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Essential Fishing Knots

By : Mark Hicks

Few anglers have had as much experience with a wider variety of fishing knots than Mark Zona, host of Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show on the Outdoor Channel and a member of Strike King’s pro staff.

Few anglers have had as much experience with a wider variety of fishing knots than Mark Zona, host of Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show on the Outdoor Channel and a member of Strike King’s pro staff.

“It shows what a dork I am, but I am so crazy about knots that I constantly practice tying them when I’m home watching television,” Zona said.

Zona doesn’t like trying to learn a new knot while fishing. Practicing at home teaches him how to tie each knot correctly and to do it faster and more efficiently when he gets on the water.

After decades of fishing fresh and saltwater across the country and experimenting with countless knots, Zona has settled on four essential knots for all of his fishing. Some of his choices may surprise you.

Snell Knot

Many bass anglers tie a snell knot to a straight-shank worm hook when punching a Texas rigged bait through matted vegetation. This tactic requires a large tungsten sinker that weighs 1 ounce or more. During the hook set, the snell knot forces the hook’s point outward. This ensures that the sinker doesn’t prevent the hook from penetrating flesh.

Zona also employs a snell knot anytime he fishes a Texas rigged bait with a slow presentation. That includes casting, flipping and Carolina rigging.

“To me, a snell knot provides the best hookup ratio on earth when you’re fishing a soft plastic bait,” Zona said. “I’ve missed too many fish with a palomar and other knots.”

Palomar Knot

This isn’t to say that Zona eschews the palomar knot altogether. He ties it whenever he is fishing a moving bait with braided line, such as Strike King’s KVD Sexy Frog or Red Eye Shad lipless crankbait.