What is a knot?
A knot is a method of fastening or securing linear material such as rope by tying or interweaving. It’s also a unit of speed equal to on nautical mile. The term derives from counting the number of knots in a line that unspooled from the reel of a chip log in a specific time. However this article and portion of the website is going to focus on tying knots, ones specifically related to fishing but there will likely be other non-fishing related knots on the website too.
Why are knots important?
Knots are an important part of fishing and if you’re going to take fishing seriously then it would behoove you to learn how to tie some important fishing knots or suffer the consequences. What consequences can possibly come from not knowing how to tie a proper knot when fishing? Well, losing the fish you have on the other end is the major one and losing your gear is another. Hooking into a fish feels great, losing a fish feels awful, but losing a fish because of a bad knot is an even worse feeling. Knots weaken the rope, line or whatever material they are tied in. Unless defective or damaged elsewhere, a knotted rope strained to its breaking point will almost always fail at or near the knot. The reason for this is because of the bending, crushing and chafing forces that hold the knot in place. Rope fibers are unevenly stressed by these forces and ultimately results in a reduction in strength.
Aside from line breaking, another important reason for tying a proper knot it’s to prevent a common form of knot failure in fishing known as slipping. Slipping is when a load creates tension that pulls the line back through the direction of the load. If the slipping continues too far, then the working end of the line passes into the knot and the knot unravels and fails. If you’ve ever had a fish on then all at once your line goes slack and you reel it in to find the fish and the tackle gone with the tip of the line looking like a curly pig’s tail, then you’ve likely had a knot fail due to slippage. You can always catch another fish but the tackle that swam off in the fishes mouth is likely gone for good which means you have to spend more money to replace it; money that could have been spent elsewhere.