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Three Simple Fishing Knots Every Angler Should Know

three simple fishing knots

The internet is littered with instructions on fishing knots and there are entire books and even iPhone apps dedicated to them. Most of these resources are full of “clutter” and teach you a lot of information that you don’t need to know. What’s the point of learning tons of fishing knots you’re not ever going to use.

If you want to learn a bunch of worthless fishing knots you are never going to use then keep scouring the internet and looking at all of the pages and pages of knots.

If you want a real world manual to follow that only teaches you the knots you need to know to be successful fishing for catfish then keep reading!

Learning to tie good strong knots is a basic fundamental of fishing that you have to learn. If you weren’t a boy scout or you happen to be “knot challenged” don’t stress because learning to tie a good strong fishing knot is a simple process, especially when you are using simple fishing knots.

Terminal tackle shouldn’t come off the line. Catfish rigs shouldn’t come apart, and if you know how to tie a good knot this will never happen.

Never Lose “That” Fish Because Of Bad Knots

I have a client that has been fishing with me for years jump in the boat with me early one morning. He was helping me tie some fresh rigs on a few rods and get ready for his day fishing with me. I knew from him fishing with me often he was an experienced angler and didn’t pay much attention to what he was doing.

Later that day we hooked into a monster blue catfish. It was one of the largest fish that had ever been hooked on my boat. There was a long hard fight and we brought the fish to the surface several times.

After what seemed like an eternity we were almost within range of being able to scoop the fish up with the dip net  and then “it happened”, that moment that makes every anglers stomach sink and makes you sick.

The line suddenly went slack and the fish was gone.

He reeled the line in and there was no hook on the end of the line. Just a curled up piece of leader where the hook used to be.

The hook slid right off the fishing line because it was not tied correctly.

I knew it was one of the rigs he tied because it was a unique fishing rod, an “oddball” from the other eleven rods I had in the boat. He was kicking himself for his bad knot and I handed him a line and a hook and told him to show me how he attached the hook . He then proceeded to tie some “mysterious” fishing knot.

We pulled on the hook when he was done and pulled the hook right off the line again showing exactly what caused this epic fail.

You need to have good knots on your catfish rigs and terminal tackle. A knot coming loose should never be an issue.

The Three Must Know Fishing Knots 

You can tie almost any catfish rig you need by learning three basic fishing knots the easy snell knot, the Palomar knot and the Trilene knot. If you start doing some crazy stuff like trying to join braided fishing line to monofilament you’ll need to learn other knots but for the vast majority of anglers these three simple knots will do it all.

I can’t remember the last time I tied something other than these three simple knots.

These three knots also happen to be not only some of the easiest fishing knots to tie but they are also some of the strongest knots also.

There are full instructions and step by step details (as well as video walkthroughs) of all of these knots on the Learn To Catch Catfish website. Just click on the images below to learn for and get step by step details.

Easy Snell 

The easy snell is commonly used when attaching circle hooks to leader line. It can be used to tie any hook on the fishing line or leader line though. The snell is actually knot a knot but a “wrap” Despite it being so simple and easy to tie the snell is one of the strongest fishing knots.

how to snell hook

Palomar Knot 

The palomar knot is used for attaching hooks or terminal tackle to line. It can be used to tie any terminal tackle the the line where you have an open end. The palomar knot is a “go to” knot for most anglers because it is so easy to tie but it is also one of the strongest fishing knots to use.

palomar knot

Trilene Knot

The Trilene knot is a great knot to use when attaching terminal tackle to fishing line, especially when you don’t have an open end of the fishing line available. This is a great knot for  attaching leader lines to swivels after you have attached a hook to one end of the leader.

trilene knot

Learning these basic fishing knots the easy snell, trilene knot and the palomar knot will give you a great foundation for fishing for catfish. You can tie any of the catfish rigs you will use with these three basic fishing knots and should rarely have a need for additional knots other than a dropper loop now and then.

To get more information on catfish rigs and selecting the right catfish rigs for success check out the catfish rigs tutorial page for more in depth information and everything you could ever need to know about catfish rigs.

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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. How to catch catfish cause I want one so bad but I don’t how to use the line with the hook to put worm you have idea for me chad please help me learn ok thanks

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