How to tie a uni knot

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It’s UNIversal!

A great universal and multipurpose knot is the uni knot - the name says it all! It’s probably the most common and one of the most reliable knots, and when it comes to fishing, tying reliable knots can save you the heartache of losing a big fish.

This knot can be used in a wide variety of situations when it comes to fishing. Here’s a couple of popular uses for it:

  •  tie a straight eye hook on to your line;
  •  attach a swivel to the mainline and leader line;
  • attach a lure to your trace line;
  • tie on your sinker.

Uni knot

Uni knot

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How to tie the uni knot

Before you start there’s a bit of lingo you’ll need to know. The end of your trace line that threads through hooks/sinkers/lures is called the “tag end”.

Now it's time to give it a crack.

Go grab yourself some leader line and a big hook or swivel and follow these steps and refer to the video as well.

One of the challenges with learning new knots is finger placement, so watch this aspect carefully. It may feel funny at first but after you've tied 100 rigs it'll be second nature! 

Learn how to tie a uni knot

The tag end of your trace line

Step 1:

Pass the tag end of the trace line through the eye of the hook/swivel/lure.


Step 2:

Pull through the line and lay it out so it’s alongside the other line and there’s approximately 20 cm of doubled up line (the photo only shows some of the line - the rest is being held in Tony's left hand).  This gives you plenty of line to work with.

Learn how to tie a uni knot

Double the line and hold with left hand

Step 3:

With your left thumb and forefinger hold both strands of line about 10 cms from the hook end.

Gently hold the hook/swivel in the palm of you right hand. This way your fingers will be free to help make a loop with the tag end of the line.

How to tie a uni knot

Pin the loop with right thumb and hold with left middle finger - Daiwa fishing New Zealand

Step 4:

With your right thumb and forefinger (and a little help from you left little fingers) make a loop with the tag end of the line. The tag end line should pass over the front of the doubled up line (closest to you) then wrap around the back of the line, in a kind of clockwise motion.

How to tie a uni knot

Make a loop, use your left middle finger to hold the loop bit

Step 5:

Wrap the tag end over the top of the doubled up line and around the back and around five times. The tag end should pass through the middle of the loop.

How to tie a uni knot

See how the thumb & fingers hold the line for the 1st wrap

How to tie a uni knot

Wrap line around the back of the doubled up line

How to tie a uni knot

Pass tag end through the middle of the loop.

How to tie a uni knot

Wrap the line around the doubled up line 4-5 times - Lowrance

Step 6:

Hold the hook at the bottom and with your left hand slowly pull the tag end. This will to pull the knot together. At this point you can wet the line with a little saliva to lubricate the knot.

How to tie a uni knot

Pull the tag end and the knot will slide together

Step 7:

Now pull the tag end line (not the trace line) a bit harder, in your teeth or with a pair of fishing pliers.  Pull so the knot moves down to the eye of the hook.

Ensure the knot is nice and tight by pulling hard three or four more times. Be careful not to let the hook in your right hand slip, this will hurt. One way is to hold the bottom of the hook.

Trim the excess tag line. Wrap your hand around the leader line and give it one more tighten up, just to be sure.

How to tie a uni knot

Pull nice and tight and trim the tag end


Save yourself the heartache of losing fish to bad knots!

The best way to get familiar with tying knots is to practice, pure and simple. You can practice while you're at home while ‘watching’ TV or, even better get out fishing as often as you can. Remember practice makes perfect!

When knots break

Save the heartache of bust offs and tie good strong knots!

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