Known by a variety of names, including the 16-20 knot and the Eugene Bend, the Pitzen Knot is popular nearly anywhere you can catch fish. It holds well in anything but braid, and it’s easy and fast to tie whether you’re using heavyweight fluorocarbon leader or light tippet.
A close relative of the awesome San Diego Jam, the Pitzen isn’t nearly as braid-friendly as its kin, though it is a tad smaller, making it an excellent choice for fly anglers.
For conventional anglers, the Pitzen knot is a great choice where a snug knot is needed, especially on large lures with big hooks that cause problems for the excellent Palomar.
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Related: Best Fishing Knots
The Pitzen is extremely popular, and there are good reasons why:
The Pitzen is an excellent choice for all line types but braid, making it plenty useful across a variety of species and techniques, but it does have a few weaknesses.
Chief among these - and in no way a damning criticism - is that it’s snug to the lure. That can deaden a lure or fly’s action, and there are better options like the Kreh if you need a non-slip loop.
And in comparison to snug knots, it’s slower to tie than the Palomar on a bare hook or jig, too, but even then, you’re measuring the difference in just a few seconds.
As you’d expect, the Pitzen holds well in knot-friendly nylon monofilament, including standard tippet.
Because mono offers a high coefficient of friction, it likes to bite against itself, creating plenty of knot-holding friction.
Fluorocarbon isn’t bad on this front either, but it does tend to be stiffer and much harder material than nylon. As a result, it can resist tight bends, and it doesn’t crush against itself very well, reducing the friction it creates to hold a knot.
The Pitzen doesn’t require many tight turns, making it a good choice for large-diameter mono and fluorocarbon, and it holds well in both materials. That’s also true for fluorocarbon tippet material, making this knot quite versatile.
But braided superlines, woven from many individual strands of Spectra or Dyneema fiber, is very, very slick. Its low coefficient of friction means that it doesn’t bite against itself with much force, and it tends to slide, pulling many knots free.
That’s unfortunately true for the Pitzen, and if you’re looking for a similar knot that will hold in braid, consider the closely related San Diego Jam.
The Pitzen Knot is exceptionally strong and easy to tie, but it can fail.
The most common causes include: