Fly Fishing Knots - The Improved Clinch Knot

Fly fishing knots the improved clinch knot

Improved Clinch Knot - Joe Mahler

The improved clinch, to me. Is the ’57 Chevy of knots. There are sleeker and stronger knots, but this one is the classic. When properly tied, seated, and tightened, the improved clinch works well with smaller diameter lines. It does not test as strong as some other tippet-to-fly knots, but many guides favour it because they can tie it quickly and more consistently than other, more complicated knots. In fact, many argue that the even easier clinch, which only requires passing the tag through the loop closest to the eye of the fly and not the large loop, is stronger, especially with fluorocarbon tippets. Try both and see what works best for you.  

Fly Fishing Knots the improved clinch knot

1. Thread The line through the eye of the hook and begin to wrap it around the standing line.


Fly Fishing knots

2. Make a total of five turns around the standing line and pass the tag through the loop that was formed near the eye.


3. Pass the tag through the second, larger loop that is now formed. Lubricate and pull gently on the tag to pull the knot together. Make sure that the coils do not overlap.


fly fishing knots

4. Tighten by pulling on both the standing line and the tag. Trim the tag.


This knot and many more are featured in "Essential Knots & Rigs for Trout" by Joe Mahler available here on Amazon

fly fishing knots


Reading next

Bearhawk fly fishing fly rods
Fly rod breakage

Choose the right fly rod

Take our quick quiz and we'll find the perfect fly rod for you!

Find my perfect fly rod