We fly fishers have a strange fascination with knots. There are multiple knots for every application and folks are particular about their preference. I’m sure in the wee hours of a bar in Boozeman anglers have debated clinch vs improved clinch or surgeon vs blood. My knowledge wouldn’t hold up well, nobody is impressed by an overhand knot. Truth is, there are only four or five knots I use. I primarily tie a clinch or non-slip loop to attach a fly and a blood knot when building leaders but my favorite is a Bobber Stopper or Stop knot. It's a simple knot with lots of applications. Here is how I tie it:
This is a great alternative to a nail knot when attaching backing to line and line to leader. When tied mono to mono the knot slides, but when applied to fly line it digs in making a secure connection. This holds up for both my trout and bass lines, but I’m not sure I’d trust it in the salt. When tied properly it’s slim allowing it to pass through guides easily.
Another use is as a dropper rig. I tie a length of tippet to the leader leaving one tag end long and trim the other tight. I then tie a fly to the long end and adjust its position by sliding the knot up or down the leader. In a recent article on Gink and Gasoline they describe a similar method to add additional weight (read here). Occasionally I tie it for its intended purpose; to stop a bobber. By using a larger size mono (20lb) I tie it above the indicator, trim both ends and slide it to the appropriate depth. This works especially well in stillwater allowing your indicator to move freely down the leader when reeling. If you decide to use it on streams and rivers I recommend two knots, one above and one below the indicator. It takes a little more time to set up but pays off in situations when you need to adjust your depth often.
This knot is really easy to tie with plenty of uses. Give it a try and add it to your repertoire. Who knows maybe one night, after a couple of adult beverages in Montana you'll be glad you did…