August 23, 2021

16-20 (Pitzen) Knot - my go-to knot for tippet to fly

Everybody's got their favorite way to secure their fly to the tippet. Clinch, Improved clinch, Davy, Double Davy, Orvis, etc. There are many knots, and more than a few of these knots have a cult-like following. 

I used to be a clinch knot guy due to its simplicity, but I've found a better knot for my fishing. My favorite knot to use is the 16-20 or Pitzen knot. It's has a small profile, very easy to tie, very strong, and it gives me feedback when it's tied correctly. What's that? Feedback? Yes, feedback. 

When the 16-20 is tied and seated correctly, there is a little "pop" or "click" that occurs. It is so satisfying to hear or feel that click! If there's no click, then you immediately know that the knot didn't seat properly. It's that simple. BTW, the name comes from the 16/20 club. You know, catching a 20 inch trout on a #16 size hook. You've got to have a reliable knot to do that.

So, how do you tie the 16-20 knot? It's easier to show you than try to explain. Here's how I do it:

Here's another video (from Tactical Fly Fisher) demonstrating a better view of the details of the knot, but instead of imbedding the hook into my finger 😲, I use the Ty-Rite tool 😊: 

If you've never tried the 16-20 knot, I'd encourage to give it a go. It's fun to tie, easy to do, very strong, and the "pop" is so satisfying to hear and feel. It's a knot that's worth having in your skill set!

1 comment:

  1. The “pop” is very subtle with 5X or 6X tippet, but it’s definitely there. Once I learned to hide the loop well back from the fingertip, leaving the meat of the fingertip to hold the three wraps, I started to get the hang of it. This knot has helped me overcome my fear of swapping kebari on the water. I no longer have to have all of my anticipated level line / tippet / kebari combinations prepared in advance. Thanks for the demo!