Basic Fishing Knots

Beside the FG knot I came to realize through the years all I actually need is 3 Basic Fishing Knots to cover the 6 forms of fishing I’m practicing.

  1. Freshwater
  2. Aji/finesse
  3. Luring Shore
  4. Jigging Vertical
  5. Jigging Slow
  6. Popping

The 3 basic fishing knots are:

  • Spool knot – this knot is needed to secure braided line to reel spool before filling up your spool. There is also the arbor knot which provides the same function but I prefer the spool knot as it’s easy & quick to tie & knot can be removed conveniently (by pulling tag) should braid needs to be separated from spool.
  • Centauri knot – though there are many other knots for tying leader to terminal tackle I prefer the Centauri knot as it’s similarly easy & quick to tie & the main advantage is knot grips tighter onto terminal tackle as more pulling force is applied to the leader like when fighting a fish. Reason being knot works like a lasso tightening its grip when pulled. I realized most are using this knot on hooks but I find it equally effective on terminal tackle.
  • Assist cord knot – not sure of knot name but it’s used to tie jigging hook with assist cord used in medium to heavy vertical & slow jigging. This knot is different from those used for tying hook with nylon monofilament. Once hook is tied it can be (optional) covered snugly with a heat shrink tube to lock the knot in preventing any loosening.

Hint: There may be other knots needed once in a while like for tying of wire leader but as I seldom used wire leader the above 3 basic knots are all I need to know. In fact if you buy your jigging hooks pre-tied ready to be used then you don’t even need the last assist cord knot – you are good to go with just the Spool & Centauri knots.

I emphasize all information shared in this blog is just my personal opinion & experience which some may beg to differ 🙂 If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them at the end of this post.

Spool Knot

  • As the name implies knot is used to secure the start of braided line to reel spool before rest of line is loaded onto spool. After knot is completed don’t trim the tag as it has to be long enough for you to pull to open up the lasso on the spool when braid has to be separated from spool.
  • Before tying this knot if needed don’t forget to paste a small label on the spool arbor indicating how many times the line has been used if you’re in the habit of flipping over braided line to save cost. Isn’t it a waste to throw away 200m of expensive braid if only less than 100m at the front is worn out with the back 100m totally new?
    • Indicate 1x on label – line is used the 1st time
    • Indicate 2x on label – after line is flipped over; when line is worn out it should be replaced with a new label
  • If you’re concerned with braided line slipping on the spool form a bigger lasso & wind it around the spool a few times before tightening the lasso. Alternatively you can wrap a piece of cloth bandage with adhesive backing round the spool before filling with line. This will provide a rough surface which will prevent line from slipping.
Spool knot
Spool knot

Hint: Remember to lift bail arm before tying knot onto spool so that you can close arm to load the line. But if you’ve forgotten all you need to do is remove drag knob & then spool before flipping over bail arm & fixing spool & bail arm back on again…don’t have to cut & re-tie knot.

Centauri Knot

  • This knot can be tied to wire loop, solid ring, hook, etc but I used it mostly to tie to terminal tackle like a barrel swivel. It acts on a lasso concept ie. the harder you pull…the tighter knot will grip onto the swivel.
  • It’s a very quick & simple knot to master. To form a nice knot I will form a “figure 8” in the 3 loops before cinching down to complete the knot. Refer to one of images below on figure 8 formed which is not emphasized in video clip.
  • Knot is neat & small due to only 3 loops used; though simple you’ll be surprise how strong it can be even in heavy jigging or popping application.
Forming 1st loop
Form another 2 loops…total 3 loops
Insert tag end thru the 3 loops
Push out 3 loops to form figure 8
Pull tag to close down figure 8
Slide knot next to swivel
How to tie a Centauri knot?
  • Continuing from above last image where knot is next to swivel…
  • For heavier or thicker leader normal way of tightening for thinner leader is not sufficient to produce a neat & tight knot on terminal tackle such as a barrel swivel. Greater force is needed in this case. And using your teeth is not a pretty & safe way!
  • An easy way to do this is to secure barrel swivel to a long jig using a split ring. Then use both feet to anchor jig before using both hands to pull on leader & tag evenly at the same time. This will cinch the knot down slowly & smoothly to form a nice, snug & secured knot.
  • Much friction can be created during tightening due to hard rubbing of nylon surfaces. Friction in turn will create heat that can deform leader into wavy form near the knot. Apply some saliva to the knot before cinching to minimize friction.
Pull leader & tag end with both hands
Finished knot…neat & small

Assist Cord Knot

  • If you’re tying your own medium or heavy jigging hooks you need a different way to secure assist cord to hook as cord is not as soft & thus harder for it to form a tight knot as compared to nylon monofilament.
  • After hook is tied with assist cord it’s a good practice (optional) to cover it tightly with heat shrink tube to prevent knot from coming loose. You can also burn off the cord’s end to prevent any fraying.
  • A single jigging hook can be tied to 1 solid ring OR you can rigged 2 hooks to a solid ring. For large hook (with bigger & heavier jig) I prefer to use just 1 hook; for small & medium hook (with small & medium size jig) I will go with 2 hooks.
  • Jigging vertical (self-tied heavy)
    • BKK Jigging ( Amazon / eBay ); size 8/0, 9/0
    • Shout Kudako ( Amazon / eBay ); size 5/0, 6/0
    • Devil Line Assist Cord ( eBay ); 150lb #50 – hybrid of titanium, stainless steel alloy & polymer fibers for toothy fish
  • Jigging slow (self-tied)
    • Decoy Pike Type-R ( eBay ); size 3/0 & 4/0
    • Devil Line Assist Cord ( eBay ); 150lb #50 – hybrid of titanium, stainless steel alloy & polymer fibers for toothy fish
Tying a single hook
Tying double hooks

Happy Knotting!

All the best,

PS: Please leave a comment if any information in this site is inaccurate or incorrect…I’m learning too 🙂

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