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I once wrote a post about the Zeppelin Bend which is a great knot for attaching two lengths of line together. My go-to knot for this job though, especially if I am creating a loop for some purpose, is the Fisherman’s Bend, or it’s more secure sister, the Double Fisherman’s Bend.

If you don’t yet have the Fisherman’s Bend in your knot-tying toolbox, check out the quick video that I filmed this morning. Once you practice it a bit, I bet you’ll be able to tie it with your eyes closed.


  1. I’ve been en-lightned. In my rock climbing days I used the double fisherman’s bend to connect 2 climbing ropes; but I always tucked the bitter end under only the outer loop, not under both as you show. Your way is WAY better. Thanks

  2. I’m 85. Used that knot for fishing line until I took up sailing in 1960.
    It is the BEST for tying two lines together!

  3. more secure than a sheep bend?

    • I assume you mean a sheet bend, not a sheep bend, and yes, I believe so. I would, however, leave a longer tail on the Fisherman’s Bend than what I showed in the video clip. I just did that in a hurry and used the first take we shot.

  4. Does it work with ropes of significantly different size?


    • Probably not as well as other bends, like the Zeppelin. I really use this knot most for making loops so the size and material of the pieces being joined are identical.

  5. Sorry, not on subject, but I could not help noticing your bridle in the video, and wondering are you on a hook or mooring? What is mostly called for in your cruising grounds?

  6. There is always a critic in the group, but I have spent a lot of time hanging from ropes 1000 feet off the deck.


    The tails are way too short. If that knot is loaded near it’s limit the ends will pull through as the knot compresses, particularly in nylon. Climbers are instructed to tie a backup overhand in each tail, in part to stop the slide, but in part because that forces a long tail, rather like the habit of breaking matches to prevent wild fires because the practice insures that the match is cold.

    If you need short tails and strength is critical, seize them down.

    Not good for different sizes.

    A bugger to untie if loaded hard. I’ve had to untie these 1000 feet off the deck after a fall. A bugger.

    Slippery lines (polyolefin high mod) require a triple fisherman’s.

    In fact, a good knot for connecting 2 lines that will be loaded fairly hard and then need untied can be 2 bowlines, interlocked. Bulky and only 50% strength, but works with 2 very different line sizes (tow line to messenger). Also a pair of overhand loops.


    And yes, it is a good knot for many purposes. Use the double overhand over the running part to make a loop and you have a halyard knot. Also very strong and resists cutting by the masthead.

    • In one of the comments earlier I said that the tails were too short. I shot the video quickly and used the first clip we filmed. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to that detail. Believe me, if I was using it for anything serious, I would have!

  7. I’m not a sailor (would love to be a sailor), I’m a knitter. I use this knot to attach two pieces of yarn together without having long ends left dangling inside my work. I’m able to snip the tails off pretty close to the knot. I learned this knot from my daughter who has sailed for the past 10 years.

  8. Great post Mike. I used this knot many many times back in my climbing days. What’s even funnier is that I just used this knot TODAY when I was helping a friend load a trailer. His rope was too short, so I used the fisherman’s knot to lengthen it with another rope he had. Always useful stuff.

    I noticed you said it wouldn’t be a “knot of the day” series here, but you’ve kinda inspired me too. I might do something like that on my own blog if you don’t mind me stealing your idea? 🙂


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