The Swirl Knot

As a guide, I tie a lot of knots in the course of a day, and I need a fly to tippet knot that I can tie in less than 15 seconds. The swirl knot is my knot for small to medium flies. It is nearly the strength of a clinch knot (or any of the variations of a clinch knot), and I can tie it in half the time.

STEP 1
Pass at least 12 inches of tippet through hook eye.

Swirl Knot, step 1

STEP 2
With end of tippet, form an overhand loop over the standing line. Another variation of this knot is to tie a "slip knot" at this point (instead of the overhand loop).

Swirl Knot, step 2

STEP 3
Overhand loop is tightened to form a knotted loop.

Swirl Knot, step 3

STEP 4
Reach through the loop and grab the hook. The hook is than pulled through the loop. Although I am not pictured doing it here, I hold on to the tag of the loop knot with my other hand while doing this.

Swirl Knot, step 4

STEP 5
Hook is now completely pulled through the loop.

Swirl Knot, step 5

STEP 6
By pulling away from the hook with both the tag and standing line, the swirl knot is formed.  I hold the hook with right hand, pull on standing line with left hand, and pull on the tag with my teeth.

Swirl Knot, Step 6

STEP 7
Lubricate the entire loop (run it through your mouth), and than slowly pull on standing line to tighten the swirl knot. If you tighten too quickly you may "burn" and thus weaken the tippet. If you have tied the knot correctly, you will notice that the tag of the knot will pop sideways during the tightening process. The tag is than trimmed for the completed Swirl Knot.

Swirl Knot, step 7