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Skills

The Strongest Knot is a Tested Knot

Whatever knot you choose, test it before you fish it.
Kirk Deeter author.
Kirk Deeter
February 9, 2024
Fly rods in boat.

The Strongest Knot is a Tested Knot

Tom Rosenbauer and the late great Field & Stream fishing editor, John Merwin, both told me the same thing, so I will give them equal credit. In short, do not believe anything you read or see in video form or otherwise that tells you that “XYZ knot is 25 percent stronger than ABC knot…”

While much effort has been expended to determine whether a Blood Knot is a stronger connection than a Double Surgeon’s Knot, the honest truth is that anyone who really tries to scientifically measure this runs into so many variables (was the knot properly formed? did you make five twists or four? was the knot lubricated? what diameter of material are you tying with? and so on...) that it’s impossible to make credible, blanket conclusions. Rosenbauer told me that Orvis once invested in a knot-testing machine, and the range of results was so vast, they mothballed it.

The lesson? Whatever knot you choose, test it before you fish it. Pull on it. Get comfortable with it. Confidence in your knots before you fish is about as important as anything else, because consciously, or subconsciously, it affects the way you fish, and especially the way you fight fish when you hook them.

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