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I'm going to show the three main knots I use when targetting Catfish.  These all have their uses.  I'll also explain where I use these knots.

The Improved Clinch Knot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1cB3VHyNfk

The Palomar Knot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOc3Q6-BnZ0

The basic Snell Knot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPI4rcDi1iE

I use these in the following situations.  The Clinch knot can be used to tie line to any kind of a looped attachment point.  Dipsy sinkers, swivels, straight-eye hooks, etc.  However, I typically only use this knot to tie line to a swivel.  The Palomar knot is a great, strong, easy-to-tie knot that works in the same situations as the Clink knot.  Swivels, straight-eyed hooks, Dipsy sinkers, and even bank sinkers (I use this knot all the time for bank sinkers).  Snell knots are the *BEST* knot for tying line to hooks that have an up-turned eye.  The reason for this is that the direction of pull is inline from the hook shank to the line.  This is critical when using circle hooks.

I do have one disclaimer.  I could not find a video that shows how I actually tie a snell knot.  I've provided a link to an easy-to-tie version, but I have not personally used that knot in my own fishing.  If any of you tie flies or jigs, the way I tie a snell is basically the same thing as doing a whip-finish by hand, if that makes any sense.  I may have to try to do a video and post that.

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Replies to This Discussion

Very happy to see you hop over here and lay down some Catfishing wisdom Allen .Thanks a bunch Man!

Glad I know how to tie all three knots  here.With Power Pro Braid 15/4 I have been using the Palomer exclusively.Great easy knot to tie !

I use the Improved Clinch knot when fishing Co-polymer lines, and the Snell for tying pre-rigged leaders. I'll have to remember to use the Snell when using Circle or Octopus hooks which I've just started using .

My sliding rig for the Channel Cats and Bullheads I've been catching is as simple as it gets ,no Barrel or three way swivels. I slide on a 3/8oz egg sinker ,then 1 or2 good sized beads and a split shot to block the egg/bead  18"above usually a #2 Bait holder hook but lately a smaller #1 Octopus hook.

I don't tie braid straight to the hook.  I always tie a swivel to the braid, then a leader of some kind to the swivel.  My leaders for catfishing are either 20 lbs test or 40 lbs test Big Game  mono.  My reasoning is that where I used to fish, in Oklahoma, is SNAG CITY!  If you fish on the bottom in those areas, you'd best be prepared to loose some rigs.  Since I know I'm going have to break line somewhere, I want to loose my leader, not my mainline braid.  Braid isn't cheap, and there are enough tangled masses of line hung up on the bottom there.  Since PowerPro has a breaking strength approximately twice what the listed pound-test is, I feel comfortable using 20 lbs test Big Game leaders on my smaller catfish poles, which have 20 lbs test PowerPro mainline.  My surf rods are strung with 40 lbs test PowerPro, and I will use a 20 lbs test Big Game leader if I'm fishing under a float or balloon, and go up to 40 lbs test Big Game leader if I'm dragging bottom with a Kentucky Rig in the turbine discharge.  My dedicated Flathead rods are strung with 65 lbs test PowerPro, and I usually go straight to 40 lbs test Big Game leaders for those.

Allen ,what species and weights are you talking about? I guess Flatheads and Channels .Any Blue or White Catfish or Bullheads?

For me just Channel Cats up to 12 # and Bullheads up to 14" .

   I appreciate you relating your river experience and hope to remember to use a swivel /leader when i go River catting .For now it's a snagless spot in a lake for me.

John, I was fishing mainly for Blue cats, but would catch Channels as well.  I've only targetted Flatheads a couple of times, most of the ones I actually caught were just a lucky catch.  Didn't have any White Catfish in OK, although you'll hear old-time Okies talk about "Mississippi Whites" that came up the "barge ditch" in the 70's.  Those are actually Blue cats that came up the Kerr-McClellan navigational channel.  I've caught two species of Bullheads in OK, Yellow Bullheads and Black Bullheads.  I wasn't targetting either; again, they were a lucky catch.

I was targetting catfish of good eating size, between 5 and 15 lbs.  I'm planning on starting another discussion about hooks soon.

Would love to catch Blue Cats ! I am digging your Oklahoma Catfishing Lore Allen.My wife's grandparents on her mothers side were from Norman OK.

  We have invasive Flatheads in NJ but I haven't seen any .White Catfish too but again I haven't seen them .I am told no Black Bullheads in NJ .I catch Yellows and Browns only ,up to 14". If you have a pic of one of your Black Bullheads I'd like to see that !

I'll have to look.  It was 6 or 7 years ago, and the only time I caught a couple in that creek.  Normally it's Yellow Bullheads only in OK, and they don't get much bigger thank 9".  Bigger catfish tend to kill them as Bullheads are nest-robbers.

AH AH Bullhead thief !

FOR THOUGHT;;;;;  A ; LOOP KNOT TIED TO JIGS IS SUPER EASY TO TIE;; ALSO;; HELPS HOLD A JIG;;; PARALAIL;;  ALSO;; YOU CAN;; (( TIER ))  2;; 3 ; OR 4 JIGS ON THE SAME LINE;; JUST DISTANCE THEM APART A BIT;;;   HELPS TO ELIMATE THE USE OF OTHER WEIGHTS

Sounds good for vertical presentation  but not casting from shore! A Sliding egg sinker  works great for cats .

I'm planning on mentioning how to tie a Dropper Loop.  The one I tie is kind of odd.  If I can't find a video on it, I'll have to shoot one myself.

Oh, and John, the dropper rig I use (the Kentucky rig) was what I used from shore.

I was replying to Carl and his 2 or 3 jigs setup ,THAT sounds like a boat vertical presentation .I STILL don't know exactly what a KENTUCKY rig is . Some type of dropper rig as you say  to keep the bait up off bottom I guess . Is a submerged float involved? 

Think "dropshot", only super-sized.  Leader between 2 - 5 feet long, bank sinker on the bottom, with a hook on a dropper loop somewhere between the swivel and sinker.  I usually tied them about 4' long, with the hook about 12" from the swivel.  It's best used in deeper water, to keep the bait up off bottom.  Blues have a hard time getting bait on bottom, as their pot belly gets in the way.

If you're having success with a slip-rig, put a small float on the leader a few inches away from the hook.  This will help hold the bait up off bottom somewhat, depending on current speed.  I used the smallest styrofoam slip-float I could get at Wal-Mart back in OK, but haven't seen those floats up here.  I could probably use a small ice-fishing float; they're about the size of a marble.

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