I’ll bet I get asked at least once a week by a guest in my boat; “That was quick, what’s that knot you’re using?”. That question is usually followed quickly by the proclamation “…can’t see to tie a #*@&*’ing clinch knot on small flies anymore!” My response is always; “It’s the Uni-knot. Quick, easy and strong.”
Truth is, 10 years ago, I was ‘there’…in search of a better knot. Tying on flies with a clinch was just a pain sometimes. So much so I’ll bet it made me guilty of not changing flies often enough because I hated tying the knots! So, frustrated with the Clinch knot (the Blood knot too but that’s for another post), I went on a search for a better knot. My requirements were straightforward but un-negotiable: 1) I want to use the same number of turns for a 1/0 Clouser minnow or a #26 midge, 2) Same knot saltwater or freshwater, 3) Same knot for 7x tippet or 40lb tippet and 4) Lastly, in a perfect world, down the road, I want to be able to tie the same knot when my eyes REALLY started to fail me…or in the dark, which ever came first. lol! I couldn’t even spell Google then and YouTube wasn’t even a concept so, I searched the old-fashioned way – the best reference book I could find and a couple of cups of coffee. Old school, I know…
The Uni-knot, met or exceeded all my criteria for my “new knot”. Once I trained my fingers to the sequence, I could tie it in the dark with gloves on and it’s plenty strong at 4 turns for wild trout to steelhead to bonefish and sharks. Turns out that with 7x tippet or 100lb SpiderWire…it’s one strong knot! It’s fast, easy and once you train your hands too, you won’t even have to look and it will usually comes out correctly.
Check out the YouTube video I ran across. It’s pretty much to the point and exactly how I tie the 4-turn Uni-knot. So…if you want to dump the clinch knot and give the Uni-knot a try, get a spool of old line (thicker is better for practice) and a cup of coffee (or other favorite beverage) and replay this video over a few times. Give it a try. Like learning any new knot, you won’t get the real benefit of it until you practice a bit and your fingers learn a little muscle memory.
Finally – there’s an added benefit of the Uni-knot: tying tippet on the bend of a hook for dry/droppers and 2 nymph rigs. Imagine if you will, you have your Stimulator all set to go and it’s time to tie on a dropper. Here’s the steps for the “Uni-dropper-knot” I’ll call it:
- -Snip off the appropriate length of tippet for the dry-to-dropper distance. The first step will be to tie on the tippet to the bend of the dry fly. Piece of cake!
- -Referring to the video, replace the line going through the eye of the hook with a small loop of line wrapped loosely around your ring finger on the hand you would have held the hook. Do this before you start to tie the knot.
- -Hold that loop over your finger as yo tie the Uni until the knot is complete and you just start to tighten it up.
- -Tie the standard Uni-knot as you would if you were bending it on the eye of a hook.
- -Remove your finger from the loop when the Uni is compete and you have a “noose” of tippet ready to put over the point/bend of your point fly.
- -Slip over and tighten down the Uni-knot noose to the bend of the dry fly and snip the excess.
- -On the remaining tag end, tie on the dropper nymph with another Uni-knot.
The real beauty of this is you don’t actually tie the Uni-dropper-knot onto the bend of the point fly (the dry) …you tie it AWAY from the point fly! Once complete, you simply slip the “noose” over the bend and tighten – quick and simple system! And guess what…want to change the dry and use the same nymph? The Uni-knot will slip open and re-close without losing any strength! Slip open/loosen the Uni-dropper-knot from the bend of the dry fly, change your point fly, replace the noose on the bend of the new point fly and re-tighten. Good to go. You’re fishing in seconds. Gotta love that!
In a future ‘Guide Tips’ post, I’ll show you how to replaced the frustrating Blood knot. The answer…the Double Uni! /BB