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How to Tie the Palomar Knot: A Complete Guide

If you’re looking for a knot that’s easy to tie and as solid as a pair of steel handcuffs, the Palomar is a fantastic option.

Lightning-quick and useful on everything from bare hooks to swivels, jigs to small crankbaits, the Palomar is one of only a handful of knots that every angler should know.

Related: Best Fishing Knots

How to Tie the Palomar and Improved Palomar Knot

Palomar Fishing Knot

  1. Double-over your line and pass it through the eye. Make sure to double 6-8 inches of line so that you have a loop long enough to pass over the lure, swivel, or hook.
  2. Bring your doubled tag end back to your doubled main.
  3. Tie a simple overhand by passing your doubled tag over and through the doubled main.
  4. Pass the doubled tag line over the entire lure or hook.
    To tie the Improved Palomar for braid, simply wrap the loop one more time with your doubled line (repeat step 3), proceeding normally after that.
  5. Wet your knot and gently cinch it down.

Be sure that your lines lie parallel to each other. They should not cross!


Advantages of the Palomar Knot

  • Strong - A good knot offers more than just strength, though the Palomar is among the best on this front.
    Notably, it’ll hold in all line types, making it extremely versatile. And because it’s nearly impossible to “pull out,” it’s probably the top choice for bare hooks and swivels that are going to experience tremendous strain.
  • Easy-to-tie - A poorly tied knot isn’t strong, and though knots like the Bimini Twist might be nominally stronger, they’re much, much harder to tie well. The beauty of the Palomar is that it’s remarkably simple and hard to get wrong.
  • Fast - Ever need to retie your line when the action was really on? Every second felt like an eternity, right?

A knot that’s strong, easy-to-tie, and fast is as good as it gets, and that’s the essence of the Palomar.

The Palomar Knot in Braid and Fluorocarbon

Pretty much every good knot is great when tied in monofilament because nylon creates lots of “bite” against itself.

Braided lines are composed of Dyneema or Spectra fibers, and both materials are slicker than wet ice on your stairs. Even when you use a good knot in braided line, it wants to slip and slide loose, pulling out under pressure.

Similarly, fluorocarbon is just plain hard, and like braid, it doesn’t like to bite against itself. Typically, this means that many knots tied in fluoro will come undone just when you need them to hold.

The good news is that the Palomar is an ideal knot for these unforgiving materials because the doubled line doubles the surface area responsible for the bite, locking this knot in place more effectively than a single strand (in most instances).

Typically stronger than similar alternatives, the Palomar and Improved Palomar offer excellent hold in braid and fluorocarbon.

To tie the Improved Palomar knot, you can double wrap the eye, as explained above..

When Do Palomar Knots Fail?

If you tie this knot properly, it will hold to between 89% and 98% of the test strength of your line, depending on the line type (mono, braid, or fluorocarbon), brand, and fixture (swivel, hook, or lure).

But this knot’s integrity depends on proper technique, and there are several mistakes you can make when tying a Palomar knot:

  • Trimming the tag end too short - You want about an ⅛ of an inch of tag with the Palomar, and to be fair, it’s not terribly tag sensitive. That said, a really short tag end can cause knot failure, though this is unlikely.
  • Tying the knot in frayed or damaged line - We’ve all been guilty of this, and failing to strip tattered line until we’ve got fresh material to tie a knot is a sure-fire recipe for knot failure. Always inspect your line, and when in doubt, strip.
  • Forgetting to wet your knot before cinching - This isn’t an optional step! If you don’t wet your line before tugging it tight, you create friction and heat, which can weaken your line at the knot.
  • Not cinching down your knot - Once you’ve wet the knot, gently pull it tight--and be sure it really is!
  • Crossing your lines - All knots work by creating friction on themselves, and the Palomar does this with two parallel strands wrapping on themselves. When you cross your lines, however, you concentrate force on just one line, at just one point, dramatically weakening your knot.
About The Author
John Baltes
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.