There is a seemingly infinite amount of knots out there, 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 and small yet strong knot that can be used to tie hooks, links and swivels to line. It is specifically developed to be tied with monofilament and is the most common knot used in the majority of modern rigs. The shock leader/main line knot is also based on the uni knot. While the trapped swivel method gives the best and strongest way of attaching hooklengths to a rig body the dropper knot is included here as it provides a much cheaper (although less effective) method of achieving the same result. There is also a video on how to create a stop knot with neoprene rig tubing. Although this is not technically a knot it is still very useful and widely used in rig making.
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, dropper knot and mainline/leader knot (which is based on the uni knot) are all specifically designed to work with monofilament and the loops tied against loops principle means these knots will not slip apart. The half-blood knot was a popular knot years ago and does work when tied with monofilament, but the uni knot is smaller, much stronger and more secure. Any angler still using a half-blood knot today should consider switching to the uni knot. 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 used with line 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 damage it, reducing 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 unhegenic) to use saliva to lubricate the knot. Also, remember to try to keep 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!