Knots for Fly-Fishers

Blood Knot

This popular knot is also known as the Barrel Knot. The Blood Knot is useful for joining two leaders or a leader with tippet. It is more difficult than the Surgeon's Knot, but when done correctly is equally as strong. Most anglers choose this knot to link tapered leaders because it forms a straight connection between them, with the tag ends perpendicular. The Surgeon's Knot results in a slight angle from line to line.

Lay 10 to 12 inches of the two lines across each other forming an X. When you have learned the knot, 8 or 9 inches should be enough.

Wrap the tag end of one line around the standing line of the other about 6 to 7 times, moving away from the tag end of the standing line.

Take the tag end of the other line and repeat the process by wrapping it around the other standing line six to seven times. Be careful not to let the first wrap unravel.

Grasp the tag end of the line you just wrapped and bring it back up to the hole formed by the crossing of the two lines. Run the other tag end through the same hole from the opposite direction.

Pull evenly on both standing lines making sure to hold the wraps in place so they do not unravel. The tag ends might want to slip — if they do, put them between your teeth to hold them while pulling the standing lines. Don't tighten these tag end lines; just keep them in place in your teeth.

Tighten up the knot by pulling the standing lines again. Trim the tag 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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