Some of the most common rigging mistakes we see at our lodges involve knots that haven’t been lubricated well. Two of the knots that we use most frequently – the blood knot, for attaching sections of leader together, and the non-slip mono loop, for tying on a fly – really need to be lubricated well in order to seat correctly. Knots that don’t seat correctly are weak.
There’s no reason to be stingy with the lubrication! Most folks use saliva, which works amazingly well. After you’ve formed your knot and before you pull it tight, get plenty of saliva in your mouth, and pull all sections of the knot through it. Particularly with heavier mono (say if you’re using a blood knot to attach 25 pound Maxima to 20 pound Maxima), your mouth really needs to be wet to get the knot well lubricated.
If you’re tying a bunch of knots off the water – a classic case would be tying your own leaders for flats fishing – it doesn’t hurt at all to have a little ‘dunk tank’ set up to get your knots really wet. That’s Bruce Chard’s preferred method when he’s hand tying his leaders for bonefishing.
It’s an easy step, all too often overlooked. Get that knot good and slobbery before you pull it tight!