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There are basic rules that apply to the tying of all knots in nylon monofilament, copolymer and cofilament lines. These rules apply in differing degrees to most of the knots, splices and hitches formed in multi-strand materials, such as Dacron, Micron, braided nylon and wire or cable leaders. Knowing and adhering to these rules will reduce the incidence of knot failure in your fishing endeavours.

RULE 1: Be thoroughly familiar with all the knots you tie and continually practice the tying of those knots.
RULE 2: Always lubricate knots before tightening them, either with saliva, water or another similar lubricant. Knots tied in nylon monofilament, copolymer and cofilament lines are highly susceptible to heat friction.
RULE 3: When tightening the knot, do so gently but firmly. Do not draw the knot quickly as this can generate heat damaging the line. Give a few test pulls on the newly tied knot.
RULE 4: If you are not happy with a knot, always re-tie it until you are satisfied. Remember that a knot is effectively the weakest link between you and the fish and the stronger and better tied it is, the more chance you have of catching fish.

Trimming Tags

Tags should be trimmed to an appropriate length and trimmed with a pair of clippers or a knife as opposed to teeth.  

Why Knots Fail

Knots fail for a number of reasons. Slippage is the most common and is usually due to insufficient wraps in the knot or trimming the tag end too short. Slippage is also a major factor in the second common cause of knot failure – heat damage due to friction. Insufficiently tightened knots often fail when sudden pressure is applied to them, such as the strike of a fish.
Lastly, knots can also fail when one strand of line cuts another. This is most common when lighter lines are joined to heavier, thicker lines. In knots where one line cuts across another, such as in the Overhand knot, the strength of the knot is reduced by as much as 50%. In all knot tying the aim should be to reduce the chance of failure and retain as much line strength as possible.  

Tying Knots In Light Line

Knots in light lines, or lines under 3kg, pose unique problems. Small errors in technique will cost you more when tying these knots as opposed to in heavier line. Extra care should be taken with light line knots and any knot modification or improvement should be utilised. Using an extra wrap or two in a specific knot is a good idea in light line. Doubling the line is also recommended to strengthen the knot. Always leave a sizable tag end when tying a light line knot.  

Tying Knots In Heavy Line

Heavy line knots have their own associated problems. Most problems are related to the physical difficulties of twisting or wrapping thick line. Knots on line between 25 and 100 kilos can be tied, but need modifications. Firstly, twists and wraps in knots need to be reduced. Heavy line knots also need to be tightened with care and up to 50% of the lines breaking strain in pressure needs to be applied. Pulling the tag end of the line is also advisable. Finally, melting the tag end to a stopping blob using a flame is worth doing, whilst taking care no to damage the main line. 

Hands, Feet And Mouth

Most experienced knot tiers use their hands, fingers, mouths and even feet to tie knots. Mastering knots will invariably require you to use your limbs in a dexterous manner for the best results. Developing your own personalized style will serve you well. 

Discarding Line

It must be remembered that line offcuts are a marine hazard and stay in aquatic ecosystems for a long time posing a series of threats. Line offcuts should always be collected and disposed of or recycled. There is no excuse for tossing away used or broken fishing line. 

Knots For Attaching Terminals

Terminal tackle is the name given to all fishing essentials such as hooks, swivels, sinkers, floats, rings, lures and flies. Basically anything attached to lines to catch fish. Knots joining terminal to line are the most important an angler needs to master. Anglers should become proficient in at least three knots for attaching line to terminal that suit their particular style of fishing. 

Knots For Joining Lines

Knots for joining line are mostly useful when assembling leaders, particularly tapered leaders. They are often used when a tangle needs to be removed from the middle of a line or when an additional line needs to be added to existing line.