A figure-eight knot, also known as a figure-of-eight knot, is an essential knot for boaters and can be employed when angling as well. It is an incredibly versatile and well-known knot, used for all kinds of activities, both on land and on the water. Because of this, the figure 8 knot has evolved into several variations with different intended uses. For the purposes of this article, we will be referencing a standard figure-eight knot and a figure-eight loop knot only.
The Purpose of a Figure-Eight Knot
The figure-of-eight knot is a stopper knot meant to prevent your rope or line from unreeving or sliding through your hand or any narrow opening, while also maintaining a knot that is easy to untie. It is quite secure, won’t slip and can handle heavy loads, all without binding. Sometimes the knot may come untied, but it is still very reliable.
When to Use a Figure-Eight Knot
This knot has a variety of uses, mainly for sailing and rock climbing; however, it can be used on any type of boat and for fishing. For boaters, this knot is primarily useful in preventing a rope from slipping away or out of a retaining device. This is not to be confused with a figure-eight cleat hitch knot.
For angling, 2 types of figure-of-eight knots are often used: a standard figure 8 and a figure 8 loop knot. A simple figure-eight can be used to affix terminal tackle to your line and connect your lure or hook to monofilament when targeting small species like panfish. When doing this, it is recommended that you double your line prior to tying, since this knot is not known for being one of the strongest.
A figure-eight loop knot is useful when you want to create an interconnecting loop system, tying the knot in your line and in the rig so as to loop them together.
How to Tie The Figure-Eight Knot
When making a figure-of-eight knot for your fishing line, you’re going to start by passing the line through an eyelet, hook or lure. Then, pass the tag end around the standing line to form a loop, followed by another pass of the tag end around the front of the standing line, then running it back through the first loop. Moisten the knot and then tighten it. The finished product should resemble an 8.
If you want to employ the figure-eight loop knot, you’re going to double over your line, making a 6- to 8-inch-long loop. Then, create another loop by passing your first loop under the standing lines. Next, you’ll need to wrap the first loop around the lines and bring it through the second loop. Pulling down on both ends to tighten and trim the tag end.
When dealing with rope onboard, start by making a single loop in the working end (the end you’re tying). Pass this end over the standing end, then make a second loop with the working end crossing over the top of the standing end. Lastly, push the working end through the first loop and pull at both ends to tighten.