Fishing Knots

How to Tie a Blood Knot

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blood knot finished tying

The Blood Knot is another quick and easy fishing knot for joining two lines like a braided main line to a fluorocarbon leader. The blood knot is basically two cinch knots tied in unison to each other and pulled tight while managing two sets of wraps. It’s a fairly strong joining knot and once you get the hang of it, it’s a quick knot to tie as well.

When to tie a blood knot

The blood knot, also known as a barrel knot, is best used with joining lines of equal diameter or close to equal diameter. I know anglers that fish mono and will tie a fluoro leader to the end of it with a blood knot to make the line closest to their lure more invisible. That way they don’t have to use a whole spool of fluoro on every reel and still have the low cost and stretch of monofilament for certain things.

Blood Knot tips

As is the case with any knot, you want to be sure you think about managing your wraps as you tighten down both sides of the line-joining blood knot. If you want to make the connection a little stronger, use 5-7 wraps. You can get away with 4 wraps, but 5 will give it much more strength. Once you get past 7 wraps you don’t get much more strength and it gets harder to manage all those wraps as you tighten it all down.

Pull the knot tight slowly. This way you can manage the wraps coming together. You’re basically tying a cinch knot on each side and then passing the tag ends through an opened created between the two sets of wraps. You’ll see it come together as you tie it a few times and it will make sense to you if you’ve tied a lot of cinch knots.

How to Tie a Blood Knot

Tying the blood knot is fairly straight forward. You basically lay the two lines parallel to each other and then wrap the tag end on one side 5 times, wrap the tag end on the other side 5 times, then pass the two tag ends in the opening between the two sets of wraps and pull tight while managing your wraps.

Heres the step by step rundown on tying a blood knot.

lines parallel to each other

STEP 1 – LAY THE LINES PARALLEL

Start by lying the two lines parallel to each other, leaving enough tag end to wrap several times around the other line and pass back through the middle of the two lines.

STEP 2 – WRAP ONE SIDE 5-7 TIMES

Next wrap one tag end 5 to 7 times around the other line and pinch the wraps to hold in place while you move to wrapping the other side of the joining knot.

STEP 3 – WRAP THE OTHER SIDE

Now wrap the other tag end around the other line and grab both tag ends and pass the tag end between the two lines between the two sets of wraps.

STEP 4 – PASS TAG ENDS THROUGH THE MIDDLE

Pass the other tag end through the opening between the two lines between the two sets of wraps.

blood knot finished tying

STEP 5 – CAREFULLY PULL TIGHT 

Now begin to tighten the knot, being careful to push the wraps on each side together while keeping them uniform and in inline. Continue tightening until the knot is snugging on itself from both sides. Pull your tag ends tight and pull your lines tight and then cut the tag ends off short once you’re sure your knot is tight and holding the join.

Practice tying it with a few different lines until you can tie it quickly and easily. Click here to read more of the best fishing knots.