwater fish in that period but i have caught quite a number of nice sized trout (50-60cm) on very fine 6-7-8X tippet. we know the knot was originally adapted to fish big saltwater fish on big tippets so, if it holds equally well on the finest hook eye diameters and mono then it’s a real universal knot.
besides, most of us know how to tie the Perfection Loop so in actuality, there isn’t anything to learn. give it a try !

as noted on the first post’s comments (Scotty’s link above)- “if instead of grabbing the fly and standing line in the last step, you pull on the tag of the tippet, you will get a much smaller loop.”
as long as it isn’t the tag leg that’s being used to permanently seat the knot (just use that to make the loop smaller and seat it normally) that’s spot on but isn’t as far as i can tell of any real importance when attaching big flies for predator fish but on the other hand, a real bonus when using this knot for smaller, typical ‘trout-type’ flies such as dries, wets and nymphs.
yes, a free-swinging fly isn’t just about allowing the fly to jiggle more when its being pulled but also the hinge effect of an open loop knot on smaller flies means a little less leader-induced drag when we’re trying to achieve drag-free drifts. a nice little bonus.

The story of a Knot: the Duncan Loop – Uni Knot – Grinner

first published here on the 15th of November 2011 with the diagram above and great video tutorial, i was very pleased when Norman Duncan, the creator of this classic knot joined in on the comment section.
an even better surprised happened yesterday when Norman graciously sent in the story and evolution of his ‘Duncan Loop’ that was missing from the original link that i had found.

now, when talking about the ‘Duncan’, most anglers around the world will say that’s it’s just a Uni knot and in the UK it’s typically referred to as the ‘Grinner’.
they are indeed the same knot as explained here on
this all fits in well with Norman’s description and also explains that Dunaway’s invention was simply realising that the knot could be used other purposes than just tying on a fly…

Duncan (Uni) Knot Details

The Duncan Knot is named after its inventor Norman Duncan and is also known as the “Grinner Knot”. It was also popularized under the name Uni Knot by Vic Dunaway as a versatile knot which can be adapted to many purposes including snelling; joining two lines; and connecting hooks, swivels and lures with a loop. It is described as being the same as the Hangman’s Noose. Although the two knots are tied differently, the Duncan (Uni) undergoes a transformation as it is tightened. The outer wraps become internal and the resulting knot is the Hangman’s Noose.

for sure, the angling community can be quite grateful for Dunaway’s invention because the basic knot is outstanding and is as good as any other from the reel all the way to the fly (securing backing to the reel spool – backing to fly line – fly line to leader butt – joining leader materials – terminal end to the fly) but adapting the exact same thing, renaming it (even if Uni/Universal really fits the bill) and claiming it is pretty lame so, with the intention of giving credit where credit is due and of sharing a little piece of fishing history, here’s Norman’s story. enjoy !

In the early 1960’s I was trying to develop a new way of tying a nail knot between the fly line and the butt end of the leader, I wanted to eliminate the need for using a nail. Someone had started using a small tube instead of the nail to facilitate the tying of the nail knot which allowed you to start pulling down the knot with the coils of mono tighter than with a nail. Any method of tying a nail knot in a boat was difficult especially if the fish were hitting. Alternatively, I tried tying the nail knot with tension on the fly line so that it would function like a nail. Although it worked it was also difficult since it required three hands and two sets of pliers. Then I started tying an overhand knot with the mono around both the fly line and the mono leader, passing the end of the mono through the loop three to six times then pulling it down with tension on both the mono leader and the fly line. When the mono folded over and started snugging down I then slid the knot down to the end of the fly line and cinched it. This worked alright if you were in a hurry but the mono loops would usually pinch up some of the fly line coating in the process. I then tried the same technique on heavy mono in order to improve my methods. It was when I used these techniques to tie the nail knot back on the mono itself that I realized this created an entirely new knot that could have many different applications. I then started experimenting with different methods of tying this knot finally developing the following as the easiest:

First grasp the end of the line with your lead hand and pull it through the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand toward then around the base of the little finger to form a loop. Hold the two lines lightly with the same thumb and forefinger pull the end out about 8 inches and circle around to create a 3 inch diameter loop with about 3 inches sticking out. Pass the tag end over the three lines and through the loop at least four times for mono over 100 pound test and successively more times with successively smaller line sizes. Pull the tag end and standing line together snug enough so that the knot will set and not loosen. Then put the loop on something smooth and solid like a small cleat or a gaff hook under foot. Grasp the tag end with pliers and the standing line with the other hand then apply equal tension on both lines in the same direction, pull slowly and hard to control the loop size until the knot folds over its self and snugs up to the desired tightness. The loop size can then be adjusted smaller by putting your pliers loosely against the top of the knot and pull the leader till it slips down. The tag end is cut off by pressing your cutters against the top of the knot between the leader and the tag end at about a 45 degree angle. When cut in this manner, the tag end will make a smooth slope from the leader to the knot and pass through the water without picking up as much grass or debris.

This knot has many possible applications; however it is limited by the low knot strength. In some types or brands of mono the knot strength may be as low as fifty percent depending on how well the knot is tied. If the leader strength is close to the line strength you may want to experiment with the intended application by testing as many of the various sizes, brands and number of turns combinations you expect to use. This can be accomplished by tying the knots then using a line testing machine or just weighing a bucket of water when each different knot combination breaks and recording the results. The best applications that I found for this knot are; it is the easiest knot to tie in very heavy mono, heavy mono or steelon tippet to the fly, loop on fly tippets, mono leader to live bait hooks or trolling lures, the knot can replace metal crimped sleeves.

I invented this knot around 1962 and first started showing it to my friends, then to the various fishing clubs, the sportfishing community in South Florida quickly caught on and started calling it “Duncan’s Loop”. Everyone knew I had invented this unique knot that applied to many of the terminal tackle innovations that were developing during this time period. This name became well established through the years eventually becoming known as the “Duncan Loop”. One day in the mid 1970’s Vic Dunaway the local outdoor writer called me and asked if I could explain and show him my knot, I went over to his house in Cutler Ridge sat on his back porch and explained how I developed the knot, showed him how to properly tie it and demonstrated numerous applications along with the pros and cons of each. I was very surprised when a few months later Vic published an article in a sportfishing magazine in which he claimed to have invented a new knot that he called the “Uni Knot”. I understand that he justifies this by claiming that he adapted the knot to other applications. I have never confronted him regarding what I consider as his stealing and renaming my knot because he acquires notoriety and makes money by publishing articles related to the “Uni-Knot”. Since none of the sportfishing publications have seen fit to publish any of my writings I must find some way to document the innovations that I have made in the sportfishing arena. In this case the outdoor writer published his article about what I had invented over ten years earlier; meanwhile, none of these writers have quoted or published anything that has given me proper credit for the innovations that I created.
Norman Duncan

you’ll find the original article and knot tutorial video published here on TLC by clicking the knot image at the top of the page.

the Blood Knot: a new twist on an old twist

it’s not really a new twist as i found this on Gary Borger‘s site years back but this not-so-well-known knot’s particularities common to almost every knot are well worth bringing back up.
what we’ll typically see in knot diagrams, animated diagrams and videos is that a given number of turns of the tag end should be used to form the knot.

that’s all fine and well but that doesn’t mean that the line diameter used in the demonstration is the same diameter as what we’ll be using ourselves in a given situation.

since we normally don’t want our knots to slip, when tying them we need to keep in mind that a thinner diameter line needs more turns to not slip and inversely, the breaking strain tolerance of bigger diameter lines can actually be diminished by too many turns. without having any measuring tools to ‘scientifically’ turn those last statements into facts, it’s pretty easy to test this out yourself at home.
to sum it up, my guess and personal conclusion is the thinner line needs more surface contact area and the thicker material can suffer from not seating properly due to it’s inherent stiffness compared to thinner lines. that last part may or may not be correct but what i’m certain of is with thicker lines, the more turns we use, the more visible and proportionately bigger gaps there are in the knot and that’s not good.

another point that relates to the stuff above, and in our  case of the standard Blood knot, is that the typical demonstration of this knot says to use five turns on both sides and that too is all fine and well but it still doesn’t take into account mono diameter and also, that we’re usually joining two pieces of mono that have different diameters.

while that standard knot may hold without failing with mono diameter jump ups or downs of one size (ex: 4x to 5x), the connection that has already been weakened by doing so will start to really suffer if we increase diameter difference when connecting a two size difference as 4x to 6x and even worse if we connect 4x to 7x.
ok, the 7x example is quite extreme and of little practical use (and of course weak) but that example is to give you an idea that the standard knot would give an asymmetric final knot if tied as per equal turn instructions.

now, as a brilliant and simple solution to remedy the nasties above, Gary devised the 5/7 Blood knot seen here. it’s still the same knot in it’s basic construction but the thinner materials gets two extra turns resulting in a better grip. it doesn’t slip and the knot becomes symmetric again and regains all of it’s efficiency where it really matters: in the ‘real world’ of fishing.


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