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Two Fishermen’s Knots

By Jeff McGovern

Knot tying is an essential fishing skill and there are entire books written about fishing knots.  I am going to concentrate here on two lesser-known knots that I use constantly in saltwater, as well as freshwater fishing.

 

1. Surgeons Knot

I use this for attaching a leader to my main line.  It works for both mono and the new super lines.  For best results when using a super line (such as Fireline, Power Pro, Spiderwire, etc.), double the line before tying in the leader.  This will give the connection more bite and it will hold much better. I normally use 10lb to 30lb leaders (mono or fluorocarbon) and tie to either 8 to 20 lb mono or 8 to 30lb super line.
With a properly tied leader, you can fish with less connection hardware such as clips or swivels.  It creates a connection point to the fish that is tougher to break than the main line and, in some cases, is less visible to the fish, and is a great handle when landing the fish.  I depend on this connection and it has not failed.

1_Surgeons_knot

1. Lay the two lines side by side.

 

2_Surgeons_knot

2. Tie an overhand knot pulling the leader line (green) through the loop.

 

3_Surgeons_knot

3. Make three more passes for a total of four

 

4_Surgeons_knot

4. Wet the knot and pull it tight.

 

5_Surgeons_knot

5. Trim the tag ends.

 

6_Surgeons_knot

6. Done!

Photos: Kate McGovern

 

2. Canoe Man’s Knot

 

This knot is credited to the late Merrill Chandler, known for his pioneering efforts saltwater canoe fishing in Florida.   It is a loop knot for connecting a hook, lure, or jig to the leader.  Loop knots allow the bait or lure to move more freely in the water column making them more attractive to fish.
This one is super easy and does not use up long lengths of leader each time it is retied.  I use this knot as my leader to lure connection most of the time and, as with the Surgeons Knot, it has never failed me when properly tied.

Both knots should be wet before being pulled snug.  This allows the knot to seat better and be more secure.  It also protects the line from heat friction damage during tightening.  This is especially important when using fluorocarbon leader material.

The pictures show how to tie the knots.  Practice makes perfect and these two knots are well worth the time and effort.  Master them and they will be simple and effective additions to your fishing knot arsenal.

 

1_Canoeman's_loop

1. Put the leader through the eye of the lure about three inches.

 

2_Canoeman's_loop

2. Form two backwards loops toward the lure in the leader.

 

3_Canoeman's_loop

3. Push the second loop through the first.

 

4_Canoeman's_loop

4. Put the tag end from the lure through the loop that passed through the first loop.

 

5_Canoeman's_loop

5. Wet the knot tighten while holding the tag end this allows the loop to be sized

 

6_Canoeman's_loop

6. Trim the tag end.

 

 Copyright © Jeff McGovern, 2007

Read more about Jeff’s kayak fishing trips and observations »

Wavewalk 300 Kayak Big Game Bow Hunter

This is a review of a Wavewalk™ kayak from the 300 series manufactured between 2004-2010
Go to the updated list of recent fishing kayak reviews »

By Scott Johnson,

Minnesota

-“I got the W out the night received. I took it to a small lake. It was windy.  Really liked being in it – felt safe and easily stood and paddled. It took me more time to get used to lean turning.
The second time I had the Wavewalk out for a short paddle though on a small lake I landed along a steep rocky drop-off, had the Wavewalk in water sideways to the edge, extremely impressed how stable it is getting in and out, this would have been a nightmare landing in a kayak.

I have owned a fishing and diving sit-on-top kayak, a sit-in recreational kayak, canoes and a small plastic bass boat, so I know what their shortcomings are. I got rid of them all.

Safety first always – I take dry clothes, towel in waterproof bag. I also have a wetsuit I either wear or have with me. To begin with I just float along with the current and I don’t try going over any submerged logs or anything risky.  The reason it is practical to hunt with the W is because the deer like to bed right along the edge of the river and they are not used to any predator or hunters on the water.
I planned to catch a big whitetail buck snoozing, taking a shot most likely in the riding position, but it’s nice to know you could stand if necessary.

I tell people the W is genuine fun, and how many things are actually fun anymore anyway?

I wasn’t sure I’d shoot a deer right away but I knew it would be fun to try.
Trophy whitetail hunting is a pretty tough sport, in average one big buck about every six years, so they aren’t easy to come by.

Along with bow hunting my license allows me to hunt with a muzzleloader, starting the weekend before Thanksgiving and running 15 days, that’s when it’s starting to freeze along the edges but not the main channel.  By then the river level gets quite low, thus making it much safer.

I like to go down a few miles of river with my recurve bow, no sights. A recurve bow can be shot very quickly, just relying on your instincts for aim.  With a little positive thinking anything is possible.

My dad said when he was a boy you could skip a rock across the river, some of the places now are over a hundred yards wide.
The high water has really eroded all of the banks and what’s left is very muddy in most places.  The W tracks great in the current and holds its own against the strong northwest wind.

I take my W paddle and a push pole.”

Dammed_river_Scott_01

Fallen tree across river stream

-“I came around a bend and heard water rushing, once again I was able to work my way on top of the obstacle, walk forward and slowly slide the WW off the dam and safely on my way!”-“This tree across the river was no problem, all I had to do was paddle up on it as far as I could, slide forward and away I went!”

“What a way to hunt, the deer have no idea what’s up.  This is where the Wavewalk outshines all other crafts you can hunt of.
My last outing was 4 hours and my back felt great.  If I’d been in either of my old kayaks, I would have had a hard time just trying to stand up straight.”

Scott's hunting and fishing cabin in the woods by the river

Scott's trophy room

-“Twenty years ago when I was young this was my cabin in the woods down by the river. At least 30 feet has eroded just in the last five years, unfortunately it got flooded and it’s full of mold.  The old farmer who hauled the granary down in the woods told me -“Johnson, It will never flood that cabin”, he was wrong.”-“My better half won’t let me have my deer heads upstairs, so here is my ‘room’…”

Hunting Kayak - Scott Johnson, MN

Scott’s Deer Bow Hunting W Kayak.

Note the rod holders’ role as quiver.
Hunting bow kayak cockpit

-“There’s  plenty of room for my bow, and it’s right there  in reach, cockpit is long enough  that I can easily keep my paddling from interfering with  my equipment.”

Perfect spot

-“I found a spot where you could smell the rutting whitetail buck, they absolutely stink when they are breeding. The river once made a big loop and the water cut through the banks and made a large bayou with an island in the middle, there was a channel leading to it through the willows..”

W fishing and hunting kayak by the river

-“The wavewalk opens up a lot of spots for hunting that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.  It’s easy to land on a sandbar, step out the front, pull it up so it won’t drift away, all very quietly.  Then sneaking up the bank looking over the edge into the woods, bow in hand ready to go.  Can’t get any better than that! ”

Deer

-“The deer never even knew I was there.  Didn’t see any deer with antlers but had a great time!”

Landed W kayak - Minnesota

-“The W is great for sneaking down small creeks and rivers”
Scott's launching and landing spot by the river

-“This is my pickup truck, near the bridge. This would have been a tough landing with a kayak or canoe, not so with the W, and its light enough for one person to drag and fits in my shortbox…”