Obtaining an Arsenal of Fly Fishing Knots: The Nail Knot

by Levi Opsatnic

One of the most important aspects of fly fishing is having a strong knot. In fly fishing, knots are used for a slew of things ranging from attaching your fly to the tippet or attaching your backing to your reel. All knots share a common bond: if they fail, an angler’s day can be ruined. This is why it is so important to choose knots that are easy to tie and can hold up against tough situations.

Choosing which knot to use can be a rather difficult process, especially since there are about as many knots as there are counties in Pennsylvania. For the next few weeks, I will detail the knots that I have found to be the most successful in my fishing endeavors, and hopefully you can adapt them into your own arsenal of knots.

The first knot that I frequently use to attach my leader to my fly line is a nail knot. Don’t be fooled by its simple name because this knot usually leaves anglers confused. The following steps help provide a guide to tying this knot with a drinking straw.


1. Wrap your tag line around and behind the length of material you want to attach your tag to.



2. Securely hold the straw underneath your main line and wrap your tag behind and around your main line, the straw, and the end of your tag six times. It is important to keep these wraps as neat and close together as you possibly can.

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3. Once you have wrapped your tag around six times you are going to want to pull it through the straw so that it sticks out of the straw’s end.



4. After doing this, pull your tag until it is secure, then take the straw out and continue to pull both ends of your tag until the wraps are tight and secure on your main line.

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Final Knot This finishes the knot and the last step is to completely trim your tag line off so that it does not interfere with your casting.



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