A knot is a knot right? Nope! Not at all… - Wilderness North

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A knot is a knot right? Nope! Not at all…

Dateline: August 2016 Freestone River Pool 4

A cast is laid across the pool with a top water mouse coming to rest on the water’s surface. Twitch… twitch… pause… Twitch and explosion. The biggest brook trout I have ever had on my line ate the mouse and sounded to the bottom. With a doubled over rod, I winched the fish out of the rocks and got her fighting in the fast water of the pool. A little more pressure and I’ll be able to bring her to river right in some slack water to land her. As I applied pressure to the right, the rod shot straight and my line came screaming back toward me. I instinctively ducked for fear of getting a mouse in the face. It didn’t happen, there was nothing. I lost what could have been a double-digit brook trout. Upon inspection of my leader, it wasn’t clean cut; it was as curly as a pig’s tail, which meant losing that monster was my fault. My knot gave way, came unglued. In my haste to present the mouse to the pool, I miscounted and didn’t tie my knot with 7 wraps. It must have been 5.

That was a terribly hard lesson to learn on such a big fish.

The knots you use are the last line of defense in battling big fish. Ensuring the proper knot is used and tied right is key to keeping these big bruisers buttoned. The three go-to knots that every angler must have in their arsenal are the Anglers (fisherman’s) knot, the Triple Overhand and the Palomar knot.

The Angler’s knot is a vital knot to tie baits or hooks to your main line or leader. It is the first knot many anglers learn how to tie and is literally used multiple times in an average outing.

The Triple Overhand knot is a great, and easy knot to use when tying two lines of different diameter together. For example, it’s used when tying a fluorocarbon leader to a braid mainline. It’s a strong knot that has yet to fail me when tied properly and the ease of tying it ensures you can perform this knot even on the coldest of days with frozen fingers.

The Palomar knot is the best knot for tying anything to braided line. Braid has the uncanny ability to slip when tied using other knots, however when using a Palomar knot, it locks down to the eye or swivel and won’t come loose without the aid of a pair of scissors or a knife!

Take time to know the knots you like intimately. What does that mean? Practice tying them in comfortable conditions, while you’re watching your favorite fishing shows or the like. Being competent in tying your go-to knots will help you in those less than ideal conditions you may encounter on the water.

Lick it. That’s right! Before you cinch any knot down it pays to make sure the line is moist. By wetting your line, you reduce the amount of friction created by closing down the knot in turn preventing any heat from being generated causing a weakness in the knot. It sounds crazy, but it’s 100 percent true. Remember your knots are your last line of defece in battling big fish, take your time, tie them right and fight the good fight – with confidence.

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