How To Make Perfect Ice Fishing Knots

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Ice fishing is an enjoyable and intricate activity that requires expertise and patience. You’ll also need some pretty strong ice fishing knots to catch some of the more rowdy fish in the sea, so I’ve researched the best ones to use.

The best part is that I did not only research the best ice fishing knots but also investigated how to make them. Numerous knots are capable of catching fish, but there are a select few that can do it consistently and provide reliable results. 

That said, here’s how to make the best ice fishing knots, so you can catch more fish when your next trip out. By the end of this article, you will realize how easy it is to secure your line.

An Overview of the 3 Best Ice Fishing Knots

Someone making ice fishing knots

In general, fishing enthusiasts will need three ice fishing knots, which are:

  • The Improved Clinch knot
  • The Palomar knot
  • The Blood knot

The Improved Clinch Knot

The Improved Clinch knot is the simplest on this list; it only requires a few minutes of preparation before it is usable. It is the best knot for ice fishing jigs, but it is primarily known for its simplicity.

It will be one of the first knots an angler will learn because of how easy it is to master and the reliability it holds. With proper lubrication, this knot will not slip or falter, giving you the best chance of catching fish without worrying about equipment malfunctions.

How To Tie the Improved Clinch Knot

As I’ve mentioned, the Improved Clinch has one of the easier knots to master, and the way you tie it is to feed the line through the eye of the lure, then wrap it around itself five times. Overlapping the line five times is crucial because too few overlaps will lead to a less secure knot, and too many will bunch it up.

After wrapping:

  1. Reinsert the line through the open loop near the lure opening.
  2. Lubricate the knot with whatever liquids you have on hand. Note that saliva works just fine in this scenario.
  3. Pull the knot taut, and you are ready to go.

The Palomar Knot

The Palomar knot is one of the stronger ties, but it is harder to master and takes more practice. In fact, this is not maybe the strongest and most reliable of the ice fishing knots there are.

It boasts a strength rating of 95%, which is one of the higher scores any knot can have. It can support almost 20 pounds of force before any trouble may arise. I know this will be the knot you use for most of your ice fishing.

It’s reliable and easy to do once you have mastered it, and ice anglers everywhere always use it. Although tying the Palomar knot as one of your go-to ice fishing knots can be a little tricky at first, it truly is a simple process.

How To Tie the Palomar Ice Fishing Knots

Start tying this knot by folding your line in half, then feeding the folded bold through the bait lure, making sure your lure has enough room to be swinging and free moving on the line.

Slide the lure towards the middle of the rope and tie the line over top like you would a shoelace. The classic over-under shoelace tightener squeeze is what you are looking for when looping the knot.

After pulling tight, pass the lure through the loop created by the over-under shoelace tie. Lubricate once again, and pull tight.

The Blood Knot

The Blood knot is useful for connecting two separate lines. This method is helpful for catching heavier fish or adding stability to the rope and will likely become one of the most useful ice fishing knots.

You can also use it if one of your lines breaks and you need to rent horse it with another piece of string. It is not as strong as the polymer, as it only gives about 65% strength, but it is instrumental in a pinch.

The Blood knot can also connect weaker lines to stronger ones, reinforcing them and making them more practical.

How To Tie the Blood Knot

The first move is to find two separate lines to tie together. Once you have your rope, you first loop one rope over the other five times. Next, feed the end of the line through the hole created when they first looped.

After that, loop the second line around the first line 5 times and feed the end of the second line through the hole of the first line’s loop. Pull the three ropes taut, and there you have it. 

How To Prevent Your Knots From Failing

2 2022 09 how to make the best ice fishing knots prevent your knots from failing

Tying ice fishing knots is one thing, but there are steps you should take to make sure they don’t fail. First and foremost, ensure the knot has the strength it needs to complete the job.

Not having the proper strength will almost always lead to failure, making it a big no-no for ice fishing. Of course, Palomar is the strongest on this list, but even that one can fail if you don’t do some additional steps.

Be sure to lubricate the Palomar each time you tie it so it does not slip or burn. Assuming it’s adequately secured, your Palomar knot can carry numerous loads of fish without failing.


3 2022 09 how to make the best ice fishing knots faq

Still have questions? Here are the answers to come frequently asked questions about ice fishing knots.

Do You Use a Swivel for Ice Fishing?

This depends on personal preference. If you want to use a swivel for ice fishing, run a small barrel swivel between your main line and leader.

How to Tie a Loop Knot for Ice Fishing Jigs?

If you’re wondering how to tie other knots like ice fishing jig knots, it’s pretty simple. First, tie your line through the jig twice. Next, pull the line so you have enough to wrap around several times while ensuring the wraps don’t overlap. Finally, bring the line back up to the top of your pole and run it through the two loops you tied on your jig. You’re now ready to tie your knot!

What’s the Best Ice Fishing Loop Knot?

The Surgeons End Loop is the easiest loop knot to tie, and anglers find it completely reliable. However, the knot is a bit bulkier, and the loop lays a little off-center. Nevertheless, it’s your best bet when using a loop knot for ice fishing.

Final Thoughts

That was a list of the three best ice fishing knots and how to tie them. All three of these knots can be helpful in one way or another. They can be used for their simplicity or reliability and have a firm place in an angler’s repertoire.

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