Trimming the Tag End of a Fishing Knot – How Short to Cut It

Trimming the Tag End of a Fishing Knot – How Short to Cut It

In fishing, as in life, your actions have consequences. If you constantly find that your fishing knots are coming untied, then you may be causing this to happen by cutting the tag end of your fishing knot too short. How short should it be? That is exactly what you will find in this article.

Let’s back up a bit and first give some definitions.

When tying a fishing knot, the “main line” is the end of the line that connects to your fishing reel. So that’s the bulk of your fishing line. Obviously you don’t cut that end of the line or you would have cut the knot you just tied right off the line.

The “tag end” is the short end of the line that remains after you tie a knot.

Now you can just leave the tag end as long as it is after tying your knot and forget about trimming it to avoid mistakes. But unfortunately, a tag end that’s too long can cause a whole host of problems. The extra line adds extra weight to your knot, as well as causing unnecessary drag in the water, which can alert the fish to your presence.

So as you can see, leaving the end of the tag untrimmed is not recommended.

My suggestion then for the end of the label goes back to the basic principles of tying a fishing knot:

Tie your knot with the correct number of wraps required for the type and weight of line you are using.

Be sure to lubricate the knot well before tightening it. It is recommended that you use soap rather than saliva as it will not corrode your line. For this purpose, you should keep a small bottle of dish detergent in the accessory box.

Tighten your knot properly. Using a small pair of pliers can help you tighten the knot evenly and securely. I keep a pair of retractable cords on my fishing vest for just this purpose.

If you tighten your knot tightly, it won’t slip out and you can leave a short tag. A 1/16″ to 1/8″ tag end in a tightly tied knot is sufficient.

So as you can see, you may actually have a problem with your knot tying technique rather than the length of the tag end causing your knots to come untied. Tighten it properly and your fishing knots will never slip again.

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