Field & Stream's Guide to Basic Camping and Fishing Knots

Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

The Getaway Knot If you want to help your guide out, be confident enough to tie up your own mount. It doesn't sound like much until there's a game animal getting away and your guide has to deal with his horse, your horse, and whoever else's horse while you're all standing around. Learn a good hitch knot like the old getaway knot. 1. Start at chest level so the horse can't get a leg over the rope, and tie the horse with no more than 2 feet of rope slack between the halter and the tree.
2. Pass the rope around the tree on the right side (or over a rail).
3. Bring the tag end of the rope around and form a loop by passing the rope over itself, and lay the loop over the standing part of the rope.
4. Reach through the loop on the outside of the standing part, and pull another loop of the working end through.
5. Snug the knot up to the tree.
6. To release it, all you have to do is pull on the tag end and go.
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Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

The Triple Surgeon's Knot Use this simple knot to join two lines that are similar in diameter. Do not use it with so-called superbraid lines or the knot will slip. -John Merwin 1. Overlap 8 inches of standing line with the section to be added. Form a loop with both and pinch the intersection between your left thumb and index finger.
2. Using your right hand, pass the standing portion of the tippet and the tag end of the main line together through the loop three times.
3. Moisten with saliva, then pull EVENLY on all strands. Before trimming, pull on the individual strands to make sure each is drawn up tightly.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

The Trilene Knot Named after Berkley's Trilene monofilament, the Trilene knot is a stronger variation of the commonly used improved clinch knot. Tied carefully, it tests at close to 100 percent of line strength. I often use it for tying lures or hooks to nylon monofilaments testing from 4 to 12 pounds. Tightening this knot with heavier lines is too difficult. -John Merwin 1. Put about 6 inches of line through the hook eye. Then put the tag end through the hook eye a second time, forming a small double loop. Hold the loop and hook eye with the thumb and index finger of your left hand.
2. Turn the tag end around the standing line five times (in front of the loop). Then put the tag end through the double loop.
3. Moisten the line copiously with saliva to make tightening easier, then pull the standing end firmly to seat the knot.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

Butterfly Coil The butterfly coil is the simplest and quickest way to coil and securely store a length of rope longer than 20 feet. It uncoils easily without forming kinks. -Keith McCafferty 1. Double your rope, then hold it at its midpoint. With your hand open and perpendicular to the ground, drape a 3-foot length over the top, forming 11/2-foot coils that hang to either side. Repeat until 6 feet of rope remains.
2. Starting from the bottom, wrap the coils tightly, making sure to wrap over your first turn so that the wraps won't unwind. Stop a few inches from the top, double the rope you're wrapping with, and pass this loop through the opening left by your hand. Bring the tag ends over the top of the coil and through that loop.
3. Pull tight. For more security, you can tie an overhand knot around the final loop to keep it from sliding.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

Figure 8 Bend Joining together two ropes is one of the most common camping tasks. The figure-eight bend, also known as the Flemish bend, is one of the strongest knots for tying together ropes of uneven diameters. -Keith McCafferty 1. Form a simple figure eight in one end of one of the ropes.
2. Thread the end of the other rope through the figure eight you have already formed, following each twist and turn of the first rope to rethread the knot, exiting at the opposite end.
3. Carefully set the knot, making certain that the rope strands are parallel to each other. If the strands cross, the knot won't "dress down-¿ smoothly and will be bulky and less secure.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

Transport Knot This is one of a sportsman's most important knots, used to secure cargo to a cartop or river raft. It is adjustable and won't put a permanent loop in the middle of a line. -Keith McCafferty 1. Attach the rope to an anchor on one side of the load, such as the frame of a cartop carrier. Throw it over the load, then pass it under the frame on the other side.
2. Form a loop in the rope above the frame. Several inches farther down, bend a bight in the rope.
3. Pass the bight through the loop.
4. Put a single twist in the loop this creates, then bring the rope end through it.
5. Pull hard on the rope end to cinch down the load, then secure the knot with two or three half hitches. These can be retightened easily, should moisture or shifting loosen the rope in transport.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

The Running Bowline Use it to hang gear, drag game, or form a snare. The beauty of this knot is that it does not weaken rope and is easy to untie. -Keith McCafferty 1., 2. Form a bight near one end of the rope, then pass the tag end around the standing part of the rope and back through the bight, forming a large noose.
3. Pass the tag end under and around the rope just ahead of, and then back up through, the bight.
4. Tighten, but allow the running end of line to pass through the knot freely.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

The Albright Knot As you rig tackle for spring fishing, chances are you'll need an Albright knot. It's used to connect two lines that differ greatly in diameter (say, adding a heavy shock leader to light spinning line). This version includes a lock option to keep the knot from coming undone. 1. Double 3 inches of the heavier line, then pass 8 inches of the lighter line up through the loop.
2. Using the tag end of the light line, make 10 to 12 wraps forward toward the end of the heavy-line loop. Pass the tag end of the light line back down through the loop.
3. Carefully and gently pull on both doubled lines to snug the wraps up against the very end of the heavy-line loop. Now, tighten harder by pulling first on the doubled lines, then on the standing portions of both lines.
4. To lock, use the light-line tag end to make three wraps around the light-line standing portion, wrapping back toward the knot under the created loop. Gently pull the tag end to snug those wraps against the end of the Albright. Pull harder to tighten, then trim. Now your Albright is secure. -John Merwin
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

The Blood-knot Dropper A dropper line above your fly, lure, or bait is the perfect way to rig split shot. When you snag, the weight will pull free and you'll keep your terminal tackle. -"John Merwin 1. Overlap the lines to be joined by 10 inches.
2. Wrap the left-hand tag end five or six times around the standing line, then put the tag end back through the opening held by your fingers.
3. Switch hands so your left thumb and index finger hold the opening. Use your right hand to make five or six wraps around the standing line with the other tag end. Put it back through the same opening but in the opposite direction.
4. Lubricate the knot with saliva and pull gently on the standing line portions. At least one of the tag ends must stick about 5 inches out of the knot for use as a dropper.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

Improved Turle Knot This knot makes a straight connection through the hook eye that won't cause a small fly to cant or tilt unnaturally. -John Merwin 1. Thread the leader through the hook eye and form a loop around the leader behind the fly. Pass the tag end twice through the loop, forming a double overhand knot that also serves as a simple slip knot.
2. Hold the loop in your left hand and pull on the tag end with your right hand to tighten the double overhand knot. Now pass the fly through the loop.
3. Pull on the main leader portion to seat the knot around the fly's head right behind the hook eye, adjusting the position with your fingers as you tighten. Trim the tag end.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

Davy's Knot Attributed to Davy Wotton, a British flyfishing pro, this new knot, designed for small hooks and flies, is elegant and simple. It's best for monofilament. It rated 85 to 90 percent of unknotted strength in my tests. -John Merwin 1. Thread 3 to 4 inches of leader through the hook eye.
2. Loosely form a simple overhand knot ahead of the hook.
3. Bring the tag end back between the two strands that are between the overhand knot and the hook itself.
4. Tighten the knot by pulling first on the tag end, then on the main line.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

Uni-Knot Splice To get more bites from bass and walleyes when you're using braided superlines, you need to add a monofilament leader. The easiest way to make a strong splice is to use a barrel swivel and two Palomar knots. Unfortunately, the swivel has to be kept outside the tip guide. Solve the problem by joining line and leader with back-to-back Uni knots instead. This connection isn't as strong as the swivel method, but for most fishing with mono leaders, it's plenty strong. -John Merwin 1. Overlap about 18 inches of line and leader, end to end. Form one loop with the leader end and wrap five to six turns of leader within the loop and around both lines. Pull slowly and firmly to tighten this knot.
2. Form another loop with the end of the superline around the leader's standing portion. Again, make five to six wraps of superline within the loop and around both lines. Tighten.
3. Pull on the standing portions of the superline and leader to slide the two knots firmly together. Trim the tag ends.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Knot Guide

Field & Stream Knot Guide

The Seaguar Knot Named by and for the largest maker of fluorocarbon line, the Seaguar knot is a quick way to add a fluorocarbon leader to either superbraid or nylon monofilament. Seaguar claims the knot offers nearly 100 percent of unknotted strength. -John Merwin 1. Overlap about 8 inches of line and leader and form a loop, holding the intersection of the lines with your left thumb and index finger.
2. Put your right index finger in the loop, then twist the loop three full turns. Pass the free end of the leader and the tag end of the main line through the loop.
3. Pull evenly on both lines on each side of the knot to tighten.
Field & Stream Online Editors