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Capt. Andrew Derr with a nice albie off the coast of Montauk 2007. Photo Pat Ford.

Pulling off two times the length of tippet to tie a new knot isn’t profligate

Skip Clement, New Zealand.

By Skip Clement

When my step-son, professional guide Capt. Andrew Derr, fishing out of Greenport and Montauk, New York, taught me the Spider Hitch knot. I noticed that he always ended up with a completed knot and a tag end of no more than a few inches – every time.

I also had learned along the way that when a pro says to pull off X-inches of line to start tying, I would instinctively pull off much more to make sure I was finger-nimble comfortable and that the wraps of the new knot seated as a row of coils and not a birds nest.

To get that new knot right, pulling off enough tippet to tie the knot correctly is imperative. And not worry about wasting monofilament or fluorocarbon tippet material. Eventually, new knots get tied quickly, without hesitations, and as perfect as the Clinch Knot, which weaned a thousand newbies.

Destination fly fishing trips and fly fishing gear are expensive

Don’t let the trip and the day outing make you feel wrong to wind up cutting several inches of expensive fluorocarbon or monofilament off to tie the Albright Knot or another correctly. The whole idea of a fishing trip is to catch fish – not save $1.45 on a tippet.

“You’ll save a lot more money in the long run by tying a good knot the first time, and you’ll also be a lot happier with yourself when those knots hold. And who knows; once those knots start tying themselves correctly every time, you might wind up being able to go back to those two-inch tag-ends anyway.” — Zach Matthews

Fly fisherman flyfishing in river

The knots have it.


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