Knots are literally the connection between success and failure with our big, mean fish--if they are substandard, then you will regret it! Here are the knots I use in my charters.
Website Created by Keith Kalbfleisch
Captain Keith’s Favorite Knots
By Captain Keith Kalbfleisch
After over 30 years of fishing in saltwater, and the rigorous demands it puts on your gear, I have found that I have a “Tool Box” of knots that I tend to use that I can count on. Each knot has its own applications, and I pick the best “tool” for the task at hand. Here are my favorites, and how I use them on an ongoing day-to-day basis on the water. Here they are:
This is the knot I use the most. It is amazingly strong, can be tied very fast when you get the hang of it, and can be trimmed close so that it has very little tag end. I primarily use it to tie my leader directly to my lure, hook, or fly.
A note here: When I’m using a fly or lure, I often will pull the knot away for the eye of the lure after I have tightened it and give myself a small loop to give the lure more action. The knot then tightens up when the fish hits and you loosen it up again after you fight the fish.
This is my everyday knot to tie my line to my leader, and to tie different sections of line or leader together. I find it much stronger than a Blood Knot or Surgeon’s Knot. Again, it is strong and fast, and makes a small knot that will go through guides easily and not catch on vegetation in the water.
This knot shines when attaching braided line to a lure, hook, swivel, etc. I primarily use it to tie to a swivel, as I rarely tie braid directly to my lure or hook.
I primarily use this nearshore. It gives me a strong double line to tie a heavy leader to, for an almost 100% strength connection..
This is to tie a lighter line or leader to a heavier leader or wire. I often use this when attaching my leader wire to my fluorocarbon nearshore. It makes a strong but small connection compared to a swivel. Make sure you use at least 12 wraps!
This is how I tie my nearshore rigs so that I have a clean, strong connection to my hooks for toothy critters like kings and cudas. You must use flexible stranded wire like Sevenstrand or Malin-7. Do not use plastic coated wire! I use either 40 or 60 lb test wire. It also works to snell mono to hooks. If you are doing a double-hook rig, do the same thing twice, starting with the rear hook.
While this is not as strong as a Uni-Knot, it makes a great loop when needed. I primarily use this for loops in my fly leaders.
I learned this knot from Mark Nichols of D.O.A. Lures. It is easy to tie, makes a nice small loop, and does not catch up grass on the tag end since the tag end points back. I find it particularly good for tying my tippet to flies or to lures that have an exposed eye (like the excellent D.O.A. lures).