Tied up in knots

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Have you ever had your fishing line suddenly go slack (and limp!) when a big fish broke loose?

Of course you have. Happens to all of us.

And was that fish one of the biggest in your life? Probably!

When you reeled in your line after losing the fish, did you found a tiny little curl at the end of the broken line?

Yup! Again.

On fly fishing tippet or monofilament spinning line, that little curl means a knot broke and, more often than not (no pun), that knot was tied incorrectly.

Sometimes knots fail at the hook and sometimes when joined to another piece of line.

There’s not enough space here to show all the best knots for all the modern fishing lines.

Suffice it to say, the wrong knot OR the right knot tied wrongly significantly lessens your chances to putting your fingers on a fish.

To catch more fish, you gotta do your homework. The Internet offers tons of free information about line choices and preferred knots.

Websites like www.animatedknots.com and YouTube videos provide great instruction.

I spent hours practicing the Double Bimini Twist and Lefty’s Loop Knot preparing for our fly fishing trip to Mexico.

The Improved Clinch Knot is commonly used to attach mono and fluorocarbon lines to hooks, but how often do you check to be sure the wraps are side-by-side, not overlapping?

Ever get in a hurry and not add saliva to a mono knot, then notice where the line seems unnaturally stretched?

Six-pound test line, tied with two 80 percent knots can break at less than 4 pounds. Or far less if the knots are poorly tied.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking Column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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