This article is to teach the novice fisherman how to tie exceptional knots for his two lines, and to improve the understanding of the fisherman in all of us. Mentioned will be the nail knot, blood knot, Albright knot, and the double-surgeon knot. Each is unique and, while some more complicated, these knots are used the world over, and are celebrated to this day.
The Nail Knot:
A common fly fishing knot, the 'nail knot' is a rudimentary must-have for the professional fisherman. It involves the attachment of a small object, such as a tube twice the diameter of the line, to the fly line itself, and then attaching the line to the backing. Place the object at the end of the fly line with about two inches of excess, making about a two inch loop at the weighted end of your leader. Pinch the loop to the object. Next, get the small end of the leader loop and wrap about five times around the object and actual line. Each 'wrap' should be at least one-half inch from the end of the fly line. Move the thumb forward to keep it from unwinding, and move the end of the leader through the tube from right to left. Remove the tube, and tighten the knot by tugging both ends of the leader. The idea is to make it more consistent with the fly line. Complete the knot by pulling the line through, trim the leader excess, and you've finished the nail knot. It is a leader to fly line knot.
The Blood Knot:
A more precise knot, the 'blood knot' isn't for the faint of heart. It requires skill to complete, and begins by taking the two lines and having them cross for about four inches with the shorter line ends of both facing opposite. One line's shorter end is wrapped around the next line about six times, with the difference of the first line short end going through the original lines' wrapping. The difference in the second line is then repeated (about six times wrapping), with that difference passing back through the overall wrapping loop. When not tightened, it may remain loose, however, may be tightened at any time to ensure completion of the knot. It is a versatile knot for the tippet or leader.
The Albright Knot:
This is a strong and viable knot. It is used to attach the fly line to the fly reel backing. Take a couple inches of line and make a loop. Run about ten inches of excess through the loop. Hold the loop and wrap the excess around both lines with the other hand, wrapping around ten times. Push the excess through the opposite side where it began so both lines' excesses are adjacent. Pull the remainder through the loop, and tighten if necessary. The line knot is common, and is used before winding the baitcasting reel. It is a fly line to backing knot.
The Double-Surgeon Knot:
This is an ordinary one, but a good decision if the lines are irregular. Place the leader and tippet next to each other overlapping six inches, ends facing opposite. Take the front leader and the end of the tippet and tie an overhand knot with the leader end and tippet itself. The whole tippet length goes through the overhand loop entirely and, while small, is not tightened. Pass through again using the new loop through the existing one again. Pull on the leader and tippet, and your knot is complete. This is a tippet to leader knot.
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