Sholud I wet my fishing knots?

I read somewhere that I should wet my knots when tying them. Does this really make a difference?

Back in the old days when fishermen first started using monofilament line the surface was rough and the line was stiff and thick.  When pulling the knot up, the friction that resulted often created heat which obviously reduces the strength of the line.  In many cases, fishermen circumvented this problem by wetting the line with water or saliva before tying their knots.  With today’s lines which are much thinner and more easily managed than the old lines, this step is totally unnecessary.  Compared to the rough surface of the old lines which created the friction which in turn created the heat, the lines we use today are extremely smooth and thereby friction has been virtually eliminated.  When tying your knot, the most important thing to remember is to tie it carefully with no cross-overs.  The knot should be pulled firmly but slowly to let the twists form correctly.  If you apply moisture to your knot using today’s lines, you’ll probably end up with what fishermen call a “liar’s knot.”  While it might look right, the water or saliva actually encourages the twists and turns to cross over.  When you pull it tight, the cross over will act as a knife.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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