How To Tie A Snell Knot [And When You Should & Shouldn’t Use This Knot]

By: Tony Acevedo on December 20, 2017
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how to tie the snell knot

It’s knot time!

Fishing knots are a critical link between you and the fish.

Educating yourself with how to tie various types of knots can be very helpful in the long run.

Certain knots, such as the snell knot, are better suited for certain applications.

So, what is the snell knot and why is it an important knot to have in your arsenal?

The snell knot was very popular back in the day when hooks did not have an eye with a hole in it that you can pass a line through.

These hooks simply had what appeared to be a flat, circular “eye” at the end of the shank without a hole in it.


how to tie a snell knot

These hooks are only able to be tied to a line by using the snell knot, which does not require an opening in the eye of the hook.

Instead, the line is wrapped around the shank of the hook, forming a tightly coiled knot.

how to tie a snell knot

These types of hooks are still available today and most are very popular with flies for fly fishing.

Since most of today’s fishing hooks have holes in the eye to pass the line through to tie a knot, you may think the snell knot is pointless or unnecessary.

The truth is, it is still a very effective way to connect your leader or main line to your hook!

More specifically, the snell knot is very effective when used with circle hooks, octopus hooks, and creating a tandem hook rig, where one or multiple hooks are above one another.

how to tie a snell knot

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using the snell knot:

  • Allows for better hook sets – When used on an “Octopus Hook” (the eye is curved back), your line or leader stays in line with the shank of the hook.
  • Allows for better hook sets with Circle Hooks – The way the knot is rigged makes the circle hook turn into the fish’s lip more than a traditional knot would (as shown in the video below.
  • There is no knot above the eye of the hook, which can help eliminate any grass or debris from catching, as a knot above the eye would do.

Now there is one main disadvantage of the snell knot, and this is more of being aware of the species of fish you are targeting.

You want to avoid using this knot if targeting fish with sharp teeth.

how to tie a snell knot

Since the line is wrapping around the shank of the hook, this puts the line closer to the fish’s mouth.

If a tooth cuts or grazes any of the coils around the hook, you will end up losing your fish.

how to tie a snell knot

In the following video, I will be showing you a simple way to tie a snell knot.


How To Tie A Snell Knot [VIDEO]

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As you can see, this is a pretty simple knot to tie.

It may take a few attempts to get it right, but once you do, you will notice how strong and useful it can be.

Do you have any extra pointers for the snell knot?

Want to see other how-to videos for tying knots?

Let us know in the comments!

Fish on!

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Christopher HobbyTony AcevedoAnonymousRobert HicksSheldon Friedman Recent comment authors
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Christopher Hobby

👍🏻👌🏻Nice presentation. Thanks bud.


Good demonstration of how to tie a snell knot,simple and easy to understand

Robert Hicks

Great vid Tony as usual. Easy to follow using the larger line, and the reasons for using this knot makes good sense.

Sheldon Friedman

Very clear demonstration. Using the larger diam. yellow line/rope really helps make the demonstration easy to follow.
Thank you. Shelly Friedman, Bokeelia, FL