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Knot Detail

Blood Knot

The blood knot, sometimes called a barrel knot, is used to join two sections of monofilament or fluorocarbon of similar diameter, such as when adding a topshot of new line onto a half-filled reel spool. Use it to add a shock leader to the end of the mono main line, such as when adding a length of 30-pound leader to 15-pound main line. When the two mono lines are of greatly dissimilar diameters (eight-pound-test to 30-pound shock leader), it’s a good idea to double the lighter line. The knot is then called the improved blood knot. Fly fishermen use the blood knot to build tapered leaders starting with 30- or 40-pound-test and reduce the leader taper in several segments down to a less visible tippet of 12- or six-pound-test or lighter.

NOTE: For illustration purposes, 80-pound-test Hi-Vis TUF-Line Dacron was used for the photos taken by Linda Barrett.


Step 1

Cross about ten inches of the tag end of each line to be joined so they form an X.

Step 2

Pinch the two lines with the right hand and use the left hand to make five turns around the line on the left.

Step 3

Pass the left tag end behind the line on the right at the X.

Step 4

Pinch the left-side tag end and wraps with the left hand, while making five wraps of the line on the right.

Step 5

Pass the right-hand tag end through the small opening formed at the X so the two tag ends point in opposite directions.

Step 6

Lubricate and pull tight with steady pressure. Clip the tag ends close to the barrel wraps.

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