How to Tie a Snell Knot: A 3 Step Guide

the snell knot

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The snell knot, a time-honored fishing knot, has been around since when many hooks didn’t come with an eye. Today, it’s a trusted ally for anglers across the globe, especially in multiple hook rigs or when tying a leader to circle hooks.

Mastering the snell knot might require a touch of patience, but the reward – a solid hook-up – is worth every second. Let’s get started.

How To Tie A Snell Knot

Step 1

Begin by threading your leader line through the eye of the hook. Next, loop the tag end behind the hook, threading it back through the eye. This creates a loop alongside the shank of the hook.

Step 2

Hold the double line along the hook shank, wrapping the created loop over the top and around the shank. Repeat this with the tag end for about 6 to 7 turns.

Step 3

To secure the snell knot, pull only on the standing line while tightening. This causes your wraps to constrict around the hook shank. Congratulations, you’ve tied a snell knot!

Tips For Tying A Snell Knot

  • When forming the initial loop, make it large enough to easily wrap around the hook. This ensures a more efficient knot-tying experience.
  • When tying a multiple hook rig, keep a long tag end. This allows for the addition of more hooks down the line. Be aware, though, this makes the snell knot slightly more challenging to tie.
  • Practice makes perfect. Keep practicing, and you’ll soon be tying snell knots with ease.

For a visual guide, check out this helpful YouTube video that walks you through the steps.


What is the purpose of a snell knot?

The snell knot securely attaches a fishing line to a hook. It’s celebrated for its strength and relative simplicity.

What is the best way to tie a snell knot?

The best way to tie a snell knot is to wrap the line around the shank of the hook at least three times, then thread the end of the line through the first turn, creating a loop. Finally, thread the end of the line through the loop and pull tight.

Should I use a snell knot?

Absolutely! The snell knot is robust, reliable, and relatively easy to tie. It’s a fantastic choice for anglers of all experience levels.

Is a snell knot stronger than a Palomar Knot?

Are snell knots strong?

Yes. While the Palomar Knot is easier to tie and often recommended for beginners, the snell knot is generally considered stronger.

Why would you use a Snell knot?

The snell knot is ideal for securing a leader to a hook without an eye, or when using circle hooks. The knot’s design ensures a straight pull, leading to a more effective hook set.

What hooks can you use with a Snell knot?

The snell knot is versatile and can be used with any hooks. However, it pairs best with circles, octopus hooks, or hooks without an eye. The combined design of these hooks and the snell knot ensures efficient penetration.

What types of lines can you tie a Snell knot with?

The snell knot is adaptable and works with any line type, including braid, monofilament, and fluorocarbon lines.

When would you use a Snell knot in fishing?

Snell knots are a favorite among anglers flipping and pitching for bass, bait fishing for catfish, using drop shots or Texas and snapper rigs, and more. It’s also excellent for bottom fishing for snapper with a multiple hook rig.

Feel like learning another knot? Check out our comprehensive guide on tying a davy knot.

When would you use a Snell knot in fishing?

Final Thoughts

Mastering the snell knot is a worthwhile addition to your fishing skills set. Remember, practice makes perfect. Before long, you’ll be tying snell knots like a seasoned pro, ensuring more successful catches and memorable fishing trips. Why not give it a try on your next fly fishing adventure?

Ready to dive deeper into the world of fly fishing? Download our series of fly fishing books to expand your knowledge and skills. Happy fishing!

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