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Pitzen Knot

How to tie the Pitzen Knot. The Pitzen Knot goes by several names: Pitzen, Eugene Bend, 16-20 Knot. It was even at one time simply called the "Fisherman's Knot" by fly fishing legend Lefty Kreh. The Pitzen name derives from credit to E. Pitzenbauer of Germany. The Eugene Bend name credits the knot to Ken Eugene of the San Jose Fly Casters Club. E. Richard Nightingale wrote about the knot in American Angler Mag. (March-April, 2002). He called it the "16-20 KNOT" after the so-called, "16-20 club" of fly anglers who had caught a 16 lb. salmon on a #20 fly.

Regardless of which name you call it, the Pitzen is an effective method of tying a lure, hook or fly to a fishing line. It is said to retain 95% of the line's breaking strength. It is easier to tie in lighter line or tippets than in heavier line. A derivative of this knot is the San Diego Jam Knot, with the only difference being that the tag end is run through the bottom opening prior to the loop at the top. This step adds another pressure point in the dynamics of the knot, which allows the San Diego Jam Knot to be used in slippery braided line.

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

Pitzen Knot


Pitzen Knot Tying Instructions

  • Thread the line through the eye of the hook and loop the tag back under the standing part.

  • Hook line around tip of index finger and wind the tag back down around the two parallel lines. Make four wraps working back down toward the eye.

  • Pass the tag end back through the small loop being held by your finger.

  • Tighten the knot down onto the standing line. Lubricate the knot and the line and slide the knot down to the hook eye. Do this with your finger tips, not by pulling the standing line. Once the knot is in position at the hook, then pull tight.


Swiffy Output
nippers and zinger deal

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