The Arbor Knot

The arbor knot is an essential knot to learn because you will frequently need to replace your fishing line with fresh line. This application needs a knot that will not slip on the arbor so that when you reel in the line it won't slip. The arbor knot actually slips tightly down on the arbor, and becomes tighter when you pull on the line. Trust me, if you try to use a double Overhand Knot you will get slippage of your fishing line on the arbor.

Understanding Knot Terms

There are several terms used when describing tying fishing knots, marine knots, and other types of knots. Two basic terms uses when describing how to tie all knots are:

  • Standing End
  • Working End
The working end is the end of the rope or fishing string that you are actually working with. You are usually not working with both ends of the fishing line. When tying your shoes you are in reality working with both ends of your shoe string so both ends would be considered working ends. With fishing line you normally have one end you are working with and the other end is usually fastened to the arbor, hook or lure. The standing end is the end of the line tied to the arbor. The standing part is the part of the line from the standing end to the knot. Remember these definitions when reviewing how to tie 10 favorite knots.

Understand the Working End

When beginning to learn to tie fishing knots, you will need to learn to leave enough extra line on your working end to finish the knot. With practice you will learn to estimate this very closely. As you progress through tying the knot you will quickly learn to tell if you will run out of line on your working end. Sometimes you will need to just start over because you will not have started with enough extra line on the working end to finish the knot. The rope used in these pictures is of course much bigger than fishing line - as a result the knots are much bigger.

Tying the Arbor Knot

Arbor Knot Arbor Knot Step One

When attaching fishing line to fishing reels keep in mind how you are going to wind the line onto the reel. If doing it manually (most often this is the case when done at home) you will need to feed the line onto the reel in the manner it comes off the reel and to the fishing pole itself. You will want to open the bail on a spinning reel. You will want to feed the line through the line guide of a bait casting reel. After doing this feed the working end of the fishing line around the arbor of your reel and then lay over top of the standing part of the line as in the picture above.

Arbor Knot Arbor Knot Step Two

After looping the working end under the standing part, form an acual loop by passing the working end over the top of the standing part and over the working end that is coming from the other side of the arbor. You will not have to keep this loop very long as you will very quickly move to the third step.

Arbor Knot Arbor Knot Step Three

This knot is really taking shape now. Pass the working end one time around the loop that you formed in step one. Pull the working end out and away from the loop far enough to make an overhand knot near the end of the fishing line.

Arbor Knot Step Four

Step four is the next to last step before tightening this knot down onto the arbor. As close to the actual end of your working end of the fishing line form an overhand knot. Tighten this overhand knot down tightly. You are now ready to tighten the loop formed in steps 2-3. Pull the standing end of the fishing line and the knot will slide tightly against the arbor. This knot will hug the arbor and resist slippage. The overhand knot made in step four will slide against the knot made in steps 2 and 3 acting as a lock to keep the whole knot from coming apart.

Arbor Knot Final Step - Tighten

The final step is to finish the knot. Shown in this final picture is the knot made with a green rope for better viewing. Remember using a typical fishing line these knots will be very small, and with the stretch of line will tightly hug the arbor and be out of the way for spooling the reel.