The Davy knot was invented years ago by a fly fisherman called Davy Wotton and is a very quick, simple, easy-to-tie knot to join your tippet material to your fly, hook or lure.
It’s a go-to knot in fly fishing when anglers fishing with small flies for small fish species like trout as it has great knot strength and is very small once tied.
You can use it with various tippet or leader line materials including fluoro and mono plus it takes less time to tie than an Orvis knot, clinch knot, and other loop knots.
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How To Tie The Davy Knot
Take the tag end of your mono or fluoro tippet and thread it through the eye of your hook or fly. Now take the tag end over the top of the main line making a loop and come through the loop making the beginnings of an overhand knot or a full half hitch knot.
Take the tag end and move it over the top of the bottom side of the loop, under it, and wrap it back through the loop. It should make a figure of eight at this point.
Hold the tag end and slowly pull the main line having lubricated the knot to reduce any friction until the end is tight against the eye of the hook. You must make sure the tag end sits 90 degrees onto the hook or fly when tying this knot so it maintains a solid connection or it could slip.
- Don’t be put off because this knot seems too easy and simple.
- If you practice this knot, you’ll be able to do it at an amazing speed
- When tying the Davy knot, the tag must sit taught against the eye of the hook at 90 degrees when you finish.
Here is a video with a tip or two explaining all the steps for tying the Davy knot.
How strong is the Davy knot?
When tied correctly, the Davy knot is super strong. In various tests when it was put under pressure, the knot had a strength of 85-99%, and for argument’s sake, we’ll say it has a strength of 90% of the pound test line used to tie it.
This means if you tied the Davy knot with a 10lb test line, the knot would break at 9lbs of pressure. This makes it stronger than clinch knots but not quite as strong as Orvis knots.
But it is smaller and quicker to tie than Orvis knots, and when targeting small fish, a few % of strength doesn’t mean that much.
What is the Davy knot used for?
The Davy knot is one of the most used knots in the fly fishing world, especially for attaching small flies to a small diameter line when catching trout.
The reason it’s so popular is that it’s strong, super fast to tie, and when tied is very small, meaning fish won’t see it and it doesn’t stand out on small flies like a clinch knot might.
You can tie the Davy knot with both mono or fluoro material but don’t fish it with braided lines as it will slip.
What is a double Davy knot?
The double Davy knot is an improved version of the Davy knot that makes the connection a little stronger and less likely to slip. It’s a little bigger than the Davy but it’s still a small knot you can use to connect a fly or hook to your line.
How do you tie a double Davy knot?
The is very little difference between the double and single Davy knot. To tie the double, follow the steps laid out above but in Step 3, pass the end over the top of the loop and back through it before tightening it down.
How strong is the double Davy?
The double davy is a touch stronger than the single hitting just over 90% when tested. This is thanks to the extra turn through the loop that makes it more secure.
What is the strongest loop knot for fishing?
Since the Davy is on a loop knot, you might prefer fishing with a loop knot and be wondering which is the strongest.
This depends on what size lines you’re using. If you’re fishing for trout with a 10lb line or smaller than a surgeon’s loop or a Kreh non-slip loop is your best bet. If you’re fishing with a heavier line then the perfection loop is what I’d recommend.
See our page here for a full breakdown of all the fly fishing knots you need for different types of fly fishing trips.