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Have you ever learned a new knot-tying tip from a newspaper article, only to forget how to use it on the next fishing trip? This problem can be solved by cutting and laminating any knot-tying illustrations you find useful.

Laminating material can be found at most office-supply houses. Once protected in plastic, tape or glue the identification cards on the underside of a tackle box lid, where they'll be readily available.

A reliable knot may mean the difference in catching fish or telling the tale about the one that got away. Tied correctly, a knot will allow proper lure action and maintain line strength.

Dependable sources of knot-tying illustrations are:
- Pamphlets included with new-line packages.
- Fishing publications like BASSIN'.



Keep Those Hooks Sharp

Statistics show fishing with dull hooks is one the major causes of losing bass. Anglers simply don't take the time to put a sharp point on their spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs

"Hook sharpening is one of the easiest things to do," said Fredda Lee, a promonent professional bass angler and member of the Johnson Outboards Pro Staff. "It's something you can do in an evening while you're sitting at home preparing for a fishing trip."

Lee recommends sharpening three-pointed edge on hooks. This produces strong point and cutting edges that help the point continue to penetrate as the hook is set.

"You'll notice mahy hook points are flat on the back and slightly rounded on other sides," ahe said. "What an angler should try to do is file these rounded edges flat, so the three edges form a triangle."

Make certain you don't file the very end of the point too thin, because it will be weakened and bend before it penetrates.

Lee also recommends anglers carry a pair of split-ring pliers and a small box of treble hooks in tackle box, in case you need to replace hooks on a favorite lure.

"If you snag a lure on a rock or log and pull it free, you often bend the hooks," Lee said. "These hooks should be replaced rather than bent back to the proper shape, because they've been weaked and may break."

It's a good idea to replace single hooks, too, if you snag and bend them. It's just like you're retying your lure after the line becomes frayed. Before you re-tie, simply slip on a new hook."


How to tie a quick-loop knot

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Nothing upsets the action of a topwater lure like tying the monofilament directly to the bait's line-tie. A person can solve this problem by using a snap or snap-swivel. But tying one of these tiny creatures on a line, then attaching the lure can be time-consuming and frustrating.

One knot that is quick, easy and allows topwater lures the necessary freedom of movement is the "Qucik-Loop Knot," or Rapala Knot. Here how it goes:
1. Tie an overhand loop, leaving 5 inches of line free on the end. Thread the free end through the lure's line-tie.
2. Thread the free end back through the overhand loop.
3. On the other side of the overhand loop, wrap the free end around the line four times.
4. Thread the free end back through the overhand loop.
5. Pass the free end through the newly created loop.
6. Moisten line, draw tight and trim excess.