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Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 08/27/2012 (9689 reads)
I can’t remember who taught me how to tie my shoelaces, but I can remember my Dad teaching me how to tie a hook to my line with an Improved Clinch Knot. Something that has stuck with me for a long time and still one of the most frequently tied knots used in fly-fishing.

My least favorite knot is the Damn Blood Knot (DBK) among it’s many names I have given it and the least offensive I can put in the blog. I have tied more Improved Clinch Knots, but have spent more time with the DBK. Used for joining two similar sized lines it provides a strong low profile knot for attaching tippet. Being all thumbs, the DBK is for someone with more fingers. So I am not sure why I ever got started using the DBK. I would normally blame my friend Ron for that kind of pain, but since he just sent me about six-dozen flies he is the smartest guy I know right!

Beginning with our reel the Arbor Knot is the best way to secure your backing line to the reel. The Albright Knot is most commonly used to secure your backing line to the fly line. Connecting your fly line to leader the Nail Knot provides strong low profile knot between the two different size materials. Now we are at the back to the DBK when joining the leader and tippet. At this point you can also use a Surgeons Knot, which is also good when joining different size monofilaments.

Which brings us back to attaching our fly to the tippet and our Improved Clinch Knot. The Improved Clinch Knot is fast and secure especially for smaller flies. For a little more security the Trilene Knots could be good for larger streamers.

The best site to learn how to tie all the fun up is Animated Knots by Grog™. All the knots on his site are shown in an easy to learn step by step visualization.
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Published: 2010/3/17 14:06  Updated: 2010/3/17 14:12
Joined: 04/25/2007
Comments: 1424
 Tangled up in blue
Yea, the blood for the uninitiated can be a pain but it is vaulable.
(took me alittle while to get proficent at it)

A thing that helped was a block of wood with two nails that are removable- this will really help in tying a good knot and makes it easier to do so.

The blood knot is very helpful for creating droppers too.

I can tie nail knots but not very well and I need the tool (I use the one that looks like a pen) but it is something I only do a couple times a year though. Luckily, I can do tie it in the comfortable enviroment of home.

Felt like child when David tied one for me one day- I probably could have done it but I know he could tie it faster and time was a wastin'.

Triple surgeons too when I am in a hurry.

Been using the improved clinch for line to fly.
Published: 2010/3/18 9:59  Updated: 2010/3/18 9:59
Joined: 02/17/2009
From: Landisville
Comments: 77
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK
It always seems I have no problem tying the blood knot at home when I practice on a spool of mono, over and over and over. But when i'm out on the stream in January or February trying to tie it for the first time in the season and my fingers are numb and slow its not a knot I like to tie at all!
Published: 2010/3/20 21:35  Updated: 2010/3/20 21:35
Joined: 06/08/2008
From: Westmoreland County
Comments: 302
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK
Is there an advantage to using blood knots over surgeons knots? I normally tie the latter.

Animated knots by grog is a great site to learn.
Published: 2010/3/21 10:25  Updated: 2010/3/21 10:25
Joined: 09/08/2006
Comments: 1974
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK

A surgeons knot is often used to tie lines of difference size. A blood knot does this too, but not as great of a difference. The blood knot provides a smaller knot when tied by someone other than me.
Published: 2012/8/27 9:34  Updated: 2012/8/27 9:34
Joined: 10/17/2007
From: florida
Comments: 2947
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK
As with most knots practice is the best teacher. Like the fellow who wanted a job as a mate on a fishing boat. The captain showed him a haywire twist. He then handed the wannabe a coil of wire and said"when you can make one like this your hired".
I still believe that the Uni knot system is superior to a bunch of knots that all require different wrapping techniques to get the same results that the Uni provides.The key is ,can you tie it in the dark?
Published: 2012/8/27 12:58  Updated: 2012/8/27 12:58
Joined: 05/18/2010
From: Leola, PA
Comments: 51
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK
I greatly prefer the Surgeon's knot when tying on the stream; I can do it about 20X faster.

I do prefer the blood knot when time is not a factor or when I want to tie a dropper off the tag end because it holds the dropper fly more perpendicular to the main line.

I generally use a double Surgeon's knot and I have never failed one on a fish. Typically the joint is 4X tippet to 5X or 5X to 6X ; rarely 4X directly to 6X.

Has anyone noted an appreciable advantage of a triple Surgeon's beyond the double Surgeon's? I was thinking that triple was probably a good idea as the diameter difference increases between the two lines being joined.
Published: 2012/8/27 19:20  Updated: 2012/8/27 19:20
Joined: 06/12/2011
From: Newville, PA
Comments: 290
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK
The blood knot was never really a problem for me when I smoked. Just insert cigarette between the lined and spin. When smokes hit 60 cents a pack, I had to learn the hard way. I've tried a lot of tools, but find the Dennison tool works great for me.
Published: 2012/8/29 12:27  Updated: 2012/8/29 12:27
Joined: 10/18/2006
From: Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Comments: 366
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK
Keys to a blood Knot:

twist 4 times

stick one end through

twist 4 more times

put tension on the tag end already in the middle and stick the other tag end through the opposite way.

End of DBK!

(I use my teeth to hold the tag end in the middle of the knot... or if you hang around the river fishing for WW fish enough you can grow a 3rd arm to do this)
Published: 2013/1/24 6:42  Updated: 2013/1/24 6:42
Joined: 08/15/2011
Comments: 12
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Knots and the DBK
I see from the Animated Knots by Grog, that I had been taught much more complex ways :) I had a variety of teachers, and they were given all easy, and with my sausages-fingers, it was always much more difficult. Now, really think that later retrained. I'm used to do it hard.

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