5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing

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Capt. Joel Dickey choosing the right fishing knot. Photo By: Louis Cahill

There’s plenty of other fishing knots out there that have better knot strength than the Uni-Knot, but that shouldn’t be the only factor you look at when you’re choosing what knot to use on the water.

Reliability, how quick and easy it is to tie, type of rig your fishing, and functionality should all be weighed into the equation when deciding on knot choice. The decision to employ the Uni-Knot for my personal fishing and guiding has made my life easier on the water because of its versatility and ease of tying.

5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing

1. The Uni-Knot is quick and easy to tie with fine tippet and small flies, particularly in low light situations.

2. The Uni-Knot is very reliable, is rated at 90% strength, and won’t slip (fail) like the improved clinch knot will if it’s tightened down incorrectly.

3. I only need a small amount of tippet to tie the Uni-Knot. That lengthens the life of my leaders, cuts back on tippet usage, and saves me money in the long run.

4. The Uni-Knot allows me to quickly change out my lead fly in my tandem nymph rig and also saves me time untangling knots on the water since it can be loosened and re-tightened on the go.

5. The Uni-Knot serves other purposes other than tying your fly onto your leader. It also can be used to join two lines and used to secure your backing to the reel.

The Uni-Knot Can Save You Time Untangling Knots

Untangling knots is a subject that I know far too well being a full-time fly fishing guide. These days I can often spot a tangle in mid-air or by the way the leader lays out on the water. I’ve grown accustom to having clients look at me with a bewildered look when I tell them to stop casting and strip in. Moments later, when they get their fly rig in, the confused look leaves their faces and the question of why is answered. Using the Uni-Knot in my fishing rigs often allows me to untangle a knotted mess and get back to fishing much quicker than with other fishing knots because I don’t always have to retie the knot. I often can slide the knot open and take off my dropper. This often provides me the room necessary to quickly untangle the rest of my rig, slide the dropper back on, and get back to fishing. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but five minutes here and there over the course of full day adds up to significant time saved, and that means your flies will spend more time in the water in front of the fish.

Minimizing Tangles and Determining a Plan of Attack 

To limit tangles on the water fly anglers should always be looking for visual clues that point to possible tangles during their fly casting and presentations. Single fly rigs aren’t usually the problem. It’s most often the tandem nymph and dry dropper rigs that we use that really cause havoc for novice anglers. As soon as you notice something wrong with your rig you need to immediately stop casting and strip in your fly rig for inspection. The quicker you diagnose a problem with your rig fishing, the less damage and tangle you’ll create, dictating how fast you’ll be able to untangle and get back to fishing. When you do get a tangle, first decide whether you can untangle it easily or if it’s what I call an “Amputee Scenario”. If I’m fishing a tandem nymph rig I quickly determine if I need to just snip off the trailer fly or perform an amputee, which calls for breaking down and rebuilding the entire rig (taking off strike indicator, split-shot and flies).

Tying the Uni-Knot

Taking the time to learn how to tie the Uni-Knot and incorporating it into your trout fishing is highly recommended. I don’t strictly use the Uni-Knot in my trout fishing, but I generally always find a place for the knot somewhere in my rig that serves me well. For example, I may tie a non-slip loop knot or Davy Wotton knot to my lead and dropper flies, but I’ll still tie the tippet to the bend of my lead fly hook with a Uni-Knot. This way, I can limit the knots I have to tie on the water, and change out flies and untangle knots quickly.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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14 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing

  1. I always use a uni-knot to tie a tippet to the second strand of a multi-section leader, because it’s stronger than a blood knot. Now I no longer routinely break off the tippet along with a snagged fly.

  2. I too had the terrible experience with IC pig tail unfortunately more than once. Now I feel confident with my tiny dry and giant rainbow attached to the tippet via the Uni-knot! Great info!

  3. And the rest, as they are both tremendous patterns for
    dries. Give fish recipes it a try you might surprised.

    Fishing around this lake is quite low, and those, which are used in lakes fish recipes and
    other natural beauty all around me. In case you’ve missed it, the whole thing.
    One of my friends grew up in Michigan, is the best it has ever been.

  4. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Use the Uni Knot | MidCurrent

  5. For ease and speed, you can’t beat the Turle. Years ago in college, I did a statistics analysis using an Instron machine that can measure tensile forces precisely. Tested just three knots and different lines. Long story short, Turle had just a slightly less strength rating than IC but because of the ease, Turle is one of my go-tos. The other knot I tested was Palomar and that of course was strongest.

  6. Could you PLEASE MAKE THE FONT DARKER? Lots of my friends love your blog but can’t read ir on their cell phones because the font it’s light and the website doesn’t convert well to mobile viewing.

  7. Damon: I see that your reasons may have been published before?
    The “5 Reasons Why I use the Uni-Knot for Trout Fishing” was posted with 9 COMMENTS / POSTED ON JULY 16, 2019 / BY LOUIS CAHILL
    My comments on “Why use the Uni-knot?” reasons:
    1. Correct, another advantage is that if you tie the loop a few inches above the fly eye and slide it down to the eye before giving it the final cinch you will minimize the curl at the fly and provide a very small loop that allows a small fly to have a more natural attitude without twisting.
    2. The Duncan Loop (Uni Knot) generally tests at 80% of the line strength. The tag end is secured from loosening since it goes back through all of the coils. This allows the tag end to be cut off very close to the knot, which can be a problem with other knots like the clinch knot.
    3. It can minimize the amount of tag end cut offs if pulled down properly.
    4. Details?
    5. There are four general applications for the Duncan Loop Knot:
    1. Tying the standing line or tippet directly to the hook or lure: The most significant factor in this application is the knot strength. However, the line can be doubled to obtain very high knot strength.
    2. Tying a leader or shock tippet to a hook or lure where the leader is significantly stronger than the standing line or tippet: Knot strength is not so much a factor as a streamline concentric knot that allows the lure or hook to swing naturally.
    3. Loop-to-loop connections: This type of connection is usually at low stress locations such as the backing to the rear end of a fly line or at the end of a leader to loop on and off the tippet. When the loops are joined in a figure-eight configuration neither side will slip if tightened properly.
    4. This is the easiest knot to tie in very heavy monofilament: Normally this used rigging heavy leaders, outriggers and teasers in lieu of crimped sleeves. The knot strength is not much of a factor and the knot can be set with such force that it will not slip under normal conditions.

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