Tag Archives: Snell Knot

How to Tie a Snell Knot for Circle Hooks

Snell Knot for Circle Hooks

The snell knot is the best knot to attach circle hooks to line. The snell knot presents the hook in the best position to hook the fish.

When you look at the image on the right, the difference in presentation is clear.

The snelled circle hook is presented so it will catch easily in the corner of the fishes jaw, while the normal tied circle hook has a good chance of not setting at all.

How do you tie a snell knot, or rather how do you snell a circle hook?

6 Step Guide to Snell a Circle Hook


Use the graphic above and the following 6 steps to tie fishing line to a circle hook using a snell knot. We used an offset-eye circle hook for clarity. Snelling a normal straight-eye circle hook is exactly the same.

Click the image for a larger printable version of the snell knot guide without borders.

Step 1:
Pass one end of bite trace through eye of circle hook and down the hook shank to the same length as the hook shank. Double the line back behind the hook shank, leaving a large loop (the loop must be large enough to make 7 or 8 wraps over the hook). Then pass the end of line back through the eye of the hook.

Important: The line must enter the eye from the bend side of the hook, and exit from the same side.

Step 2:
Hold the hook and line at a point behind the eye between thumb and forefinger. Don’t let go while making the wraps or the snell knot will unravel.

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Step 3:
Start wrapping the line closest to the eye over the shank, the bend and both layers of line.

Step 4:
Wrap the line 7 or 8 times.

Step 5:
Switch hands gripping so you hold all the wraps together from the bend of the hook. Pull the leader (the part that will be the bite trace) gently to close the wraps – guide the wraps to form a neat roll of line like  a barrel.

Step 6:
When snell knot is almost tight, slide the wraps neatly up against the eye of the circle hook. hold the short end left along the hook shank with fishing pliers. Pull the bite trace and this end at the same time to tighten the snell knot completely.

Trim the tag end to finish the snell knot

That’s all there is to snelling a circle hook.


Author: Mike Otgaar Dedicated salt water angler. Rock and surf fisherman, deep sea fisherman, kayak fisherman. Ex commercial Natal line-fish and East Cape chokka fisherman. Shark conservation activist. When not fishing I’m a web developer and small business owner to pay for the fishing.

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