Outdoors: Everything you need to know about knots, again

The latest on the outdoors from The Recorder's Jerrod Vila
Gabe Lopez of Hagaman holds up a sizable, native Brook Trout, miles off the beaten path in the heart of the Adirondacks.
Gabe Lopez of Hagaman holds up a sizable, native Brook Trout, miles off the beaten path in the heart of the Adirondacks.

Categories: Sports

Back to knots. Last week, we covered terminal connections. This week, I’ll dive into line to line connections. Perhaps not as frequently used as a terminal connection, however if you fish long enough at some point you will be in need of joining two lines together for one purpose or another.

So here we go.


One of the most popular and recognizable line to line connections of all time. If I am building leaders, this is my go to knot! For monofilament or fluorocarbon connections of similar diameter, this is the knot you want to use. This knot works exceptionally well, as long as the two conjoining pieces of line are within a couple thousandths diameter of one another.


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This is a real looker. Something about a properly tied blood knot just makes me smile. Do not use this not to join a braid or superline to fluorocarbon or mono. The blood knot also produces gorgeous perpendicular tag ends that may be used for droppers but in my experience it requires too much time and effort in tying to justify tying for said application.


I like this knot, especially for heavier mono to mono applications. It can also be used to join mono or fluorocarbon to a braid.

I feel it is actually easier and more time friendly to tie than the blood knot. It cinches down to a similar size as the blood knot, the only difference is the tags originate from each end of the knot and run parallel with the line, which is all fine and well, but I feel this knot tends to have more resistance and hangups passing through rod guides and other underwater obstacles.


Two lengths of line side by side and then an overhand knot (or two) is basically the knot. It. Just. Works.

It may not be the prettiest knot on the block but it sure holds tight. A much quicker tie than a blood knot it is often my go-to knot when rebuilding tippet for leaders while physically in the water when I feel the need to get back in action quickly. Also for running a quick dropper tag end for multiple fly rigs. This knot is so simple you could tie it with your eyes closed. Literally.


I am unsure exactly why, but I love this knot. It is just plain sexy. It is hard to top the sensitivity and castability of braid or a superline on a spinning rod setup, but braid directly to lure or jig is a big no-no.

Enter the Albright Knot. Sure, you could use a small barrel swivel to run a short section of fluorocarbon leader to the end of your braid main line, but there is no need.

An Albright Knot provides a seamless, smooth connection from superline to leader. Whether throwing suspending sticks, snapping jigs down deep or really any scenario calling for a braid to mono connection this knot just works.

Even when snagged and exerting extreme force on the knot, it has never failed. The leader always breaks at the lure end.


Not exactly a direct line to line connection but more so one part of a pair for a loop to loop connection more so suited to quickly attaching leaders to a fly line with a pre-fabricated loop.

The nice thing about this particular loop knot is that when tied properly the loop will be “perfectly” in line with the rest of the line or leader, not offset a hair like some other versions of loop knots. It is simple to tie, but can take a bit of finesse to get the size loop you are looking for just right. 


Prior to the days of welded loops on most flylines, there was always the task of attaching the leader to the line. This knot uses a nail (hence the name), or my personal preference, a small tube.

The first few times around, this knot is pretty intimidating, but after a half-dozen times, you get the hang of it and how to keep everything in check when seating it. When tied properly, it is a great looking connection that I actually prefer over the loop to loop of modern lines, but the ease of swapping leaders via a loop to loop connection tends to trump the old nail knot for me.

There is a wealth of other knots that can be used in various situations. These are just a sampling of my personal, everyday tried and true knots.


After implementing a fully online hunter education class back in April, much to the digress of in-classroom hunter education instructors across the state, there has been some pretty astounding numbers of New Yorkers participating in the online-only class. More than 54,000 signed up to be exact, with approximately 24,000 completing the fully online course.

New York is divided into 10 economic regions, which differ substantially in regards to DEC sub-regions. Every single one of these regions on a whole must reach re-opening Phase 4 (recreation/education) before the DEC can consider offering in-person hunter education courses again. Some regions are in Phase 3, while others have just entered Phase 1. Each phase being scheduled to last a minimum of two weeks.

Why must we all be penalized waiting when our region as reached Phase 4, but other regions are still behind? Answer: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s directive states, “When phasing-in re-openings, regions must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.”

HEP courses in any region that could draw people from other regions to the courses offered. As a result, in-person HEP courses will probably not be allowed for at least eight more weeks. All in-person courses have been officially canceled through Aug. 15.

Once in-person classes do actually resume, they will certainly come along with the extra rigors of COVID-19. Social distancing, face masks, hand sanitizer, sanitation of facilities, limited course capacity, possibly a questionnaire and temperature taking as well, etc., basically, the whole nine yards of what everyone has come to deal with as of lately. 

Another giant question that has been looming around since the onset of the fully online course went live back in April has finally been answered. The NYSDEC will be offering a fully online Bowhunter Education class. The class is set to go live on July 15. Tentatively, the fully online-only classes will be available through Aug. 31.

There is also talk of a fully online trapping education class in the works, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. My personal opinion on a trapping education class is that I feel this particular class absolutely requires a hands on environment given the nature of trapping in general. I just feel there is no substitution possible for this.

We shall see what route the DEC chooses to take. There was not going to be a bowhunting class either and now it has come to fruition.


Here it is. Officially the third Saturday in June. You know what that means. It is opening day of bass season statewide.

Coinciding with Father’s Day Weekend, maybe it might be a prime time to take dad out and target some big old bucket-mouths or perhaps some nice bronzebacks. All the gates along the Mohawk River are still up creating pockets more reminiscent of a trout stream than the river we are used to seeing this time of year. The volume of water is significantly decreased which, in turn, is increasing the density of fish in the fishable water that remains.


This might and probably will be, a once in a lifetime kind of event. Take advantage of it.


There are five days remaining to comment on the Draft Fisheries Management Plan for Inland Trout Streams in New York State.

The purpose of the plan is to guide the efforts and resources of DEC toward managing New York’s trout stream fisheries according to their ecological and recreational potential. The plan was written to communicate what outcomes the DEC will strive to achieve while managing for a diversity of fishing experiences and providing anglers with the means to find those experiences. Plan objectives and strategies address the management of both wild and stocked trout, habitat enhancement and protection, public access, and outreach. 

Visit the Trout Stream Management Plan website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/111015.html for further information including meeting data, studies, and surveys.

To comment on the plan, send an email with the subject line “Trout Stream Plan” to [email protected], or send written comments to  Fred Henson, Coldwater Fisheries Unit Leader, NYSDEC-Division of Fish and Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y., 12233-4753, by June 25.

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