I've got an embarrassing confession to make: I lost what could have been the best smallmouth bass I ever caught on a fly early this season because my tippet knot failed.
Obviously, I can't tell you exact size of the fish, but I can honestly say that it was on the other side of 6 pounds. I know this, because it was within a rod's length of the boat when the knot failed and I've caught enough 5 pounders to know the difference.
About two weeks ago, the same thing happened to a friend of mine after he hooked into a very nice brown trout.
This sort of thing doesn't happen often, thankfully. But when it does occur, it's most often because the angler rushed tying the knot. Invariably, it's the big fish that pull a faulty knot loose too.
The solution to this is simple. When tying an knot - whether tippet to leader, tippet to hook or leader to fly line - take your time tying it, check it well, and then check it again. Furthermore, whenever you bring in a fish or change flies, check your tippet and leader for frays and nicks. If there are any, replace them. Like a poorly tied knot, a damaged tippet is an insidious thing that will fail when you need it most.
If you are new to fly fishing, one of the best things you can do is learn knots correctly and practice them at home while watching TV. Learn them so they are second nature.
There are also several knot tying tools available, but those are best used at home when preparing your own leaders. On the water a practical angler just ties good knots.
Here are a few fishing knot tying tools available and their uses.
- The Tru-Blood knot tyer makes tying blood knots quick and easy. This is the primary knot which is used to construct leaders.
- The Cinch Tool Knot Tyer allows you to tie a clinch knot which is often used for tying tippet to fly.
- Tie Fast Knot tyer tool is great for tying nail knots which are used to connect fly line and leader. It also allows you to create other useful variations of the nail knot too and snell hooks.
Lastly, I should say that sometimes bad knots are not a function of poor knowledge but rather poor eyesight. If that's the case, use the proper lenses or glasses to magnify so you can see the knot you tie.
For more advice on fly fishing gear, visit 5 Best: Fly-Fishing Organization Tools & Accessories at Bass Pro Shops 1Source.