Photograph by Steve Barnett

Sunday, 18 August 2013

How To Tie The Fly On

Here is the Grinner Knot, invented by Dick Walker as a strong knot, which relies on tension instead of shear for its strength. 

He made it easy to tie, so his Grandson "Grinner" could tie on his own hooks when they went fishing together.  It may be referred to as the Universal Knot or the Uni Knot in some parts of the world but surely we should honour its brilliant inventor and the Grandson for whom he created it, by giving it its original and correct name?

It is very easy to tie the Grinner Knot:

  1. Hold the fly (hook or swivel) between the index finger and thumb of your left hand (right hand if you are a Southpaw)
  2. Thread the line through the eye (I prefer to thread through the eye from above)
  3. Pull through enough line to make a hairpin with the end laid alongside the main line
  4. Make a loop with the end section round your fingers of the hand holding the fly
  5. Take the end of the line and pass it over and through the loop and round the main line four times
  6. Draw the knot together
  7. Lubricate the knot with spit
  8. Draw the knot down to the hook eye and tighten it very firmly
  9. Blow away the spit
  10. Trim the waste end away
Here is a tier's eye view of the 10 steps above:

Best viewed full screen 
Can you follow these silent videos alright?  Try this knot if you don't already use it and come back and say what you think to it.
Regular Rod


  1. I've learned that all I need to do is carry a video with me and it's a piece of cake. Who said you can teach an old dog new tricks?

  2. Another great knot I've been using is the Davy knot, invented by Davy Wotton. Simple, fast, and strong

    1. Hi Mark have you tried a tug o' war between the two knots? The Grinner wins...

    2. I'll have to try that !

  3. I use it almost exclusively these days. Where I live it is called a Duncan loop knot or a Uni knot but I think I'll just start calling it the Grinner knot out of respect for the originator.