Essential Ties

Anglers areconstantly scrounging for new tricks to catch more fish, yet many overlook theway a knot affects their lure in the water or which knot is best for the typeof hook they're using. To that end, here are five knots that will helpfishermen get the most out of their lures, flies and baits.

Listed at the endof each knot's description is its breaking strength, which is simply the pointat which the knot will break with respect to the line's strength. For example,if you're fishing with 10-pound-test line and use a knot with 95 percentbreaking strength, the knot will break at 9.5 pounds. The general rule of thumbis to use knots that have at least 90 percent breaking strength.

PALOMAR KNOT

The Palomar is afast, easy-to-tie knot for short, single-hook lures and baits. It can be easilytied in low-light conditions and works best on lines thinner than15-pound-test.

Breakingstrength: 100 percent

IMPROVED CLINCHKNOT

The improvedclinch knot, also known as the improved fisherman's knot, takes one more passthrough the loop than the standard clinch knot, giving it added strength. Itworks best on thin-diameter lines.

Breakingstrength: 95 percent

ALBRIGHT KNOT(WITH A LOCK)

When adding monoshock leaders for pitching lures into mangrove tangles, or adding mono or wirefor toothy fish like bluefish, the Albright knot is perfect for linking twolines of different diameters.

The lock adds abit of security for those prolonged fights with fish like tarpon.

Breakingstrength: 95 percent

BLOOD KNOT

The blood knot,also known as the barrel knot, is primarily used by flyfishermen and forattaching fresh tippet material to a leader. Many anglers will extend the tagend of the blood knot to tie on a dropper fly and fish a tandem rig.

Breakingstrength: 95 percent

IMPROVED TURLEKNOT

With its highbreaking strength, the improved turle knot is most often used byflyfishermen.

This knot loopsaround the fly's head and the standing line runs directly through the eye, soyour fly floats naturally and doesn't ride with its head in the water.

Breakingstrength: 95 percent