Monday, 20 April 2009

Joint Line To Hook

There is one small hitch encountered by many first time knot-tiers. Their expert instructors seem to assume that their fellow fishermen are familiar with the Surgeon's Knot, the Bimini Twist and the like. But long before I moved into the field of knot-tying, I was content to join a line-to-swivel, swivel-to-trace and trace to-hook via a Simple Loop Knot, where the loop is made only perhaps 25mm long - just long enough to pass over the hook and swivel.

The Loop Knot can be tied readily in the dark, and equally readily attached to swivel and hook. If fishing for flathead, you may have more confidence in your gear if the loop to the hook is made about 12.5cm long, thus taking the fish on a doubled trace.

As experience is gained, you may wish to move on from the Loop Knot to knots that lie closer to hook and swivel.

One of these is the Half Blood Knot, which is more correctly half of the Barrel Knot. THIS KNOT WILL SLIP. It has cost me more fish than I want to remember.

If you must use it, then you have two choices:

a) Stop the end of the line with a simple Overhand Knot, and draw it against the turns of the knot.

b) or make the Half Blood Knot into a Clinch Knot.

The following illustrations are fairly well all-purpose, but for tropical waters we strongly suggest that a 35-45lb mono leader be used prior to attaching a lure. If you are going after fish like mackerel, it is also a good idea to use black wire and swivels.

Clinch Knot

1. Pass the line through the eye of the hook, or swivel.
2. Double back. make five turns around the line.
3. Pass the end of the line through the first loop, above the eye, and then through the large loop. Draw the knot into shape.
4. Slide the coils down tight against the eye.

Jansik Special

Another beautifully simple knotthat can be tied in the dark, The Jansik Special is a high strength knot tied as follows:

1. Put 15cm of line through the eye of the hook.
2. Bring it around in a circle and put the end through again.
3. Making a second circle, pass then end through a third time.
4. Holding the three circles of line against each other, wrap the end three times around the circles.
5. Either hold the hook steady with pliers, or make it fast to boat's rigging or safety lines.
6. Holding strain on the hook, pull on both ends of the line to tighten.

Palomar Knot
The Palomar Knot is another very simple knot for terminal tackle. It is regarded by the International Game Fish Association consistently as the strongest knot known. It's great virtue is that it can safely be tied at night with a minimum of practice.

1. Double about 12.5cm of line, and pass through the eye.
2. Tie a simple Overhand Knot in the doubled line, letting the hook hang loose. Avoid twisting the lines.
3. Pull the end of loop down, passing it completely over the hook.
4. Pull both ends of the line to draw up the knot.

Hangman's Knot
There are at least 6 variations of the Hangman's Knot, - all of them excellent for terminal tackle, swivels and hooks. The "standard" Hangman's Knot holds only five turns when tied in monofilament nylon. If tied in rope, and used for its stated purpose, it takes eight turns.

1. Pass a 15cm loop of line through the eye.
2. Bring the end back on itself, passing it under the doubled part.
3. Make five loops over the doubled part.
4. The formed knot is worked into shape.
5. The knot is sent down the line, against the eye of the hook or swivel.

Scaffold Knot

This is a much simpler variant. In all likelihood, this Grant's Uni-Knot. I have used it for more than fifty years and it has never failed me, whether tied in 1kg or 50kg monofilament. It was taught to me by the late Wally Kerr, a top flathead fisherman.

1. Pass a 15cm loop of line through the eye.
2. Lock the upper part between thumb and forefinger, making a loop.
3. Make two more loops over the double part, holding them too, between thumb and forefinger.
4. Pass the end through the two loops just made, plus the first loop made in step2.
5. The formed knot can now be drawn into shape, and worked down against the eye of the hook or swivel.

Snelling A Hook

One small problem is the variety of names that mey be applied to the one knot, for examle, a Granny is a False Knot, a Clove Hitch is a Waterman's Knot, an Overhand Knot is a Thumb Knot. But when we come to snelling a hook, the length of nylon attached to the hook may be a snell or a snood. I now find that the actual job of tying the snood may be called snoozing, while snelling is often jealously thought of as an art restricted to the fly fisherman. I have fished with bottom-fisherman on the Great Barrier Reef who routinely snell their hooks.
Restricted to lines of breaking strength less than about 20kg, the process is a simple one.

1. Pass the end of the line, trace or tippet through the eye twice, leaving a loop hanging below the hook.
2. Hold both lines along the shank of the hook.
3. Use the loop to wind tight coils around the shank and both lines, from the eye upwards.Use from 5 to 10 turns.
4. Use the fingers to hold these tight coils in place. Pull the line (extending from the eye) until the whole loop has passed under these tight coils.
5. With coils drawn up, use pliers to pull up the end of the line.

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