Double Surgeon’s Knot

Double Surgeon’s Knot

The double surgeon’s knot is the second of my three essential knots for fly fishing.  The first knot was the nail knot using a nail knot tool.  I wrote this series of knots to teach the basic knots needed for my fly fishing reel combo.  The final knot in this series of knots will be the clinch knot.

The main use for the double surgeon’s knot is attaching tippet to your leader.  Although some other knots might be a little smoother and straighter, this knot is so easy it can be tied blindfolded.  Variations of the double surgeons knot can also be used to add a dropper fly, a tag end for weight and even attaching a fly.

Well let’s jump into tying the double surgeon knot.  For demonstration purposes I’m using contrasting fly lines.

Hold 5 or so inches of line parallel to one another.

tie double surgeon's knot

Pinch the line with thumb and forefinger.

double surgeons knot

Form a single loop

double surgeon's knot

Pass the tippet and leader through the loop twice – this the “double” part of the surgeon’s knot.


video double surgeon's knot fly fishing knots leader to tippet

Grasping all the lines, MOISTEN and smoothly draw the knot up tight.

how to tie double surgeon's knot double surgeon's knot

With the knot tight, trim the ends close.

double surgeon knot close up double surgeon's knot

That’s it.  It doesn’t get much easier.  The cool thing about this knot is all the variation you can do with it.  It’s possible to make a loop for loop to loop connections.  I use this knot with a long tag end to add weight when fishing a how to fish strike indicator.

double surgeon's knot

Although this isn’t the straightest or smoothest knot it is super versatile and retains over 85% of the base line strength.  Very seldom is the double surgeon’s knot the first knot in my rig to break.

The video shows tying the double surgeon’s, the double surgeon’s loop and a dropper tag all using this knot.  You can also see how to tie this and many more fishing knots at animated knots.