The Knotless Knot is the cornerstone of most carp rigs and is essential for just about any Hair rig. If you are new to the sport, it may look a little complex and have a contradictory name, but tying the Knotless Knot is very simple. Its usefulness lies in the way it traps the hook securely and allows the hooklink to continue into a Hair on which to mount your bait.
How to tie the Knotless Knot
Take your chosen hooklink material and thread it through the hook from the front (point side) to the back.
Tie an Overhand Loop in the hooklink. This will hold your hookbait in place so it needs to be big enough to accommodate a bait stop, but small enough so the knot sits inside the bait to hold it in place.
Position the loop so it is the desired distance from the eye of the hook. This is your Hair and it needs to be long enough to accommodate your bait. Trap the Hair against the back of the hook’s shank using your thumb and forefinger.
Take the other end of the hooklink material and wrap it around the shank, trapping the hair in place. It’s important to start whipping around the back of the hook and keep the Hair in line with the hook’s eye.
Wrap the hooklink material around the shank approximately six to eight times. More wraps are fine, but will increase the size of the knot and will force the Hair to exit higher up the hook.
Snip your hooklink material from its spool if you haven’t already done so and pass this tag end back through the hook eye from back to front.
Moisten the knot (the wraps around the shank) and pull it tight, being careful that the Hair doesn’t slip to the side of the hook’s shank.
Use a baiting needle to thread your hookbait onto the hair.
With the trailing end of the hoklink material, tie and overhand knot. This will be used to attach the rig to your mainline by looping it onto a swivel or leadclip depending on the style of fishing.
To finish the rig off, add a blob of rig putty, pull the rg tight and steam it over a kettle to straighten it.
The Knotless Knot can be tried with almost all materials
It’s a versatile knot that can be tied with all materials (including soft braids, coated hooklinks, monofilaments and fluorocarbons), and can also be used to create D-rig arrangements for use in Chod and stiff rigs.
Original Hair rigs saw hooks attached to the main line with a standard knot, then a fine ‘Hair’ tied separately to the bend or shank of the hook using cotton or other supple materials. The Knotless Knot did away with this fiddliness and allowed the tag end of the knot to become the hair. With this knot you can create a Hair of any length, thus allowing you to play around with different presentations, and you can modify the hair’s suppleness (or lack of) by using a different hooklink material.
Pop-ups, wafters and bottom baits
Pop-ups, wafters and bottom baits can all be presented on a standard Knotless Knot rig with a Hair. Those same baits can also be attached to Knotless Knot rigs that feature a D-style arrangement. In this instance, instead of letting the Hair continue on a straight path away from the knot, you bend it back on itself and return the tag end back through the eye of the hook to form a D shape on which a ring (attached to your hookbait) can slide.
These D rigs are seen as harder for the fish to eject, as the hookbait is allowed to slide freely when the fish tries to blow out the rig, leaving the hook momentarily in place to catch hold of the carp’s mouth. They are generally tied with stiffer materials like mono and fluorocarbon, to keep the D shape intact, but variations with coated and even supple braids (such as the excellent slip D rig) also employ the Knotless Knot.
There are very few situations in which a rig tied with a Knotless Knot will prove ineffective, but some setups, like the German Rig or popular Ronnie, or Spinner Rig, do not feature standard Hairs and therefore do not require a Knotless Knot.