Blood knot

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Blood knot
BloodKnot Final.jpg
NamesBlood knot, Barrel knot
Category Bend
Typical useJoining monofilament nylon line
ABoK #295, #345, #1413

A blood knot (barrel knot) is a bend knot most usefully employed for joining sections of monofilament nylon line while maintaining a high portion of the line's inherent strength. Other knots used for this purpose can cause a substantial loss of strength. In fly fishing, this serves to build a leader of gradually decreasing diameter with the castable fly line attached at the large diameter end and the fly or hook at the small diameter end. The principal drawback to the blood knot is the dexterity required to tie it. It is also likely to jam, which is not a concern in fishing line, which is no great loss to cut, but may be a concern in normal rope. "Blood knot" may refer to "a double overhand knot tied in a cat-o'-nine-tails." [1]


The barrel knot, called blood knot by Keith Rollo, is the best bend there is for small, stiff or slippery line. The ends may be trimmed short and the knot offers the least resistance possible when drawn through water.

A half blood knot (also clinch knot) is a knot that is used for securing a fishing line to a fishing lure, snap or swivel. When two half blood knots are used to join two lines they are considered as one knot and called a blood knot. A half blood knot is one of the strongest knots for tying a medium-size hook to a medium-size line such as hooksize 4 to 4/0 onto line size 6 lb to 30 lb. [3]

Tying the knot

In tying the blood knot, the two lines to be joined are overlapped for 6–8 cm with the short ends of the two lines in opposite directions. The short end of one line is then wrapped 4–6 times around the second line and the remaining portion of the first short end brought back and passed between the lines at the beginning of the wraps. The short end of the second line is then wrapped 4–6 times around the first line and the end of this line brought back and passed through what is now an oval space between the first wrap of each set.

Blood knot step by step BloodKnot HowTo.jpg
Blood knot step by step

The above method has been called by Stanle Barnes (Anglers' Knots in Gut & Nylon, 2nd ed., 1951) "outcoil", and is contrasted with the method that resembles the finished knot from the start, "incoil". In fishing line, and in other material if not deliberately set snug and maybe re-set after some initial tensioning, the outcoil form will transform into the incoil form.

The knot is tightened by moistening it and pulling on the long ends of the line. This causes the wraps to tighten and compress, creating two short sections of "barrel", which look much like a hangman's knot, that slide together. The short ends of the line are then trimmed close to the wraps, or one of the ends may be left intact to be used for a second fly or lure, called a "dropper".

See also

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Knot Method of fastening or securing linear material

A knot is an intentional complication in cordage which may be practical or decorative, or both. Practical knots are classified by function, including hitches, bends, loop knots, and splices: a hitch fastens a rope to another object; a bend fastens two ends of a rope to each another; a loop knot is any knot creating a loop, and a splice is a any multi-strand knot, including bends and loops. A knot may also refer, in the strictest sense, to a stopper or knob at the end of a rope to keep that end from slipping through a grommet or eye. Knots have excited interest since ancient times for their practical uses, as well as their topological intricacy, studied in the area of mathematics known as knot theory.

Fishing line thin flexible string or line intended for angling

A fishing line is a cord used or made for angling. Fishing line is generally as durable as and comparable to a string. Important parameters of a fishing line are its length, material, and weight. Factors that may determine what line an angler chooses for a given fishing environment include breaking strength, knot strength, UV resistance, castability, limpness, stretch, abrasion resistance, and visibility. Most modern lines are made from nylon, braided polymers, or silk.

A whipping knot or whipping is a binding of marline twine or whipcord around the end of a rope to prevent its natural tendency to fray. The whipping can be made neat and permanent by tying it off or sewing the ends of the twine through the rope. According to The Ashley Book of Knots, "The purpose of a whipping is to prevent the end of a rope from fraying ... A whipping should be, in width, about equal to the diameter of the rope on which it is put ... [Two sailmaker's whippings], a short distance apart, are put in the ends of every reef point, where the constant "whipping" against the sail makes the wear excessive; this is said to be the source of the name whipping." The other type of stopping knot is a seizing knot.

Pile hitch

The pile hitch is a kind of hitch, which is a knot used for attaching rope to a pole or other structure. The pile hitch is very easy to tie and can be tied in the bight, without access to either end of the rope, making it a valuable tool.

Diamond knot

The diamond knot is a knot for forming a decorative loop on the end of a cord such as on a lanyard. A similar knot, also called the diamond knot, is a multistrand stopper knot, that is similar in appearance. To avoid confusion, it is advisable to call this knot the knife lanyard knot. This knot is a four strand diamond knot implemented in two strands. The knife lanyard knot is "tied alike" the Chinese button knot, "but they are worked differently."

The sailor's knife lanyard knot, also called marling-spike lanyard knot, single-strand diamond knot, two-strand diamond knot, and Bosun's whistle knot.

Cats paw (knot) Hitch knot

The Cat's paw is a knot used for connecting a rope to an object. It is very similar to the cow hitch except there is an additional twist on each side of the bight, making it less prone to slipping.

The cat's-paw is the common hook hitch for slings. It is the same basic form as the bale sling hitch but has additional twists. Brady says "two or three altogether," and Steel, who mentioned the name in 1794, says "three twists." It is the best of all sling hitches and is often recommended for a slippery rope. But no hitch can slip when tied in a slings since it has no ends. All that is needed is a hitch that cannot jam, and this requirement the cat's-paw fills admirably. The knot spills instantly when removed from the hook. It is the hitch always used for heavy lifts.

Sheet bend bend knot

The sheet bend is a bend. It is practical for joining lines of different diameter or rigidity.

Buntline hitch hitch knot

The buntline hitch is a knot used for attaching a rope to an object. It is formed by passing the working end around an object, then making a clove hitch around the rope's standing part and taking care that the turns of the clove hitch progress towards the object rather than away from it. Secure and easily tied, the buntline hitch will jam when subjected to extreme loads. Given the knot's propensity to jam, it is often made in slipped form.

The buntline hitch, when bent to a yard, makes a more secure knot than two half hitches, but is more liable to jam. It differs from two half hitches in that the second half hitch is inside instead of outside the first one.

Ashleys stopper knot

Ashley's stopper knot, also known as the oysterman's stopper, is a knot developed by Clifford W. Ashley around 1910. It makes a well-balanced trefoil-faced stopper at the end of the rope, giving greater resistance to pulling through an opening than other common stoppers. Essentially, the knot is a common overhand noose, but with the end of the rope passing through the noose eye, which closes upon it. It may be multiplied to form a larger knot with more than three bights appearing around the knot. It is the result of implementing a double wall knot in one strand.


A Prusik is a friction hitch or knot used to attach a loop of cord around a rope, applied in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, caving, rope rescue, ziplining, and by arborists. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is "to prusik". More casually, the term is used for any friction hitch or device that can grab a rope. Due to the pronunciation, the word is often misspelled Prussik, Prussick, or Prussic.

Two half-hitches type of knot

Two half-hitches is a type of knot, specifically a binding knot or hitch knot. One variety consists of an overhand knot tied around a post, followed by a half-hitch. This knot is less often referred to as a clove hitch over itself, double half-hitch, or full-hitch.

Two half hitches is the commonest of all hitches for mooring in particular and also for general utility. Steel gives the name in 1794. The difference between two half hitches and the clove hitch is that the former, after a single turn around a spar, is made fast around its own standing part, while the latter is tied directly around the spar.

Flemish bend

The Flemish bend, also known as a figure eight bend, a rewoven figure eight is a knot for joining two ropes of roughly similar size.

Nail knot

The nail knot, also known as the tube knot or gryp knot, is mostly used in carp and fly-fishing. The nail knot was named because a nail was inserted as a guide when threading the line. Today, it is easier to use a small straw. The nail knot is an important fishing knot used to join two lines of different diameters and allows for line diameters to diminish down to the fly. I.E., it is useful for attaching your backing to the fly line, and your fly line to the leader, or tippet. The knot can be tied in multiple ways and is uniform.

Double overhand knot type of stopper knot

The double overhand knot is simply an extension of the regular overhand knot, made with one additional pass. The result is slightly larger and more difficult to untie. It forms the first part of the surgeon's knot and both sides of a double fisherman's knot. The strangle knot is a rearranged double overhand knot made around an object. It is sometimes used to secure items to posts. According to The Ashley Book of Knots, "A double overhand knot tied in a cat-o'-nine-tails is termed a blood knot."

Uni knot

The uni knot is a multi purpose fishing knot that can be used for attaching the fishing line to the arbor of a reel, for joining lines, and for attaching lures, snaps, and swivels.

Shoelace knot type of knot with two loops, used to tie together two cords such as shoelaces or apron strings, and frequently used as decoration, such as in gift-wrapping

The shoelace knot, or bow knot, is commonly used for tying shoelaces and bow ties.

Double overhand noose

The double overhand noose is a very secure hitch knot. It might be used by cavers and canyoneers to bind a cow tail or a foot loop to a carabiner.

Carrick bend loop

A carrick bend loop or carrick loop is a knot used to make a reliable and stable loop at the end of a rope formed by the tail turned around and attached to the main part using a carrick bend.

Chinese button knot

Chinese button knot is essentially a diamond knot where the lanyard loop is shortened to a minimum, i.e. tightened to the knot itself. There emerges therefore only two lines next to each other from the knot: the beginning and the end. The knot has traditionally been used as a button on clothes in Asia, thus the name.

The Chinese Button Knot is worn throughout China on underwear and night clothes. Buttons of this sort are more comfortable to lie on and to rest against than common bone and composition buttons, and they cannot be broken even by the laundry.

A Chinese tailor ties the knot without guide, flat on his table. But one may be more quickly and easily tied in hand by a modification of the sailor’s method of tying his knife lanyard knot (#787). The two knots are tied alike, but they are worked differently.


  1. Ashley, Clifford W. (1944). The Ashley Book of Knots, p.82. Doubleday. ISBN   0-385-04025-3.
  2. Ashley, Clifford W. (1944). The Ashley Book of Knots, p.259. Doubleday. ISBN   0-385-04025-3.
  3. Geoff Wilson (2003). Encyclopedia of Fishing Knots & Rigs. Australian Fishing Network. ISBN   1865130400.