Knots for Fly-Fishers

Surgeon's Loop & Nail Knot

Surgeon's Loop

Here's an easy knot with many applications in fly-fishing, tied the same as the Surgeon's Knot but with a double strand. As such, this knot does use more line than most. The Surgeon's Loop (also called a Double Loop Knot) is a tad bulky but is great for making quick, strong loops at the end of lines and leaders for connecting to other loops.

Double your line or leader to form a loop at its tag end.

Make an Overhand Knot with the loop end, then take the loop end back through. This means the tag end has passed through twice by means of two overhand knots.

Now lubricate the knot and tighten by holding the loop end in one hand and the leader/line in the other.

Nail Knot

The Nail Knot has many variations. The differences stem from the tool used to tie the knot, such as a tube, a tying tool, a needle, or a nail. A variation can even be tied with no tool at all. We will show you how to tie the traditional Nail Knot, a very strong knot used to connect leader to fly line, as well as fly line to backing. This knot is a little tricky at first, but with a little practice, it will become part of your knot-tying inventory.

You will need a narrow nail.

Lay your fly line and leader parallel, in opposite directions, with five to six inches overlapping. Lay the nail between the two lines. Double the leader back along itself, then wrap it six times around itself, the nail, and the fly line (moving toward the tag end of the fly line). Be careful to wrap carefully so the line doesn't overlap.

Grasp the tag end of the leader (which should be the butt end) and insert it through the middle of all the lines and along the nail. The tag end should stick out of the wraps.

Pull slowly on both ends of the leader and remove the nail.

Pull again on both ends of the leader to further tighten the knot. Trim the ends.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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