How to Tie a Snell Knot

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The snell knot snells the hook and a version of it uses the uni knot. This is an ideal knot for hooks as it allows it to create an even straight-line pull to the fish.

The snell knot is also used by anglers to tie a leader or tippet directly to a line. Even though it is initially invented for eyeless hooks, the snell knot is used in a variety of ways today, one of which is bass fishing. 

Let’s learn how to snell a hook!

How to Tie a Snell Knot

snell knot
  1. Run the tag end through the eye of the hook right toward its point.
  2. Create a small loop and bring the tag end behind the shank by about 4 inches. 
  3. Wrap the tag end around the hook shank, making your way from the point to the eye of the hook. 
  4. Make 5 to 7 wraps, and then thread the tag through the loop under and over.
  5. Hold the wraps in place and pull the tag end to tighten the knot.
  6. Cut off the excess tag end to close the knot. 
How to tie a snell knot.
Here’s a simple Snell Knot that was made in seconds.
YouTube video


  • Make sure that you hold on to the shank of the hook and the turns are firm, or the snell knot will unravel.
  • You can tie this knot in the uni variant by making use of the uni knot.
  • This knot can be tied perfectly with a straw or wire, which should be held parallel to the hook shank.
  • Give your snell rig more support by adding glue.
  • You can make a snell hook knot using yarn as well as hefty leaders. 
  • It can be used with offshore hookups as well as live bait. 


  • The snell provides a reliable connection that maintains the strength of the fishing line. 
  • Snelling a hook is ideal for anglers that have a hook with an eye that has a diameter that is greater than the width of the line.
  • It allows for better hook sets, especially with the Octopus hook, which has a curved eye. If you tie a snell knot, the line or leader will remain in line with the shank of the hook.
  • When you tie a snell knot in a line, there is no knot above the eye of the hook. This prevents debris and other trash from getting on the line.
  • If you use it on a circle hook, the snell knot the hook will turn in the fish’s mouth compared to the traditional version, which can rotate around completely, and you can end up losing your catch in heavy cover. 
  • It allows anglers better control of the direction of the hook and the point position during the hook set. That’s because the snell knot places the weight of the hook down the hook rather than at the eye. 


  • When you’re looking at how to tie a snell knot, it’s not ideal if you are targeting fish that have sharp teeth such as barracuda. Since the line is around the hook shank, it is right near its mouth when it bites, and if a tooth grazes the knot, you may end up losing your catch.
  • It takes about 30 seconds to make this knot if you practice, but it can take double that time if you are a novice. 
  • Tying a snell knot to a small freshwater or saltwater hook is challenging because it requires high precision.
  • Even proficient anglers can have difficulty tying the snell knot. 


If you know how to tie a secure snell knot, you can tie a leader or tippet onto baited hooks. 


  • Jansik Special – The Jansik Special Knot is tied on lines that can withstand a 20-pound test. However, while it can help you land big fish when secured, it can be difficult to tie and tighten if you don’t have pliers on hand. 
  • Orvis Knot – This knot is used in competitions and is both strong and easy to make. 
  • World’s Fair Knot – This knot is ideal for pro bass fishers who use the knot to tie drop shot rigs.
  • Double Snell Knot – Make this version of the knot by tying two snell knots to 2 hooks. This is why it is also called the two-hook snell knot.
  • Sliding Snell Knot – Make this secure knot version by tying the wraps around the standing fishing line and one more that has a snell hook. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the snell knot strong?

A: Yes, because it can be used to tie any hook on the leader or fishing line. It is not a knot per se but more of a strong wrap.

Q: What is the best fish to catch using a snell knot?

A: When looking at how to snell hooks, it makes sense to know which fish to go for. The saltwater catfish puts up an intense fight, but it can meet its match with a snell knot. 

Q. What is unique about the snell knot?

A. It distributes friction along the line evenly. 

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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