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The palomar knot
  |  First Published: November 2015



The palomar knot is one of a group of knots that I arbitrarily lump together and call ‘presentation knots.” Presentation knots are used for the way they present a hook and or lure, not necessarily for their knot strength. Knots in this group include; loop knots, the paternoster rig’s dropper knot, snoods, as well as the palomar when used in a dropshot rig.

Palomar for drop shotting

A small variation in the palomar knot, adds one extra step after the knot is tied, to cause the hook to jut out perpendicular to the main line when a sinker is tied below the hook. This improves the presentation of any soft plastic lure (or fly) that is on the hook. Such a subtle improvement of presentation can make the difference between zero fish and a bag of hero fish, especially when you are fishing light line on spin tackle outfits in heavily pressured clearwater fisheries.

This presentation also works well with heavy tackle baitcaster outfits when pitching beaver style soft plastic baits in heavy cover.

Note that the palomar can also be used to tie a hook to your line or trace (hint: check out the breaking strain table that was included with last month’s QFM Back to Basics). The palomar is quite a strong knot, even contending with a uni knot in some strength tests. I do prefer the uni knot as my all-rounder because I can tie it in the dark. Yet, the palomar also has its staunch supporters, although geared toward dropshotting, you should consider it for other uses.

A drop shot rig has a sinker on the line beneath the hook. The idea is to have the sinker on the bottom and the soft plastic artificial lure on the hook suspended at about 30cm above the sinker. This puts the lure seductively in the strike zone when the rod tip is subtly twitched or shaken.

The dropshot palomar differs from the standard palomar in that it is a standard palomar with a long tag end of approximately 30-50cm.

How to tie a dropshot palomar

1 Double 30-50cm of line and pass the end of the loop through the eye of your hook. Depending on your line, it may help if the hook point faces up and the double line is passed up through the eye of the hook from the underside (the side away from the hook point) and thus out the hook point side. When you pass the doubled line through the hook’s eyelet, make sure that the two lines (sides) of the double lines are parallel to each other and are not criss-crossed before you tie your overhand knot.

2 In the doubled line, fashion a loose overhand knot above the hook, with the hook hanging from the bottom of the formed loop. Hold the overhand knot between thumb and forefinger of one hand. When you make the overhand knot, don’t cinch it down on the eye of the hook; simply reduce the size of the overhand loop (close the loop a little by half-cinching it) and then pass the doubled end’s loop over the hook. Done this way, with the lines parallel, you won't cause as much friction on your line when you later go to snug down the knot. The idea is to reduce the line, in turn weakening friction.

3 With the above in mind, you are left holding the ‘loose’ overhand knot between the thumb and forefinger of one hand. With your free hand pass the end of the double line loop over the hook. Then slide this loop up onto the line just above the eye of the hook. Lubricate the knot before snugging it tight. Then pull slowly and evenly on both the standing line (main line) as well as the tag end double in order to tighten down the knot onto the eye of hook.

4 Now feed the remaining tag end (which is no longer a double) back through hook eye from above, the hook must face upwards.

5 Lastly, attach a small sinker at the end of the tag line at the desired distance from hook and then trim the tag end at the sinker. (Note: this small dropshot sinker may attach via a small wire clip so that you can interchange weights).

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