Knots [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum


04-03-2003, 10:30 AM
What knots do you prefer for tying a wet salmon fly with an up-eye hook to your leader? Do you use the same knot for a fly with a down-eye hook? I use a double turle. When I posted this question on SAOL, one person suggested the no-slip loop knot. About six or seven years ago, some of the guides I know on the Miramichi started using loop knots. Do any of you?

04-03-2003, 11:58 AM
Before I switched over to tubes I used a non-slip loop knot exclusively. I found that it afforded maximum movement to my flies. Conventional knots, especially with low water patterns looked dead tethered to the 15lb Maxima tippet I favour. When used with a loop - they came alive!

04-03-2003, 01:55 PM

As I understand it, the main reason the turle knot is used is to create a "direct pull" on the fly, i.e., the leader is on the same plane as the hook shaft so when one sets the hook, the business end of the hook pulls straight into the fish's jaw. This is not the case when using the loop knot. Do you find that you have more difficulty hooking the fish when using the loop knot?


Willie Gunn
04-03-2003, 02:22 PM
Which knot do you use with your tubes? I use a simple blood knot as it makes no difference to how the fly swims. To answer the question I use a turle knot for up and down eye flies.


04-03-2003, 05:00 PM
I know it may sound absurd, but in over 15 years, I really can't remember if I've ever had one of these knots fail. I've had other knots fail, broken off fish my share of fish, etc., but this knot has become my standard for attaching up-eye salmon hooks.

It was invented by a long time buddy, and fishing companion Larry Solomon (who, incidentally with Eric Leiser, wrote the first book on caddisflies).

We call it the figure 8 turle. It has the same advantage of the "direct pull" Smolt mentions. It's much, much stronger than a turle. Interestingly, several years ago we were fishing on the Gaspé with steelhead friends from the west coast when one of the fishermen also tied a knot very similar. He thought he had invented it. I'll attach an illustration I did of it many years ago.

04-03-2003, 05:28 PM

Yes, that is what the literature says, but I only had to look once at the difference between my low water fly tied with a loop and the same fly tethered with a turle knot to realize that that I was far more likely to get chances to prove or disprove the value of the direct pull theory! In other words - Iknew that I'd hook more fish on the lively quivering loop-rigged fly than on the admittedly secure and direct-pulling - but dead looking turle knotted one. And as we all know - we fish flies we have confidence in much more effectively than those we don't.

When I get home (I'm still at work - though the day is over) I will post a sketch of the knot I use.

Malcolm, I use a a knot that has become known as the Trilene Knot. It is basically an unimproved clinch knot except you form an open loop through the eye of the hook and when you pass the tag end back through it passes through this as well. When I get home I'll attempt a sketch of this as well.

04-04-2003, 09:09 AM

About four years ago, a fellow from New York -- with whom I had some email correspondence -- sent me the sketch you have posted. I could never remember how to tie it when on the river. In anticipation of the salmon fishing season last year, I made a copy and reduced it to about a 3" x 4" card that I had laminated in plastic to keep on my vest. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to use it last season, but plan on putting it to the test this year.


That makes perfect sense to me.


04-04-2003, 09:27 AM
The guy from New York was probably me.

04-04-2003, 09:38 AM
Sorry guys, I got caught up in the daebate on the spey Clave and forgot to post the sketches. Here is the loop knot drawing, pardon my shaky sketch and the compression process wasn't too kind either - but it does the trick. I'll have to see about sketching the second knot later.

04-04-2003, 10:21 AM
Thanks Kush.

I think to make a small loop, just after the tag has been run through the overhand knot the first time, pull on the tag and this will move the overhand knot down close to the eye. Righties will most likely be holding the hook in the right hand at this time. Change hands and start the rest of the process.


If that was you, thanks again.

04-04-2003, 11:41 AM
A good video on how to tie a noslip knot can be found at:

04-04-2003, 01:02 PM

That's right, a little practice and you are making tiny little loops that are very strong and allow free movement of the fly.

Topher Browne
04-04-2003, 06:16 PM

Them are some deadly looking tubes you posted. I like your thinking with the soft double-wing concentrated on top to stabilize the fly.

Tie some up in Highlander Green/Yellow and head East. They would be just the ticket for early June salmon.


04-04-2003, 07:52 PM
Thanks TB, the Voodoos and Raging Prawns have been my standby flies for a number of years now. Until very recently the only other flies you'd find in my boxes were a few low water types - I even tie some mini Voodoos for that!

Lately I've become excited by the Intruder's and now carry a selection of them as well.

04-04-2003, 07:54 PM
Here is the sketch of the knot I use with my tube hooks - the Trilene knot. It is also the knot I use for everything from trout flies, to saltwater salmon, to giant sturgeon. It is just a variation on the clinch. It is easier than the "Improved" clinch and it is excellent with a range of lines from trout tippets to 150 lb leaders for halibut and sturgeon hook ups.

04-05-2003, 09:25 AM
Trilene is the know I use for most everything also, although I need to try some of these others.

Still have problems with Flurocarbon leader knots, slipping.

Thanks for the sketches.

PM Out

04-05-2003, 10:42 AM
I have found the palomar knot stronger, easier to tie and more reliable than the trilene knot.

So much so that I have not used that trilene knot in years.

I like the looks of the loop knot, which I will incorporate this spring. Anything to give one an edge is tops with me.

04-05-2003, 10:43 AM
Instructions for the "Rapala Knot":

and the "Trilene KNot":

Finally, here is an interesting knot site:

04-05-2003, 08:55 PM
I have used the Jansik special for years. I found it even more reliable than the Paomar, by repeteadly breaking 10 # Maxima with two large hooks attached to the strand ends, one with each knot. Some times the Maxima would break away from the knot, indicating near 100 % breaking strength.

When the knot failed, it was always the Palomar.

I am planning to use the non-slip loop for standard flies this summer, for the reasons Kush listed.

04-05-2003, 10:30 PM
Never once had a palomar fail, they are supposed to give 100% line strength.

What ever works is what I say.

beau purvis
04-10-2003, 12:40 PM
as i have preached many times on this site,i use the non slip loop for 1. classic flies tied on alec jackson 3 tru 3/0 2. intruders 3. tubes. never had one fail. pay attention when you go back thru overhand knot after the 4-5 turns to go back thru between top of overhand and the tag on its way in thru the overhand.beau

04-29-2003, 04:39 PM
I second the non-slip loop. Every since a buddy showed me this some time ago, it has been my knot of choice and have yet to have one fail. In fact, almost always the loop breaks and the knot holds.

04-29-2003, 06:40 PM
The potential advantage that the trilene knot and Jansik Special knots have over the non-slip loop and Palomar, is that they have two wraps through the eye of the hook, versus one for most others. Fighting a fish can put a lot of strain on the nylon, two wraps will hold up better to that strain than one IMO.

04-29-2003, 08:16 PM
The Palomar indeed has two wraps around the eye, and I've got to wonder if it's been tied right if it's been anything but reliable. Counting all of my pre-flyfishing days, the palomar has been the strongest and most reliable knot I've used and is very simple to tie.

For snelled or ganged hooks, the bumper tie is the way to go; for loop eyes I prefer the double turle for summer tippets and just use a single turle for 12-15 pound maxima tippet in winter; for everything else I use the palomar. Wrke - I didn't know your friend invented that knot, I've been using it for years because it lays nicer on the shank and now I know where it came from. Cool, tell him thanks.

I tie all of my striper flies with palomar knots because it's the most reliable, strongest knot I've tried over the years. When you are battling a 40-45 inch ocean bass with shoulders on a 12-15# flouro tippet it's the only knot I trust.

I like the little extra action a loop knot provides but I've gotten the little broken loop back so many times where I've felt the palomar would not have given in. For instance a tube fly uses no such advantage but if tied to have action it makes no difference to the fish.

Count my vote in the palomar for a general knot; turle/double turle w/ 8 or striaght for loop eye; and the rest are non-fly knots.