Three Knots Every Woodsman Should Know (Part 4 of 5): The Cinch Knot

Cinch Knot

The cinch knot – or what you might know as the fisherman’s knot – is the most difficult of my list of top three knots every woodsman should know.  Furthermore, the cinch knot isn’t as all–around useful as the first two knots, but it is such a valuable knot in fishing applications that I decided to include it on the list.

The cinch knot is the “go to” knot for tying hooks to fishing line.  Other knots will work, but a properly tied cinch knot will provide a strong knot that isn’t prone to slipping when tied to wet monofilament.  Tying the cinch knot takes a little practice to master, but is well worth the effort.  You may not need the cinch knot to tie a mattress to the top of your car or to tie a tarp or clothesline into the trees, but it is my top pick for almost all fishing applications.

To tie the cinch knot (fisherman’s knot):


1.  Make a bight at the end of your fishing line.  (I’m using a wrench and 550 cord to simulate a hook and line so you can see how to tie the knot.)

Cinch Knot 1



2.  Twist the bight between seven and ten times.  (I’ve heard a wide variety of opinions about how many twists should be used for a cinch knot.)

Cinch knot 2



3.  Pull the working end of the line through the elbow closest to the hook.

Cinch Knot 3



4.  Pull the working end of the line back through the loop created from step 3.

Cinch Knot 4


5.  Pull the knot tight from the standing end of the rope.  If you are practicing with a cord or rope, this knot tends to twist and crimp as you complete this step, but it doesn’t seem to do so when using fishing line.

Cinch Knot 5



I’ve been tying the cinch knot since I was a young man fishing with my grandfather.  How about you?  Did you learn it as a child?  Did you learn it later in life?  Or, are you just learning it from this post?  I’d also like to know if anyone has found an application for this knot other than tying hooks to fishing line!


4 thoughts on “Three Knots Every Woodsman Should Know (Part 4 of 5): The Cinch Knot

  1. Another one to learn (did you try fishing with that wrench?! Imagine the catch…)
    Thanks again for the instructions, they’re much needed, so I appreciate the clarity.

    • I wonder if I fished with the wrench whether I could catch cars. I’m always trolling for a ’79 Ford or ’71 Chevy pickup truck!

      You’re more than welcome. I hope the knots work out for you. Like I mentioned in the first post of the series, there are lots and lots of knots worth learning, but these three will get you through just about anything.

      Thanks for the comment, sir!

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