How to Tie a Clinch Knot

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The Clinch Knot is a basic fishing knot that works well for thin monofilament or fluorocarbon when going after smaller fish. If you are looking for a little more strength, then you should use the Improved Clinch Knot instead.

Steps For Tying A Clinch Knot

  1. Thread the line through the hook eye or the fishing lure.
  2. 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 5 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. Moisten the line to reduce friction.
  6. Hold the tag end and pull the hook away from you to start seating the knot.
  7. Let go of the tag end and pull the leader line, and hook in opposite directions to fully seat the knot.
  8. Trim the tag end.

Clinch Knot Infographic

Clinch Knot infographic


  • 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.
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  • 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?

The improved clinch knot is the same as the clinch knot except for one extra bend by going through the second hole with the tag end. [Source]

What are the alternative fishing knots to the clinch knot?

Alternatives to the clinch knot include the Uni Knot, Improved Clinch Knot, Palomar knot, San Diego Jam knot, and the Trilene knot.

How do I strengthen a fishing knot?

To strengthen a fishing knot, a knot expert once told me to double or triple the wraps around the hook eye before tying my knot to distribute the load.

Is there another way to tie the improved clinch knot?

There is only one way to tie the improved clinch knot.

Is the improved clinch knot suitable for fluorocarbon?

The improved clinch knot is an excellent choice for monofilament and fluorocarbon lines.

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

Yes, the improved clinch knot can be used to connect your tippet to the fly, especially for a light-pound test where you’re not going after big fish.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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