Improved Clinch Knot
The Improved Clinch knot has been around for a long time and many fishermen use it. It's a strong knot that is adaptable to many different kinds of fishing. This knot can be tied with more or fewer loops depending on the type and test of line you're using. The Improved Clinch knot is a good basic knot to know and use.
When to Use the Improved Clinch Knot
Use the Improved Clinch knot to attach hooks, plugs, and spinnerbaits to all kinds of line. It works well with monofilament lines as well as some of the newer superlines. This knot is good in salt water and fresh water and will hold up to 95 percent of the line test if tied right. It can also be used to attach line to reels since it slides tight, and you can attach two lines to each other with it. It works best on thinner-diameter line and is hard to tie on very thick line.
Monofilament line will cut itself with the wrong kind of knot. A good knot in monofilament must have coils that cushion it from itself, like the Improved Clinch knot does. A simple Overhand knot in monofilament will reduce its strength by half.
Since the Improved Clinch knot pulls tight against the eye of the plug or hook, it will not allow the bait to move freely. Always use a snap or split ring on plugs and top-water baits, or use a loop knot, so they can swing as they are supposed to do. The Improved Clinch knot will dampen their movements if tied directly to the eye of the plug.
How to Tie the Improved Clinch Knot
To tie an Improved Clinch knot:
Run the end of the line through the eye of the hook and pull about six inches through it.
Wrap this tag end (the piece of six-inch line) around the standing line three to seven times, going up the line away from the hook.
Take the tag end and put it through the loop formed by the line at the eye of the hook.
Bring the tag end back through the loop formed in the previous step.
Wet the line with saliva at the knot.
Pull on the standing line slowly and smoothly while holding the tag end, tightening the knot.
When the knot is tight against the hook eye, pull on it very hard to make sure it's tight.
Check to make sure the loops are stacked evenly and not on top of each other.
What is the standing line?
That's what we call the main line on the rod that extends from the reel to the hook.
Tying an Improved Clinch knot.
A finished Improved Clinch knot.
A variation is to run the end of the line through the eye of the hook twice before starting to tie the knot. When tied like this the knot is sometimes called the Trilene knot. This is especially good with light line to give more contact with the hook eye and reduce the chance of it breaking there. When tying the Trilene knot you must pull the knot tight even more slowly since it's wrapping twice, and wetting it is even more important.
For very thin line or the slick lines like the fused lines, use seven loops around the main line. For thicker line reduce the number of loops to five. When tying line to reels you can even drop down to three loops since these knots don't have to be as strong.
When using fused lines add a little insurance to your knot by putting a drop of super glue on it after pulling it tight. Let the glue dry for a few seconds before casting. The glue will ensure that your knot will not slip.
Always wet an Improved Clinch knot with saliva when pulling it tight. This helps the knot tighten and not slip later. Also pull the knot very tight when tying it so it doesn't slip and break when you're fighting a fish.