The World’s Best Blood Knot

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DSCF9533Chris Fave ties a lot of blood knots. About half a million a year.

Screen-Shot-2016-04-08-at-11.19.01-AMYou’d expect him to have a trick or two up his sleeve. I saw this video he put on Facebook and immediately asked him if I could share it. Chris uses a toothpick to tie a blood knot perfectly in seconds. It’s a pretty sweet trick.

Chris’s hand tied leaders are available in fly shops or on his site. He has tapers for every ovation. Check them out HERE. Thanks for sharing Chris!

Watch this video and learn to tie the world’s best blood knot!

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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49 thoughts on “The World’s Best Blood Knot

  1. I will now be slipping and extra toothpick into my shirt pocket after breakfast. I hope Waffle House is prepared for the increase in demand.

  2. A very cool technique, I will have to try that one. One thing I have found is that blood knots are much stronger if you tie with both tag ends facing the same direction. Give it a try.

    • Hmm, are you sure about that?? Every time I goof and the tag ends come out parallel (side X side) and I pull on the leader and tippet the know breaks with very little effort.

    • That’s a general no-no of the blood knot. Instructions generally say that if the tags come out facing the same way, it is incorrect and to re-tie.

  3. Honestly I’m somewhat of a knot fanatic. For decades I used the blood knot and found it effective constructing leaders, then I went to the double uni, which I found as effective. However, if I need a serious knot for larger game fish I now go to the j knot, which has won North American Fisherman’s knot wars over the blood knot. An early competition of blood wars found the double uni and blood knot both failing about the same time. I still use the uni to uni most of the time, however, the j knot is much easier to tie and really works to unite heavy lines.

    • I agree with your assessment of the J-knot. A testing engineering buddy and I would use a very sensitive tension machine he had at work (Southwest Research in San Antonio). The J-knot was easily the strongest. Also it’s easier to tie than some of the rest when tying on leaders.

  4. AWESOME! Drawback…Having one of those moments of why didn’t I think of that! Thank you for sharing you’ve just made life on the water easier.

  5. Wow. I suck at blood knots, but definitely realize the necessity of them when tying two rigged up pieces of mono together when you can’t use the triple surgeon’s. Awesome tip!

  6. Nice trick, but not so quick and easy when splicing 6X to 5X.

    Try a Japanese Figure 8 knot – bet splicing knot I’ve seen.

  7. Hmm, every time I have both ends come out on the same side and parallel the tightened knot is very weak and breaks when I pull on it.

    • I’ve been holding onto this secret for just about 30 years since my grandfather first did it when he began supplying a few shops with leaders. I’m happy that you were able to master it!

  8. My wife and I have been having a good giggle trying this., It;s not as easy to learn as it appears. Great tip though. Practise makes perfect ( I hope ). We have company coming over tonight and will turn it into a party game.


    • Do tell the details of this party game. You, sir, win the award from the most ingenuous way of mastering my “toothpick method!!” Btw, with practice, you’ll eventually be able to do it with your eyes closed.

  9. Who would of thunk it?? Thanks for the great tip, it will be way easier to tie in the fall while thrashing the water to a froth for steelies and salmon.

  10. I manage quite well without the toothpick trick. Just make the necessary turns then push the knot loose to open up a turn in the middle. Poke the ends through from opposite sides and tighten. I can do it as fast as the video demo with the toothpick and with shorter ends to cut off ..

  11. Can you used the blood knot when re-spooling your Muskie reel? I would be joining 10lb test, monofilament, backer line to 100lb test braided line. Thanks for your help… FISH ON!!!

    • I’ve never worked with braid, I don’t have any calling for it with my business. My opinion would be that in your situation, an Albright knot would be a much better fit.

  12. Pingback: Video Pro Tip: The Easiest Blood-Knot Method You've Ever Seen! - Orvis News

  13. Pingback: Advice: Blood Knot subdued by a tooth pick, a pre-tied knot or a metal tool | Fly Life Magazine

    • Depending on the line used, yes. Sunset and Maxima products don’t require any, but when I’m using fluoro or doing a special order with Rio or Orvis tippets, they do.

  14. Great video, and a simple way to get it done right. I question that he ties 500,000 blood knots a year, though. 5 knots in a leader would be 100,000 leaders a year. And he guides?

    • I no longer do any guiding, expect for the few free trips I offer to kids every year. My taper generally equals out to 6 knots/leader, with a target goal of 1,800 leaders per week so that I can have 2 months a year to chase salmon and hunt. I definitely don’t have a 9-5 lifestyle for the other 10 months though.

  15. Whe thing leaders you need to ensure the knot ends up at the exact spot so each section is the correct length. I’ve tried using the toothpick and find that it’s more difficult to ensure the knot is at the right point. I use a black sharpie to mark where the knot should go. How do you do it and how do you ensure the knot is at the right spot? Do you always use four turns? I thought the blood,knot was best with 5-7 turns?


    • When I sit down for the day, I usually plan out 200 of the same leader, so everything is cut prior. If you’re off 1/2 inch or so, for all intents and purposes, it won’t hurt the taper. The best way is to have everything precut and plan on tying more than 1 or 2 at a sitting. I never use 7 full turns. 4 is perfect for most weights and when I get to 6x and smaller, I go to 5.

  16. Pingback: Chris Fave’s Blood Knot | Playing the Angles Blog

  17. I’ve tied them by hand for years but do 5 twists on each side, that’s a great, fast way to do it and better by far.

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