If you want to attach a swivel or hook to your line a basic fishing knot is the improved clinch knot. The improved clinch knot is far and away the most common knot I tie when I am fishing. Its strong, easy to tie and quick.
This video explains exactly how to tie the improved clinch knot. Practice a few time before heading out to the river and bring your smart phone with us in case you forget.
Here are some tips about tying an improved clinch knot that are not in the video:
1) If you are fishing with mono-filament line and your hook breaks off, examine the broken end of the line. If the broken end is curly like a pigs tails this means the knot slipped off because you tied it poorly. Make sure you are doing it right, perhaps use more wraps and make sure to wet the knot before tightening it up.
2) The smaller the diameter of line you are using the more wraps you need to make the knot hold. 80 lb mono-filament may only need 5 wraps but 4 lb line will need 8-10 wraps.
3) Dress the knot properly. Dressing a knot means tightening it in a way that results in the knot looking proper. The improved clinch knot should resemble a hangman’s noose when dressed properly. To dress the improved clinch knot properly put tension on the main line, tag end and the hook all the the same time but begin pulling the tag end first. Use your finger nails to help the wraps bunch up onto of the hook eyes if needed.