Why are my fishing knots slipping?

The biggest problem I’m having when saltwater fishing is that my knots either come undone or start to slip soon after I’ve started fishing. I know I’m tying them correctly – can you help?

Nothing can be more frustrating than losing a big game fish because of a poorly tied knot.  Don’t despair, it does happen to the best of us.  While you may be convinced that you’ve tied the knot correctly to begin with, I’d still suggest that you keep practicing.  In many cases, we’re in a rush to get our rods in the water and hurry a little when we’re actually tying on our hooks.  Taking the time to test the knot is also critical, and you also need to make sure that before starting to tie your knot, you’re taking the time to wipe the fish and bait slime from your hands.  You should also keep in mind that any type of stress on the line is going to wear on even a perfectly tied knot.  If you find yourself in a fight with a monster, odds are your knot won’t slip in the first few minutes of the tangle but rather right at the end when you’re almost ready to haul him into the boat.  In those cases, the tension that has been placed on the line was actually keeping the knot from slipping but if the line goes slack, the line will begin to revert to it’s original shape and the twists that make up the knot become slack.  The two best knots that you can use, in my opinion, are either the cinch knot or the Uni knot.  They are both pretty quick to tie and the technique is easy to learn.  Practice, practice, practice.  You also need to take the time to retie your knots prior to each fishing trip and definitely after a big catch.  If you’re still not comfortable, you may consider trying some of the new knot glues that are available.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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