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Knots to Know

Boat & Hunting Knots   |   Fishing Knots   |   Books on Knots

Boat & Hunting Knots

The Following is a graphic that you may see when taking the USCG license exam and you will be asked to identify the different knots pictured.

E: Timber hitch and half hitch: used for hauling timbers.

F: Round turn and two half hitches: use to permanently tie up to a piling.

G: Fisherman’s bend AKA anchor bend: used to tie a rode to the anchor.

H: Becket or sheet bend: used to tie lines of different sizes together.

I: Bowline on a bight: used for rescuing a person by putting a leg though each loop if conscious or if unconscious put both legs through one loop and the chest and arms through the other.

J: Plain whipping: a quick way to whip the end of line.

K: Sailmaker’s whip: requires a sailmaker’s needle.

L.: Double blackwall hitch: for attaching a line to a cargo hook.

M: Carrick bend: for connecting two large hawsers.

N: Stopper: a length of line attached to running with a rolling hitch in order to relieve strain on the running rigging.

O: Barrel hitch: for lifting barrels.

P: Rolling hitch: used for fastening a line to a spar.

Q: Bowline: the king of knots. Used to form a temporary loop in a line. Won’t slip or jam under strain.

R: Double sheet bend: used to secure two lines of different diameters.

S: Blackwall hitch: used to attach a line to cargo hook.

T: French bowline: used like a bowline on the bight for rescue.

U: Half hitch: a turn of line around an object with the bitter end led back through the bight.

V: Marline hitch: used to lash canvas to a spar.

W: Theif Knot AKA reef knot: used to connect two lines of different diameters.

X: Clove hitch: use to temporarily attach a line to a piling. Can come loose unless it is followed by a half hitch.




The illustration was taken directly from the U.S. Coast Guard exam prep materials.

Fishing Knots

Centauri Knot - This knot is principally used to attach hooks through the eye to the line. Works well on a wide range of line strengths and claims to retain 96% of breaking strain.

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Uni Knot - This versatile knot can be used can be used for connecting hooks, swivels, rings and lures. Its main advantage is that it retains virtually 90% breaking strain. Easy to tie even in the dark after practice.

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Palomar Knot - An all purpose hook to line knot. Very quick to tie and reasonably strong.  Perhaps 100% breaking strain.

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Hook Snell - Quick and simple method of attaching line to a hook with an up or down turned eye. Can only be used with a free length of line as both ends must pass through the eye.

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Hook Snood - This is a high strength knot to attach trace line to a hook. It's main advantage is the hook will lay along the direction of the line. Note that the length of the trace will be the length of the loop.

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Perfect loop - One of the better loop knots and can be used on lighter lines although best suited to the heavier. It will not kill the action of the lure or fly.
Function: Connecting lures or fly to heavy leader, trace or shock tippet. Strength: Retains 70+ strength

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Thumb Knot - A knot useful for attaching hooks and rings to heavy line. May require some practice to sequentially ease the loops off your thumb.

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Half Blood Knot - This is a high strength multi purpose knot. It's main use is to attach swivels, hooks and lures to the main line. Assist the formation by pulling down on the roll towards the base.

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Clinched Half Blood - This is a high strength multi purpose knot. It's main use is attaching swivels,lures or hooks to the main line. Formation should be assisted by pulling down to the base.

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Albright Knot - This knot is used to join two lines of different thicknesses. It is used to attach a heavier 'leader' (rather than a double) to a lighter main line. It requires careful forming of the loops.

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Blood Knot - This is a high strength knot to join two similar thicknesses of line. It's main advantage is it's low profile enabling it to run smoothly through rod line guides.

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Wind on Wire Leader - A fairly simple join which enables reasonably long plastic coated wire traces to be wound up through the rod guides. Can be used for casting lures.

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Blood Bight Knot - This knot is used to create drop loops in light line traces. Its advantages are that the dropper tends to stand out from the main line and it's reputed 95% retained breaking strain.

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Drop Loop - This is a high strength loop for the main line. It's main use is to form a loop for attaching sinkers to the main line. As with all knots remember to lubricate the line before pulling tight

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