Master your knots, pass on the knowledge
November 19, 2008
As parents, when we take our kids fishing our goal is for everyone to have a great time.
I think you will find that most young ones will enjoy getting involved in the whole process of fishing. So it is a good idea to gradually teach them to become independent and manage their own fishing pole, put together their fishing set-ups, take their fish off the hooks and so forth.
It will be easier for you in the long run.
With all your preparation, your knots can be the weakest link in successfully landing your fish. So what are some reliable and easy knots to tie? I recommend that you try to learn to tie two or three different knots before you ever go fishing. My first recommendation is an easy beginner’s knot, and your kids can do it too.
It is called a Loop Knot. I have used this knot for many years.
All you have to do is make a loop on the end, wrap it around itself and then pull it through the middle so that it is tight. I found one Web site that recommended wrapping it around twice to give it even more strength. I use it for just about everything when fishing from shore.
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If you put a Loop Knot on the end of your line, put the loop through the eye of a snap swivel. Now swing the snap swivel through the loop and pull it tight. Finally, attach a lure to the snap part of the swivel and you are ready to fish pretty quickly.
When fishing this time of year, especially during the last few hours of the day, your fingers can get really cold and it becomes hard to tie more fancy knots. This one really works well for me in most situations when fishing from shore. Also, when I am using bait and I snag and lose my set-up, I can put another one together in just a couple minutes and get back to fishing. When the fish are biting, time is of the essence.
Fishing from my boat is another story.
In this case I use another knot that is stronger, since I am targeting larger fish. I use the Improved Clinch Knot for just about everything. I also discovered in my research that The Palomar Knot is regarded by many to be one of the strongest knots known ” so you might want to look at this one too.
There are numerous knot-tying Web sites that clearly illustrate how to tie these knots, and you may discover one that you prefer more.
Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. So practice them a few times before you go fishing and you will be better prepared. In addition, it is best to test all your knots before you cast out, rather than learning the hard way by losing an expensive lure, your bait set-up or, more importantly, your fish.
When testing your knots, you might even find a weakness in the line. So there are a number of benefits to checking the quality of your knots.
Take a few minutes at home and help your young one(s) practice these same knots. I think you will enjoy the time together. I’ll give you some suggestions next time regarding which types of fishing poles and reels might work the best for you and your young ones.
– Rob Cryder is a nine-year Truckee resident and has been a health insurance agent for the past 24 years. He hopes to help others, especially children, catch fish through his column.