This simple knot is suitable for both nylon and braided lines or a combination of the two. I find it useful for attaching a hook securely to the line/leader, or for joining two lines together, including joining a ‘shock leader’ to the running line.
If you would use ONLY this knot for ALL your fishing, you would not go far wrong. I know it as the ‘grinner’ or ‘Cove Knot’ (after the late great Arthur Cove, who taught me how to fly-fish many years ago).
This is how it goes :
Firstly tying on a hook
Thread the line through the hook eye and back on itself
Trap the two lengths of line together, taking the free end back towards the hook, forming a loop.
Pass the end of the line through this loop, ensuring it turns around both the loop and the main line. Work your way back towards the rod/away from the hook, passing the free end through the loop (and around the main line) at least three and ideally four times (the image shows only two turns).
Moisten the knot (saliva works fine) and tighten.
There you have it – an easy-to-tie, strong and very reliable knot, which in my experience is far safer and stronger than a ‘blood knot’.
Second, joining two pieces of line together
To join two lines together the same basic knot can be employed.
First, overlap the ends of each line and hold them parallel.
Keeping hold of both lines, take one of the free ends, turn it back over itself and form a loop. As with the hook knot above, pass the free end through the loop three or four times, wrapping it around the other piece of line as you work your way away from what will be the middle of the knot. See the image. Moisten this loop and pull it semi-tight before turning to the second loose end.
Repeat this process in the other direction, then moisten and pull the second knot semi tight.
Once both knots are finished, slowly pull each piece of main line, sliding the two knots towards each other. As the two knots get closer together, pull both loose ends (you’ll have to do them one at a time and I often pull with my teeth while keeping hold of the two pieces of main line – one in each hand.
Moisten again and tighten firmly.
Tying knots with braided line
Before tying any knot with braided leader, my advice is to double it first. Braid sometimes has the ability to cut through itself. Tying your knots with a doubled piece of braid will instantly give them more strength and it’s almost always thin and flexible enough to do this easily.
For joining a braided running line to a heavy monofilament ‘shock leader’, I would suggest only three turns on the nylon/monofilament, and six to eight turns on the (doubled) braid. This will even up the appearance and give the knot a more natural balance.
For those who don’t know, a shock leader is usually 4 or 5 metres of heavy nylon (heavier than your normal running line). The idea is that this thicker line will have more stretch, enabling it to take the strain of casting heavy leads or baits. For shock leaders the very same knot can be used as shown above.
This knot would be perfectly strong enough for most fishing situations. Having said that, if you are after big game fish like GTs or tarpon, which are immensely powerful, there is a much more complicated knot which doesn’t reduce the line breaking strain AT ALL. I use the latter knot for occasions where I know it will be under huge pressure. I will describe that knot in another post!