The Pitzen knot forms a strong connection between the hook or lure and the leader. The knot is relatively simple to tie and preserves 95 percent of the straight-line strength of the leader. When tied properly, the Pitzen knot has a small profile and can be slid up the standing part of the line to form a loop, which closes when the hook is set. The Pitzen can also be used to create a dropper: tie it to the bend of the trailing treble of a plug to make a tandem rig with a fly. Don’t confuse the Pitzen knot with the similar 16-20 knot, which is a half-wrap shorter in the tying and ends with the tag end parallel to the standing part of the line, rather than perpendicular as with the Pitzen knot.
|Step 1: Thread the leader through the eye of the hook or lure and pull through eight inches of line. Cross the standing part to form a loop.|
|Step 2: Pinch the loop tightly where the line crosses between the thumb and forefinger, leaving at least four inches of tag end to work with.|
| |Step 3: Make three wraps – and only three – with the tag end around the loop, working your way down toward the hook. Hold the loop open that was created by the first wrap.|
| |Step 4: Pass the tag end through the loop created by the first wrap.|
| |Step 5: Moisten the knot with saliva and slowly pull the tag end away from the eye, causing the wraps to tighten around the loop.|
| |Step 6: To lock the knot, pull the tag end, the standing part and the hook simultaneously. The Pitzen knot will snug down against the eye of the hook. Trim the tag end, and you’re ready to fish.|