The Top 4 Knots Every Saltwater Fisherman Should Know

Knot tying is an essential skill in the world of saltwater fishing. Some are easy to tie and others are more complex, but each knot serves its own purpose on your quest to hook monster fish. 


We asked Captain Don Dingman what knots he uses on a regular basis when he is out on the water. Here are the top four knots he recommends that every saltwater fisherman know and master.

Uni Knots

Captain Don refers to the Uni Knot as a saltwater fishing staple. It works well with both mono and braided fishing line. It’s super strong, quick to tie, and won’t let you down. 


Step One: Start by running your line through the eye of your hook and double back so you have two parallel pieces of line on either side of the eye.


Step Two: Next, make a loop by laying your tag end (the end you will be cutting off) over your doubled line. 


Step Three: Loop your tag end over the double line six times and through the loop you made in step one. 

Step Four: Your Uni Knot is essentially a slip knot so pull your tag end tight so that the loops you made in step three are coiled and snug.

Bimini Twist


When it comes to forming double leaders for catching big offshore fish, Captain Don suggests the Bimini Twist. It’s considered a 100% knot, meaning that it provides 100% strength for your line. The double lined loop it creates is perfect for connecting your leaders. 


Step One: Make a loop with your line and twist your loop twenty to twenty five times. 


Step Two: Slip your open end over your knee to apply constant pressure to both ends of your loop. You can use your feet if you are making a long loop with a lot of line.


Step Three: With your loop taught, gently release pressure until your twits roll back and coil onto each other.  


Step Four: Hold tension on the bottom of your coiled twists and seal them off with a half hitch knot on one side of your line and then another half hitch knot around the opposite side of your line.


Step Five: Working from your loop end back towards you knot, secure your knot with three to five additional half hitches around both lines in your loop. 

Step Six: Cut down your excess tag end to a quarter inch.

Homer Rhode Loop Knot

Captain Don recommends the Homer Rhode Loop Knot for tying on artificial lures for inshore fishing since they allow your lure to move freely. This is helpful when you are fishing for species that take multiple swipes at your bait instead of swallowing it whole. 


Step One: Tie a double overhand knot at the end of your lead or line to form a figure eight and pass your tag end through the eye of your hook, fly, or lure. 


Step Two: Pull your tag end through your figure eight so that it follows through each loop. Go through the bottom of the first loop and up through the top of your second loop. Pull your knots tight. 


Step Three: Tie another overhand knot above your two existing knots. Pull it nice and tight. This will act as a stopper in your line.

The Snell Knot

Captain Don is partial to snelling knots as an easy knot to tie. These knots give your line a reliable straight pull and keep it neat and untangled as your catch pulls it out to sea. 


Step One: Run your tag end through the eye of your hook and form a small four inch loop behind your hook.


Step Two: Wrap your tag end around your loop five to seven times from bottom to top and feed it back out through your loop.

Step Three: Hold your wraps in place and pull your tag end tight. Make sure your wraps are snug around your hook and clip any excess line.

Master These Knots

You don’t get to be a fishing guide at the level of Captain Don without mastering these four knots. Doing so will significantly increase your fishing game, especially when you are hunting monster fish out on the ocean.

Heading out on the water to do some saltwater fishing? Salt Life has you covered with the gear you need to stay cool and protected from the sun.


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