How to Tie a Clinch Knot

The Clinch Knot is one of the most basic fishing knots any angler should know how to tie although it’s generally replaced by the Improved Clinch Knot.

Use to tie terminal tackle to a monofilament line; it strengthens the connection between the two. However, it has been supplanted by the improved clinch knot because of the latter’s reliability. The harder the fishing knot turns into itself, the stronger it is.

Let’s dive into the instructions for how to tie a fishing hook to the light line.

Tying a Clinch Knot

Clinch Knot
  1. The first step is to thread the line through the hook eye or the fishing lure you are using.
  2. The next step is to double the line by about 5 to 6 inches.
  3. Hold the loose end against the standing line and twist the lure or the hook 8 to 10 times.
  4. Hold down the hook to prevent it from twisting and then take the tag end and thread it through the first loop above the eye of the hook.
  5. The last step is to hold the tag end tight against the hook or the lure and pull it and the standing line in opposite directions to tighten the twists.
How to Tie a Clinch Knot | Fishing Knots 101
How to tie a Clinch Knot
A Clinch Knot is one of the first fishing knots an angler tends to learn.


  • Make sure that the coils don’t overlap when you pull, or the knot will unravel.
  • The twists should tighten into small coils.
  • If the coils don’t tighten, then pull the end tight and trim off the end.
  • Make fewer turns if you use a heavy or thick line.
  • Use the clinch knot with a light line.
  • Make sure that you leave the line at the free end so that the knot doesn’t unravel when a fish starts to pull.


  • This knot can be used to tie a small tippet to a heavy wire hook.


  • It has fallen into disuse in favor of the improved clinch knot because the latter is stronger in comparison.
  • The clinch knot is impossible to tie on more massive lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make an improved clinch knot?

When you are making a regular or straightforward clinch knot using the steps above, add an extra tuck under the final turn to make the improved version.

What are the alternative fishing knots to the clinch knot?

Some other fishing knots you can use besides the clinching one include the Palomar knot, the improved version, the San Diego Jam knot, and the Trilene knot.

How do I strengthen a fishing knot?

Just moisten the knot when you are pulling the ends to make it tight.

Is there another way to tie the improved clinch knot?

Yes, there is another way to make the improved clinch knot. Just hold the line, and the tag ends with the fingers of one hand, and use your other hand to rotate the lure to get the twists you need.

Is the improved clinch knot suitable for fluorocarbon?

The improved clinch knot is an excellent choice for monofilament and fluorocarbon lines, but it can be difficult to tie on a limp braid line.

Can the improved version of the clinch knot be used to connect the tippet to the fly?

Yes, it is a famous fishing knot among fly fishers for this reason.

How long should the tie be?

As a general rule, all tie knots should be necktie length. The fullest part should hang right above your belt, with the tip extending just below.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing and spearfishing enthusiast. He's been fishing since he was 5 years old in the backcountry of Yosemite for trout and in the surf near his home in SoCal. Over the past 4 years, he's been spearfishing up and down the coast of California. He started Cast and Spear to help inspire others to get outside and chase their dream fish. Notable catches include spearing a 65-pound white sea bass, large grouper, and yellowtail down in Baja. When he's not in the water, he's usually fishing from his Gregor Baja aluminum boat or inflatable Takacat catamaran.
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Articles » Skills » Fishing Knots » How to Tie a Clinch Knot

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