How to Tie a Surgeon’s Loop Knot: Step-by-Step Guide

The surgeon’s loop knot is one of the quickest and easiest fly fishing knots to tie when you need a loop to connect your leader to your fly line or to a fly.

It’s a different version of the surgeon’s knot you would use to join two pieces of fishing line together and consist of basically a double overhand knot with a double line, so super easy and quick to create.

How To Tie Surgeon’s Loop Knot

how to tie a surgeons loop

Step 1

First, double your line at the end of your leader. Take the end and create a loop by coming back towards the standing line.

Step 2

Now pass the end of the double line through the loop and around the outside of one side of the loop two times. This is when you create the double overhand knot.

Step 3

Pass the end of the line out the loop and then wet the knot and pull on the standing line to tighten. You’ve just tied a surgeon’s loop knot, how quick and easy was that? It’s going to become one of your favorite knot options, I can tell, it happened to me.


  • When creating the initial loop in Step 1, make sure to control the size of the loop so it’s not too big for your fishing needs.
  • If you’re tying this knot to join a fly to the end, make sure you have made the loop as small as possible – this can be quite hard and the trick is to use a small a loop as possible.

Here is a video for you to watch so you can follow the steps and see them in real-time.

How strong is a surgeon’s loop knot?

When tied correctly the surgeon’s loop knot is actually pretty strong measuring in at around 90% knot strength. Anyone who says they are 100% strong is telling fibs, as all knots create week points.

A 90% knot strength is pretty amazing in the world of knots, but how does this translate to your fishing line? 90% knot strength means the knot will break at 90% of your lines lb test.

So if you’re using a 10lb line with a surgeon’s loop knot, the surgeon’s loop will break at 9lbs of pressure.

How do you tie a double surgeon’s loop?

To tie a double surgeon’s loop you simply follow the instructions laid out above. A double surgeon’s loop is just another name for the surgeon’s loop, and the key to remembering this is in the double overhand knot required to create it.

How do you tie a triple surgeon’s loop?

How do you tie a triple surgeon's loop

To tie triple surgeon’s loop knots you need to follow the steps above but instead of wrapping the end in and around the loop two times, you do it three times. This makes an even stronger surgeon’s loop and it may be used when fishing for bigger fish with more power like bass instead of trout.

How do you tie a hook to the surgeon’s loop?

If you want to join a fly to your leader with one of these knots, you need to add the fly before you double the line in Step 1. Be sure to make the loop large enough to wrap the fly around twice, but small enough so you don’t end up with a loop bigger than your fly holding on to it.

Personally, I would never be tying these knots when adding a fly to my leader as the loop size at the end is too hard to control and if it is too big when used it will put a fish off most of the time.

Stick with a Kreh non-slip loop knot for trout fishing or a perfection loop knot when fishing in saltwater.

See our post here on how to tie an easy snell knot so you can have a step by step guide.

What is a surgeon’s loop good for?

What is a surgeon's loop good for?

The surgeon’s loop knots have a few uses but they are the perfect knot for creating a loop on your leader line so you can join it to the welded loop on your fly fishing line with a loop to loop knot.

The knot can also be used to attach a hook, lure, or fly, but remember what I said about loop size control above.

Another great thing about this type of surgeon’s knot is that it can be used when fishing with braid, mono, and fluoro. But this knot should not be used to connect braid to mono or fluoro as the braid will pull and bit into the mono/fluoro and most likely end up breaking the fishing line.

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Jamie Melvin

Growing up fly fishing on trout streams in Kenya and the UK, Jamie has traveled the world in search of fly fishing nirvana. From his time managing bonefish lodges in the Bahamas and running fishing safaris in East Africa, all the way to guiding on the flats of Seychelles, there aren't many species or environments he hasn't experienced firsthand.

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