I’ve been hammering on knots because 1) last year I lost some fine fish to failed knots and have since become obsessive about them; and 2) because some of the great folks I take fishing are new to the sport, hence they can use the practice so they spend less time struggling with lengthening leaders and more time fishing!
I suggest paying attention to the following:
- The Albright – I rig heavy pieces of Maxima butt section to my line (with a nail knot) before heading out; the Albright is a simple way to attached tapered leaders to that butt section.
- The Blood – the best (and as far as I’m concerned, the only) way to attached tippet material to existing leaders.
- The Improved Clinch – this knot is great for tying on flies, but only if tied well; I use a hangman’s knot for this purpose, but the the clinch is the example we’ve got.
Also: knowing the Nail knot is nice, particularly if you start running short on butt section. But, you may want to get one of those fancy nail knot tools since the nail is one of the tougher knots to get right (particularly on cold days, using numb fingers). I carry a small knitting needle for such days (and ’cause my fingers are just plain chubby), and a few feet of brown Maxima 20 pound test for new butt sections.
Practice makes perfect. Perfect catches fish.