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Have you ever tried to tie a Reef Knot with line that is somewhat slippery only to have it loosen before you can finish it? One solution to this problem is to enlist the help of a friend who can lend you a finger to hold the line secure while you make the second turns. An alternate to that, and one that I use from time to time, is to tie a Surgeon’s Knot as opposed to a basic Reef Knot. The added friction of the additional turns really do help to stop the line from slipping. Check it out… it works.

I wonder if our surgeon friends actually use this knot?


  1. “Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it.”

    That’s a very pretty looking finished knot.

  2. Mike

    Used it yesterday during surgery. Works great.


  3. “I wonder if our surgeon friends actually use this knot?”
    From the horses mouth (although I’ve been accused of repesenting the opposite end of our equine friends): as a surgeon, I use this knot on a fairly regular basis when tying non-braided sutures. As advertised, it keeps the knot from loosening up until you can square it. Love your site.

  4. Wikipedia shows your picture, and the pulled up finished result. Looks good and thanks. I will practice it.

    At the bottom of the Wikipedia entry there is a video reference that goes to a Fishing Knot site. That shows an entirely different knot but also calls it a Surgeon’s knot.
    This second also looks good, but it is (k)not the same!


  5. Mike, do you know if your Surdeon’s knot will hold reliably with Dyneema (Amsteel) type line?



  6. Quite a pithy saying there Ken.
    You sound almost sage like….

  7. I don’t know about surgeons, but my sister is a Vet Tech and they use that knot.

  8. I have actually used that knot to create harnesses in gym glass when we climb obstacles. Provides a quick snug fit on your waist while you work on the other end to provide a secure knot that will hold your weight and then some.

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