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 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 !

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.


related articles

lefty loop

Tying the Lefty Loop or Non-Slip loop

lefty loop

i’m often asked which knots i use or recommend so the other night i pulled out some old mono and went through my repertoire to realize that there aren’t that many, maybe four, and even if this particular knot isn’t, most will be in one way or another based on the Duncan Loop.

this first one of a mini-series is a ‘loop-knot’ that doesn’t tighten against the eye of the hook which allows the fly to swing freely in a more natural manner than if it was tight against the eye. most often associated with streamers, this knot is equally at home with nymphs and even dries as the ‘hinge’ allows the flies to freely drift a bit better. every little bit helps ! the loop size doesn’t really matter with big streamers and such but with smaller flies we’ll try to get the smallest possible loop.

created by Lefty Kreh, this knot is a much stronger and more reliable alternative to the popular Rapala knot. the issue i have with the Rapala is that it’s another form of the Improved Clinch knot with it’s inherent excessive stretching and twisting of the material which may dramatically reduce it’s strength. the Improved Clinch twists the line along it’s axis, the results are often seen by the ‘piggy-tail’ on the tag end when the knot is finished. however, the real problem lies that the twists are inside the knot. even if it might look nice and clean on the outside, the inside might have been weakened in the process of tying the knot. not so good and an uncertainty i don’t want to have on what’s in most cases, the weakest link in the system.

-sorry, i can’t give credit to this great diagram’s author as i had pulled this from the net years ago to use as a personal reference without noting its source but a big thanks to whomever that may be !