Tying the Improved Clinch Knot with The Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, CO

If you’ve ever tied a fish hook onto a line, you likely used the Clinch Knot. When connecting your leader to a fly, we recommend using the Improved Clinch Knot which is very similar with only a slight difference. The Improved Clinch Knot is effective with up to a 12-pound test, and not recommended for line rated above twelve pounds. This is among the easier knots to master, but we do suggest tying it a few times before heading out fly fishing for the first time. That way, you can focus on fishing and not rigging while you’re on the water. Work through the following steps to tie the Improved Clinch Knot, and check out our Introduction to Fly Fishing Class to learn this and everything else you’ll need to know when starting out on the adventure of fly fishing.

Step One for Tying the Improved Clinch Knot

Thread the leader tippet through the eye of your hook then wrap the end of the leader around the standing line 5 times for a line rated up to 8-pound test. If the line is rated between 8 and 12 pounds, only wrap 4 times. Another way to do this step is to cross the leader end over the standing line and simply twist the hook four or five times.

Improved Clinch Knot Step Two

Once you have the appropriate number of wraps, or twists, take the tag end of the leader and pass it through the gap between the eye of the hook and the first wrap. Before tightening, continue the tag end back through the loop that was just created as shown in the diagram.

Final Step for the Improved Clinch Knot

Now, lubricate the knot with your mouth or by getting it wet. While holding the hook in your left-hand, pull on the standing leader allowing the Knot to seat tightly against the hook. Trim off the extra tag line that’s sticking out, and you’re ready for more fishing

Improved Clinch Knot Figure 1