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How to Tie the Rapala Knot

Rapala Knot - Good Loop Knot For All Line Types

As any pro can tell you, there’s a big difference between a snug knot and a loop knot when you’re connecting your main line directly to a lure.

Snug knots are just that--snug--and they deaden the action of crankbaits, jerkbaits, topwater lures, and the like. By contrast, loop knots are secure while leaving room for the lure to move, allowing it to make the most of its action and vibration.

For anglers who need the strongest possible loop connection, there’s nothing better than the Rapala knot. And fly anglers love the Rapala for floating flies.

Related: Best Fishing Knots

How to Tie the Rapala Knot

Rapala knot

  1. Tie an overhand knot in your main line, a few inches from the end.
  2. Run the tag end through the eye of your lure and back through the overhand knot.
  3. Working away from the lure, wrap the main line with the tag end 3 to 4 times.
  4. Pass the tag end back through the overhand knot from the top rear, exiting through the bottom front.
  5. Pass the tag end through the large loop you’ve created.
  6. Wet the knot and carefully cinch it down.

Why Rely on the Rapala Knot?

  • Strong - The Rapala is the undisputed champion among loop knots. Nothing’s stronger.
  • Fast - While not quite as fast as the Kreh, the Rapala is quick to tie. That makes it an excellent real-world choice when the pressure’s on.
  • Easy - Not quite as easy to tie as the Kreh, the extra trouble the Rapala causes pays off in strength.

What’s Not to Love About the Rapala Knot?

I like the Rapala knot a lot, and most other anglers do, too. Especially if I’m running a big crankbait that’ll draw the attention of a monster, I want the strongest connection I can get, and nothing beats the Rapala.

The downside to this otherwise excellent knot is that the trimmed tag end sticks up, creating a bit of a tail that can catch slime and vegetation.

And there’s one more big problem with the Rapala knot: it can only be used with monofilament!

The Rapala Knot in Braid and Fluorocarbon: Just Say No!

Monofilament is extruded from a single strand of nylon. And while it might feel slick and hard in your hand, it actually bites itself pretty well, creating plenty of knot-holding friction.

By contrast, braided lines are woven from Dyneema or Spectra fibers, and these materials are slick. Essentially toothless, they’ve got very little bite, and many knots that’ll hold like gum in your hair in mono will simply slip through in braid.

Fluorocarbon has a similar problem with a different cause. It’s a very hard material, and without easy deformation, it can’t bite well against itself.

The Rapala knot looks a lot like the Kreh, and it’s stronger than the Kreh in mono, but it will not hold in fluorocarbon or braid.

Don’t try it!

When Do Rapala Knots Fail?

The Rapala knot is the strongest loop knot you can tie, but if you make one of these common mistakes, it’ll fail just when you need it.

  • 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!
  • This is a mono-only knot! - As close as it is to the Kreh, the Rapala knot will only hold in nylon monofilaments. Tying this knot in other line types is a sure-fire recipe for disappointment.
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.