Learning knots is the first step to becoming a great angler.

How to Teach Kids to Tie Fishing Knots

by Heather Montgomery

Taking your child fishing can create a bond and memories that will last a lifetime. Without the proper knot in the fishing line to secure the hook, a big fish -- or even a small fish -- will disappear before your eyes as the hook breaks off. Learning to tie fishing knots is an essential skill for the beginning angler. Learning to tie knots is time consuming and requires practice and patience on both you and your child’s part.

Demonstrate the knot you want to teach your child. One of the easiest knots to learn is the clinch knot; this knot when properly tied will keep a fish on the hook without breaking, according to Frank McKane Jr. in his article “Bass Class: Teaching Kids How to Tie Knots” for FLW. Do the demonstration a week or so beforehand in your home where your child will not be easily distracted by the excitement of fishing.

Use a paper clip for the teaching session instead of a hook to prevent your child from hooking himself in the hand while practicing the knot. Removing the hook from the equation helps keep him focused on the knot tying.

Ask your child to thread the end of the fishing line under the bend in a paperclip. She will need to thread 4 to 6 inches of line through the paperclip so she has a 4- to 6-inch tail end of the line on the left of the paperclip and the remaining fishing line on the right of the paperclip. Have her take the end of the line that she threaded through the paperclip and wrap the tail end over the paperclip and around the line that extends to the right of the paperclip. Wrap the tail end around the line five to six times. This will create a loop right above the paperclip.

Have your child wet the line using his mouth to help the line cinch down tight. Hold the tail end of the line after the five to six wraps with his right hand and the wrapped portion of his line with his left. Take the tail end of the line and pass it through the loop crated just above the paperclip. Grasp the tail end with the left hand and the line above the wrapped portion with his right hand; pull tight. Trim the excess tail end with scissors.

Ask your child to continually practice the knot during the week leading up to the fishing trip. She should tie three to six knots a day to get a feel for the knot. Towards the end of the week, replace the paper clip with an actual hook.

Items you will need

  • Scissors
  • 20-pound test monofilament fishing line
  • Paper clip
  • Hooks


  • Do not teach more than one knot at a time; let your child get comfortable with each knot before moving onto the next.

About the Author

Based in Lakeland, FL., Heather Montgomery has been writing a popular celebrity parenting blog and several parenting and relationship articles since 2011. Her work also appears on eHow and Everyday Family and she focuses her writing on topics about parenting, crafts, education and family relationships. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in early education from Fort Hays State University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images