There is a seemingly infinite amount of knots, with a knot for every situation in sailing, camping, climbing and of course fishing. While some anglers pride themselves on knowing how to tie a large number of different knots, the reality is that most modern rigs will be made using very few knots. The uni knot is an adaptable, small and strong knot and is the only knot needed to tie the vast majority of rigs used in UK sea fishing. It is specifically developed to be tied with monofilament and is much more effective than old-fashioned knots such as the half-blood knot. The shock leader/main line knot is also based on the uni knot and is used to attach two lines of different diameters. While anglers once tied stop knots with power gum it is not more common to tie stop knots with neoprene rig tubing.
Knots which are designed to be tied with rope may not work well when tied with monofilament line. The reason for this is that rope binds against itself, and knots bed in tightly. Monofilament does not bed in against itself and knots designed for use with rope may slip when tied in monofilament. The uni knot and shock mainline/leader knot (which is based on the uni knot) are specifically designed to work with monofilament and the loops tied against loops principle means these knots will not slip apart. The uni knot works well with all monofilament lines up to about 80lb breaking strain. Lines stronger than this are too thick to tie safely, and large heavy-duty crimps need to be used with lines of this strength.
The following knots now have YouTube videos showing how to tie them:
Anglers should be aware that when a knot is pulled together the friction that is created can heat up the monofilament line and potentially damage it and reduce its strength. For this reason it is important to lubricate the knot as it is pulled together. This can be done with a little water, although many anglers find it easier (although somewhat unhygienic) to use saliva to lubricate the knot. Also, remember to try to keep the number of knots to a minimum in any rig – no matter how well a knot is tied every one contributes to reducing the overall strength of the rig/line. Take time and care when tying knots, as many good fish are lost due to hastily and badly tied knots. Take a second to look at a knot once it is complete and if there is any doubt over it then cut the line and tie it again. Losing fish is part of fishing but no one wants to lose a decent fish because a knot they tied let them down!