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Blood Knot

How to tie the Blood Knot. Used for joining two lines together, the Blood Knot is a tried and true fishing knot and a favorite of fly fishermen. The strength of the knot is increased by making at least 5 and up to 7 wraps on each side of the knot. It works best with lines of approximately equal diameter. The Blood Knot is one of 12 great fishing knots included on the Pro-Knot Fishing Knot Cards (click to see). A series of blood knots can be tied in ever decreasing pound strength of leader material, joining segments of 24 inches or so to create a tapered leader for fly fishing.

As an aside, we are often asked why it is called a "Blood Knot" and with a little research can report the following. The history of the blood knot traces back to the days of sail and a version of it being tied at the ends of whips or cat of nine tails for the purpose of drawing blood. It has also been called a barrel knot at times. 

Scroll to see Animated Blood Knot below the illustration and tying instructions.

How to tie a Blood Knot


Blood Knot Tying Instructions

  • Overlap ends of lines to be joined. Twist one around the other making 5 turns. Bring tag end back between the two lines.

  • Repeat with the other end, wrapping in opposite direction the same number of turns.

  • Slowly pull lines in opposite directions. Turns will wrap and gather. Clip ends close to the knot.
Swiffy Output
nippers and zinger deal

Disclaimer: Any activity involving rope can be dangerous and may even be life threatening! Knot illustrations contained in this web site are not intended for rock climbing instruction. Many knots are not suitable for the risks involved in climbing. Where failure could cause property damage, injury, or death, seek professional instruction prior to use. Many factors affect knots including: the appropriateness of knots and rope materials used in particular applications, the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this content.