Video: Clinch Knot vs. Improved Clinch Knot


The first knot that most anglers learn is the clinch knot, and then they move on to the improved clinch. But is the latter always better than the former? I mean, it does say “improved” right in the name. However, not everyone agrees. In this video, Ben Baxter from Anglers All in Colorado walks you through both knots and talks a bit about when to use each. The regular ol’ clinch works best with light tippets and small flies. In fact, lots of fishermen will tell you that the standard clinch is stronger than the improved version when you’re using anything under 5X. For large-gauge hooks, however, the improvement is necessary, as a standard clinch is sure to slip.

7 thoughts on “Video: Clinch Knot vs. Improved Clinch Knot”

  1. And, as weird as it sounds, the straight clinch uses a little less tippet. I am amused to note that a lot of visiting fishermen don’t change flies as often as they could because they don’t want to use up tippet !! $500 a day to stay at a lodge, $ 200 for a guide and they flinch at $2 worth of tippet. In the Western Maine mountains where I guide we catch some decent Brook Trout and Landlocked Salmon. I don’t have breakoffs due to the knot.

  2. I’ve never had an issue using a standard clinch knot even with thicker diameter line. For bass I almost always fish 0X at a minimum, and sometimes 20lb line if I’m fishing near heavy structure, never had an issue with the standard knot either slipping or breaking. For trout, I use standard size tippets and I’ve never had a knot fail short of getting it hung on a rock (or something).

    The biggest thing with knots is practice, practice on bigger stuff (like paracord) to get the method down and then tie the knots on the line you actually fish with. The rule of thumb is the thicker the line the less turns you need, and the thinner the line the more turns you’ll need; unless you’re fishing with super-thick or stiff line (line for saltwater species, or bigger freshwater species like pike), the standard clinch is all you’ll ever need (in addition to a good loop knot, I just use a perfection loop).

    1. My only comment to this is I think if you match the hook eye to the tippet size you can use the straight clinch. But if using a large eyed hook with smaller tippets I would go to the improved version.

  3. I use a standard clinch knot on everything except for when my line diameter is not proportionately large enough for the eye of the hook. For example, for 5x on size 14 dry, or 20lb maxima on size 2/0 streamer, a clinch knot works great. But tying 5x on a large (size 6) nymph tends to slip with a standard clinch, and necessitates an improved.

  4. I use the improved knot 90% of the time. I first snug the knot down to the hook eye to ensure the knot is well seated and then tug on the tag end to ensure it is tight. Improper seating to my mind is the main reason for knot failure.

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