How to tie a fly fishing knot (Fly fishing knots for beginners)

I’ve been asked this question many times, what are the best fly fishing knots for beginners?

And I always answer it with a simple answer, “there is no best.”

The first thing to remember is you don’t have to be a great fisherman to be a great fly fisher.

You only need to get out there and learn to cast a rod and reel. Once you master those two skills, you can get into fly fishing techniques.

Tying a fly fishing knot is the first step in tying a fly. Tying a fly takes time, and it’s a good idea to practice on small pieces of material before trying it on a piece of fish line.

Once you get tying a fly fishing knot, you can make some pretty cool flies and maybe even catch a fish or two.

There are two basic fly tying knots: the clinch knot and the double surgeon’s knot. Some specialized knots are also used for specific purposes, such as looping, attaching a tippet, and tying an artificial fly, which you will learn later in this post.

In addition, I will also discuss how to tie a surgeons knot and blood knot fly fishing.

The following are the basic fly fishing knots for tying a fly:


The arbor knot is a basic knot that you can learn very quickly. It is a useful knot for tying small flies. Here is a brief description of the basic arbor knot.

The arbor knot is formed by wrapping the end of the leader around the standing part of the fly line. Then, you pass the leader over the leader to cross over the standing part of the fly line. Finally, you pull the two parts of the leader apart until they cross over each other.

There are several variations on the arbor knot. One is the loop knot. The arbor knot has a double arbor but a single loop. Another variation is the arbor loop. This is the same as the arbor knot, except the loop is wrapped over the leader.


The Albright knot is used to attach the fly line to the backing. It is referred to as the “Albright knot” because William A. Albright invented it.

It is the strongest knot used to tie the leaders to the fly lines of most fishing reels.

Steps to tie the Albright knot:

  1. Take your fly line and thread the leader into it. (Note: You can use any leader size for this knot.)
  2. Tie an overhand knot at the end of the leader. This will be the beginning of the knot.
  3. Pass the end of the leader through the eye of the hook, then out the back of the hook.
  4. Bring the end back through the eye and out the back of the hook.
  5. Continue to pass the end of the leader through the eye of the hook until you reach the other end of the leader.
  6. Now bring the leader through the loop on the front of the hook.
  7. Pull the leader through the loop on the back of the hook. Pull the leader so that it is snug against the loop on the back of the hook.

This should be the final step. Pull on the leader a little bit to make sure that the knot is tight.


A nail-knot tool is a special tool used for tying different diameters of monofilament fly lines. These tools are usually made from stainless steel or titanium. They have a round tip with a hole in the center through which the line is tied. 

Monofilament fly lines are different from nylon fly lines. They are thinner, stronger, and more flexible. Monofilament fly lines are typically used for fishing trout, bass, or small game fish.

Steps to tie the Nail knot:

1. The tube should stick out to the right from the end of the fly line if you hold it with your left thumb and forefinger.

2. The heavier end of your leader should have a 2″ loop formed by your right hand. Next to the tube and fly line, pinch down and hold the loop with your left thumb and forefinger.

3. You can make five snug wraps over the tube and fly line by grasping the short leg of the leader loop and using your right hand. At the end of the fly line, these wraps should be at least 1/2″ to 3/4″ against each other.

4. While you work the tag end of the leader butt through the tube from right to left, slide your left thumb and forefinger forward to hold the wraps, so they don’t loosen.

5. To remove the tube, sliding it to the left is a good way. Pull gently on both ends of the leader as you tighten the knot. You shouldn’t try to pull on the fly line.


The Double Surgeon’s Knot is used in fly fishing to tie your leader to the tippet. It is commonly referred to as a surgeon’s knot, surgeon’s, or surgeon’s eye knot, but many other names also know it.

The Double Surgeon’s Knot is a figure-eight knot with two loops. It can be tied differently depending on how tight you want the knot to be.

How to tie the double surgeon’s knot:

1. Hold the end of your leader in one hand and hold the tippet in the other; bring the two ends together and cross them over each other.

2. Bring the ends down through the center of the tippet, pull them back up again, pull the ends of the leader and tippet through the center of the loop, and then bring them back up.

3. Continue pulling both ends back through the center of the loop until the knot is formed. Once the knot is formed, pull the ends back through the loops.

4. Hold the knot tightly and tug on the ends to tighten the knot.

You are now ready to fish!


The Clinch Knot is the most commonly used in fly fishing, and, like any other knot, it has a purpose. The purpose of the clinch knot is to keep a fly line taut while allowing it to be easily untied. The Clinch Knot is an easy knot to learn, but the correct execution can take practice to get right.

It is used to tie the fly to the leader or tippet of the fishing line and can be tied quickly, so it is the most commonly used fly fishing knot for beginners.

It is a single overhand knot, with the loop in front and the tail behind. There are five to seven turns of the tippet around the fly. The end of the tippet should be pulled back to tighten the knot.


The Improved Clinch Knot is a variation of the clinch knot. It is a little more difficult to tie than the regular clinch knot, but it is stronger and easier to untie.

David Allen created the original clinch knot in the early 1970s. It is a simple one-step knot that can be tied quickly. It is considered to be the most popular knot for tying flies.

With the improved clinch knot, tying a fly to your tippet is a simple way to attach the fly to your line. You use a hook-wire ratio that is suitable for your fly.

For example, if you use a 4X tippet, you would use a 4X hook-wire ratio. The hook-wire-to-tippet-diameter ratio is the number of times that the hook-wire diameter is larger than the diameter of the tippet.


The Turtle Knot is a simple knot that a child can tie. The knot is formed by taking one strand of rope and passing it over and under the same strand.

In this way, the two strands become connected in an alternating fashion. The name comes from how the strands look like they are forming a knot, with the two ends of the strands looking like they are intertwined.


The Blood Knot is a fishing technique in which two knots are tied in line with a thin diameter tippet. This is done to keep the line from getting caught in weeds or other debris. The smaller diameter makes the line easier to pull out of the weeds or other debris. 

Step 1: Lift the leader and tippet to be overlapped with each other.

Step 2:  Around the other, make about four to five turns. The leader and the tippet should be brought back together.

Step 3: The leader tag end should be wrapped in the opposite direction after repeated steps.

 Step 4: Pull the leader and tippet in different directions after tying the knot.

Step 5: The ends of the tag have to be clipped close to the knot.


A non-Slip fly knot helps get as much motion as possible to lure the fish. To make this knot:

1. Take your leader line and tie it close to the end.

2. Go through the eye of your hook or fly and slide your tag end through it

3. Run the tag end through the loop you made with your overhand knot.

4. Now wrap your line around the standing end two or three times., then back through the loop you created with your overhand knot.

5. If you want your non-slip loop knot to be nice and snug, you need to tighten it down on your line’s tag and standing end. You are going to remove any remaining lines from your tag end.


The loop-to-loop connection in fly fishing is the loop used to connect the fly line to the fly rod. This loop should be long enough to allow for easy fly casting.

But it should also be short enough to make the fly easier to cast. The length of this loop depends on the type of fly being used.

Some leaders come with pre-made loops at the end. The looped end of the fly line is where you attach the new leader.

How to make a loop-to-loop connection:

  1. In your left hand, hold the line loop, and in your right hand, hold the leader butt section.
  2. The leader’s butt section is where the line loop goes.
  3. Go through the line loop and find the end of the leader.
  4. Draw the loops together by pulling them in opposite directions. The flexibility in navigation will be made possible by the connection that resembles a handshake-style locking.

What is perfection loop knot fly fishing?

In Perfection Loop Knot, a loop-to-loop juncture is formed where the leader is attached to the fly line. When you loop the leader around the fly line, pull it tight.

As you pull the loop-to-loop juncture tighter, the leader twists. This makes the loop-to-loop juncture into a perfect loop knot.

A Perfection Loop Knot (PLK) can be tied quickly and easily. The name comes from the fact that it resembles the shape of a looped piece of rope, which is called a “perfection loop” in fly fishing.

What is the best knot for tying a fly to a tippet?

A simple overhand knot with the fly’s tail just behind the leader. I know that this may not be the ‘best’ knot, but I have used it for years, and it’s worked well enough for me. I would expect it to work as well for you too.

What is the strongest leader knot in fly fishing?

The Clinch knot is the strongest of all leader knots. The reason is simple: a clinch knot can only tighten, never loosen. It is the knot used to tie a tippet to a leader, and it is a knot that you will be using most of the time when tying your flies.

Which is the stronger blood knot or the surgeon’s knot?

It’s a very common question among students of traditional and modern knot tying. The surgeon’s knot is certainly stronger than the blood knot. But how strong is it? The strength of a blood knot depends largely on the tightness of the knot, which in turn depends on the amount of tension placed on the ends of the rope.

Printable fly fishing knots

Printable fly fishing knots are a set of pre-tied knots that are used to tie flies to fish hooks. They are pre-tied in a specific order and pattern, and the fisherman can choose the fly and hook size to match the specific application.

The set is based on the classic knot known as the clinch knot. Tom Fenton and John Ewing designed the original printable fly fishing knots in the late 1970s. In 1983, the first book was published, entitled “Printable Fly Fishing Knots,” which included over 200-knot patterns.

Tying Fishing Knots Summary

These are the best fly fishing knots for beginners who want to learn how to tie their fishing knots. I have made a list of these knots and their uses.

The knots are the foundation of your fly fishing, and as such, they need to be mastered before you can move on to casting. When you have mastered the knots, you should move on to tying flies.

Learn how to tie knots properly. A knot is only as good as its weakest link. If you’re unsure, practice it a few times until you’re confident you’ve tied it correctly.

Practice makes perfect, so once you’re comfortable with a knot, practice it repeatedly until you become familiar with it.

I hope this guide will help you master the basic and advanced knots. 

Leave a Comment