Fishing Knots

How to Tie the Snell Knot

How to Tie the Snell Knot

The Snell knot has been around for ever for presenting live bait, tying leaders to hooks for other rigs and more. But it gained popularity in bass fishing about a decade ago when anglers discovered how effective it was when a hook is snelled and pegged against a bullet weight. for punching into heavy cover. It can cause the hook to kick at an angle and give you more hooking exposure in the thick stuff.

There are a few variations to tying a snell knot, but we’ve found this to be the quickest, easiest and best version of the snell knot to tie for bass fishing applications. Here is a quick rundown on how to tie a snell knot on a straight shank hook as well as some additional variation videos of the snell knot being demonstrated by some good anglers.

How to Tie a Snell Knot

step 1 uni snell knot

Step 1 – Loop your line parallel to shank

Hold the hook shank so that the hook point is facing up. You want to pass the lined down into the eyelet from the same side that the hook point is on. This is what causes the kick out. Run the line down along the shank and then curl it back around so that you have a loop like a uni knot.


Step 2 – Wrap inside the loop

Run your wraps inside the loop around the shank and your parallel line, down the shank.

tying a snell knot step 3

Step 3 – Cinch and slide

As you tighten the know by pulling on the main line, keep your wraps inline and uniform as you work them all back up towards the eye. This is where the knot usually goes wrong and fails on people. They just pull the tag and the wraps overlap and pinch. Just do it slowly by pulling the main line and tag and inching the wraps up.

What hooks work best for uni snell

Straight shank flipping hooks work best for the uni snell. If the hook has a keeper you have to do it in a small area above the keeper. It’s important to manage your wraps as you go. Try to get at least 5 wraps in if you can. When you get to the bottom of your wraps. You will have to readjust your hold on the knot so that you can pull the mainline to tighten the knot and work your wraps together evenly with no crossing.

The key to this knot is entering the tag end into the eyelet the right direction and not overlapping your wraps and keep them in order. It will take you a little bit to learn to pinch the top loop and wrap the tag end inside the loop. Then adjust and hold your wraps as you pull the main line to tighten it.

Fishing knot instructions

If you’re wanting instructions on how to tie the best fishing knots, check out our Wired2fish Fishing Knot Guide that covers all the knots that every freshwater angler should know.

Snell Knot Variations

California pro and owner of Paycheck Baits Bub Tosh talks about the only knot he uses for flipping, pitching and punching grass on the California Delta and why he chooses this knot for punching heavy cover. Here is a quick and simple explanation on how to tie the Snell Knot. For more knots like this, be sure to check out  our Knot Guide.

-video shot and edited by Wired2fish contributor Robert Matsuura

Here is another video demonstrating tying the uni snell knot version of a snell knot that ties quick and easy.