If you read the TYEPRO blog frequently, you know that we’re big fans of the improved clinch knot. In fact, if you read any fishing publication, you’ll find that there are a lot of people who are fans of the improved clinch knot. The existence of this knot inherently invites a few questions.
Is there a “regular” clinch knot? Assuming there is, what’s the difference between it and the improved version?
There is a “regular” clinch knot and as you might guess, it’s easier to tie than the improved clinch knot. The best way to define the difference between the two is to start by reminding you how to tie an improved clinch.
After threading the eye of the hook and pulling out a tag line of around six inches, you’ll take the tag and wrap it around the standing line between four and seven times (the lighter the line, the more wraps you’ll need to make a knot that won’t unravel). Now take the tag and bring it through the loop that’s formed between the eyelet and the twists, and bring it back up through the bigger loop that you’ve formed. Wet your line and pull it tight, making sure that the wraps don’t overlap. Trim the tag end and you’re ready to cast!
If you’re more of a visual learner, take a look at the video below!
Tying a regular clinch knot is as simple as doing all of the above, minus one step: After you take the tag end through the loop near the eyelet, you’ll immediately pull it tight, without bringing it back through the bigger loop you created.
Is it easier than an improved clinch? Yes. Is it that much easier than an improved clinch? No. And it’s certainly not worth it when you take the final performance results into consideration. There’s not much research published online regarding the difference in strength between the two, but one fishing blogger ran tests and reported his improved clinch tested nearly 50 percent stronger than his clinch.
A 50 percent swing in performance could easily be the difference between landing that big bass, or your knot coming undone in its mouth.
Let’s say, theoretically, that bringing your tag end back through that big loop is just too much of a hassle. What can you do to make sure your “regular” clinch knot doesn’t pigtail, or devolve into regular ol’ fishing line?
The most common cause of clinch knots coming undone is the same as the most common cause for improved clinch knots coming undone: Not enough twists. It’s important to understand how different line types will impact how many twists will work best for you. As we mentioned earlier, lighter lines will need more than the minimum four twists. Braided line should get 3 to 4 extra turns because it has a tendency to slide undone more easily than others.
You should consider leaving that situation in the realm of “theoretical,” however. All you need to do to create a stronger, more reliable knot is bring the tag end through the large loop and pull tight.
They don’t call it “improved” for nothing.