Tying strong knots is one of the most important parts of rigging lines to go fishing. When offshore fishing the stakes are even higher with big fish that are easily capable of breaking knots that have even the slightest weakness. To make sure you don’t lose a fish because of a bad set up, here are three of the best offshore fishing knots.
The Bimini Twist is one of the strongest and most widely used knots for offshore fishing. Anytime a guide or deckhand needs to tie on a snap swivel, the bimini twist is the go to knot. This knot is popular because it retains 90 percent or more of the original line strength. The twisting action that results from tying this knot also acts like a spring that absorbs some of the shock in the line when a big fish strikes.
To start the bimini twist, make a large loop in the line and hold it in one hand, while the other should have the main line and tag end. Spin your hand holding the loop while keeping the loose end and main line secure until you have twisted the line 20 to 30 times. Carefully take the loop off of your hand and put it around something stationary like a handle or your foot. Now, hold the main line in one hand and the loose end in the other. Start applying tension to the main line while pulling the free end down to compress the twists as tight as possible.
As you get closer to the twist, you should notice that the twists are beginning to wrap back around itself. At this point, move the free end just past the twists, and slowly allow the line to tightly twist back over itself. As the line twists, you should be able to slowly let off some of the tension from the mainline. Once you have twisted the line back up to the loop, take the free end of the line and tie three half hitch knots—one around the left leg of the loop, one around the right leg, and one around both legs. This completes the bimini twist and should leave you with a strong loop. Just simply cut off the extra from the free end, and you are ready for a leader or swivel.
The double uni is another must-know knot for most guides and deckhands around the world because it’s so effective. When two lines of similar size need to be tied together, the double uni creates a slick self locking knot that stays strong. Whether it’s any combination of braid, monofilament, or fluorocarbon line, this knot will easily join the two together, making the perfect leader.
To begin tying the double uni, lay out the two lines so they overlap in the middle. Hold down the section where both lines overlap, while making a loop with one of the ends of the line. Take the free end of the line you just used to make a loop, and wrap it around the two middle lines five times, making sure to pass through the loop not around it. After the five wraps, wet the line and slowly tighten it down until it coils up evenly.
Repeat the same process with the other line by making a loop, wrapping the middle two lines five times, and slowly tightening it down. At this point you should have two opposing knots, roughly a few inches apart. Wet the line again and slowly work the two knots closer together by sliding them and applying tension. Once they touch, you’re ready for a hook.
One of the best knots for attaching a hook or lure to the line is the palomar knot. This knot is fairly simple to tie and maintains line strength well. The palomar knot has minimal draw backs and is widely applicable to most offshore fishing set ups.
Finally on the business end of the rigging, start the palomar knot by making a large loop in the line. Take this loop and push it through the eye of the hook or lure you want to tie on, making sure the free end of the line does not pass through the eye. Now, take the loop and the two lines, and tie a simple overhand knot, again making sure the loose end stays with the main line.
Finally, slide the hook or lure through the loop, and slowly tighten the knot. To tighten this knot, first pull on the main line, then the loose end, and continue to alternate until it’s snug at which point you can trim off the excess.
While these are three of the strongest and most popular knots for offshore fishing, they can be applied almost anywhere. Once you know these knots, you can fish with confidence knowing that you won’t lose a fish to a bad knot. If you enjoy learning everything you can about fishing check out our fishing trips, where experienced guides will put you on the bite, while gladly teaching you more knots and different techniques.