Last summer, a neighbor stopped by my garage, which looks more like a tackle shop than a place to park my car. I’m usually there tying bucktails or making fluke rigs. He was not a fisherman, and he was planning to take his grandson bluegill fishing at a local lake. He had no idea how to tie on a hook securely. When I showed him my book with 39 different knots, he said maybe he should take his grandson to a movie.
I told him he would have no problems. He has to learn to tie only two knots. I also told him that I had fished worldwide with these two basic knots. Sure I know how to tie a bunch of fancy knots, but these two knots are easy and simple to tie…even in a sloppy ocean or in a river when you’re trying to keep your balance. They are the Improved Clinch and the Double Surgeon’s Knot.
The Improved Clinch, illustrated here, is simple and the one I use exclusively to tie on hooks, swivels, and all lures, including flies. Make sure you snug the knot tight and leave a tiny tag end. I have spent 20 winters fishing in the Florida Keys on fishing charters and friends’ boats, and the Improved Clinch is the only knot we used to tie on hooks and lures quickly. Some mates double the line when tying this knot, but I never even found this necessary. With enough practice, you can tie it in the dark.The Double Surgeon’s Knot, also illustrated here, solves most of the other problems. It’s simple to tie and is used to join two strands of line even if the diameters are different. I use this exclusively to tie leaders to my line. It’s simply two overhand knots. Make it four or five overhand knots if you use a braided line. I’ve been using this knot for years, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Just make sure your wraps are neat and in line. A sloppy tied knot will reduce line strength. You can also use the Double Surgeon’s Knot to tie a loop at the end of your line.
The Only Two Knots You Will Ever Need — Ron Spomer Outdoors is written by Vin T. Sparano for www.ronspomeroutdoors.com