Boating / POSTED 04-Jun-2024

New to Boating and Fishing? You Might Need to Know How to Tie Some Knots!

Yamaha Pro Angler Spencer Deutz grew up fishing tournaments with his dad and brother in lakes across the Midwest region of the United States. Hooked from a young age, Fargo, South Dakota-native Spencer kept his competitive fishing going and today still competes in the Casino Cup Walleye series as a few AIM® Walleye Series events during the season. 

His impact on the future of fishing, however, grew substantially in 2008 when he became involved in the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) and the Future Angler Foundation. Since that time, Spencer has spent countless hours with youth and families teaching clinics about the basics of fishing, helping to grow the sport by encouraging the next generation to pick up a rod and get out on the water.

The Blue Life team reached out to Spencer, an expert who can clearly explain the basics of boating to beginners, to share what he believes are the six most important basic knots (three for fishing and three for your boat) to know if you plan to do a little fishing and boating this season.  Here are his top picks!

Knots for Fishing

1. Improved clinch knot:
 This knot is very common and used by many anglers. Though not the strongest knot, it’s easy to tie and good for almost any application, unless you plan to fish extremely heavy cover or rocks. If you can tie one and only one fishing knot, this is the one.
Improved clinch knot: 1) place the end of the line through the eye of the hook and pull it back up towards the main line
2) wrap the end of the line around main line 5-6 times 3) Place the end of the line through the hole created just above the hook 4) Take the end of the line and thread it through the hole created in the center and pull tight
2. Palomar Knot: This is the strongest knot when it comes to tying a fishing line to a bait or a hook. It’s the perfect knot for fishing heavy cover, rocks or situations where you have many opportunities to get snagged. Use this knot if you are planning to target heavier fish – in the 20-30 pound range – such as muskie.

Palomar Knot: 1) Double the line and thread the loop though the eye of the hook so roughly 6” of line is passing through 2) Pass the end of the line under the main line 3) Pass the end of the line through the loop created in the previous step 4) While holding the knot you created, pass the loop of the line over the hook 5) Pull on both the standing line and tag end and pull tight

3. Uni Knot or Double Uni Knot: Use this knot to attach two lines together. Many times when you are casting, you want to use a brightly-colored yellow line above the water so you can see it, and a clear line under the water so it is invisible to the fish. This knot will help you tie the bright line to the clear line. This knot is also very useful when you are connecting braid to monofilament. The braid can be  ery slippery and will actually allow you to attach to the braid without losing hold.  
Uni-to-Uni-Line-Knot-or-Double-Uni-Knot-(2).jpgUni to Uni Line Knot or Double Uni Knot: 1) Lay the two lines you want to join next to each other 2) Start with one end. Make a loop crossing over the other line and coming back over itself 3) Circle the end of the line on the backside and then through the created loop 4) Do this 4-5 times and pull the end of the line tight 5) Repeat steps 1-4 with the other line on the other side 6) Once both knots are created, pull the main lines in opposite directions until both knots come together tightly 7) Cut the tag end off very close to the knot

Knots for Boating

1. Cleat Hitch Knot:
 This is the knot you need to know for securing your boat to a cleat on a dock for temporary purposes like filling up with gas or tying up while you grab your truck to trailer your boat out of the water. Remember, this is temporary – short stops, load, unload, etc. 

Cleat Hitch Knot 1) Wrap the line around the horns of the cleat 2) Pull line diagonal across the top center of the cleat and loop it around under the opposite horn 3) Pull line back across the top center of the cleat going the other direction and make a loop in the line and flip it upside down 4) Place the loop over the horn of the cleat and pull the line so it sinches down

2. Clove Hitch Knot: Need to tie your boat up but there is no dock or cleat to be found? This knot will hold your boat to a rail, post, tree or other structures nearby. 

Clove Hitch Knot 1) Wrap the end of the line around a rail, post, tree, etc 2) Wrap the end of the line diagonal across the top of the line where its wraps around the rail, post, tree, etc and under back towards yourself 3) Thread the end of the line under the X created around the rail, post, tree etc and pull both ends of the line in opposite directions

3. Anchor Hitch or Anchor Bend: If you are using an anchor, you need to properly attach it to the line so that you don’t drift away, especially in windy conditions. Use this knot and throw that anchor with the confidence that it will stay secure attached to the line and your boat, keeping you where you want to be until you are ready to move to the next spot.  

Anchor Hitch or Anchor Bend 1) Place the end of the line through the eye of the anchor 2) Make 2 turns around the eye, leaving the turns exposed 3) Pass the end of the line through the center of the two turns and pull tight 4) Tie a half hitch around the standing line and pull tight

For more Boating 101 tips or to learn more about the Future Angler Foundation, you can follow Spencer on Instagram:
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