How To Tie An Arbor Knot on A Spinning reel

How To Tie An Arbor Knot
4 Min Read
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Knot tying can be an incredibly useful tool, especially for those that seek the thrill and adventure of the great outdoors.

There are numerous activities that require a strong and diverse knowledge of knot tying, including climbing, camping, sailing, and fishing. 

This article will take a look at the renowned Arbor knot, which is widely used across all forms and levels of fishing. We will investigate what an arbor is on a fishing reel, what exactly an Arbor knot is, and how to tie one. 

What Is The Arbor On A Fishing Reel?

The arbor of a reel is the center of the spool around which the fishing wire is wrapped. It can also be referred to as the core or the bottom of the spool.

Reels can come with the smaller standard-arbor reel or with the much wider large-arbor reel. The bigger the arbor, the greater the length of the fishing line that can be attached to the reel. 

What Is An Arbor Knot?

The Arbor Knot gets its name from its purpose, which is to tie the fishing line to the arbor of the fishing reel. The Arbor Knot is based on a noose knot, as it similarly tightens when pulled. 

This knot is also used by outdoorsmen in Bushcraft, when it is known as the Canadian Jam Knot. It is used in Bushcraft to help create lashings or to compress gear and make it easier to carry.

Lashings are when poles are joined together to create things like rugged shelters, tables, and safe storage for food. 

In fishing, it can be used for both bait cast and spinning reels, and is widely used with either monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing lines.

The arbor knot can also be used with unifilament or braided superlines, though only if the design features include a braid-ready spool.

This feature means that the spool has either a non-slip surface or instead the braid is conveniently attached through a hole in the spool. 

The Arbor knot can also be used on a braided line by winding on some monofilament line to attach it to the spool as a backing to stop the braided line from slipping. 

How To Tie An Arbor Knot on A Spinning reel

How To Tie An Arbor Knot 
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Wrap The Line Around The Arbor 

Wrap the end of the fishing line around the arbor, ensuring that the line is pulled tight for a secure attachment. At this point, both ends of the string will be running parallel to each other and facing in the same direction.

Forming The ‘Noose’ Or Loop

Next, you can form a ‘noose’ or loop at the end of the line, about an inch in diameter. To do this, take the line and cross it over itself to create a loop at the end. 

Through The Loop Overhand Knot

Take hold of the free end of the fishing line and pull it through the loop formed in the previous step. Pull it through the loop until a knot is formed.

Now you will have a small knot at the end of the fishing line. This knot is known as an overhand knot, and it serves many purposes. 

Second Loop 

Take the end of the line with the knot and cross it over the main fishing line, bringing it under and looping it around to create a loop with a diameter of around 2 inches.

Carefully hold this loop and see how the main fishing line can easily pass through it. Take the end of the line and once again cross it over the main fishing line, ensuring the loop is held in place. 

Through The Loop

Carefully thread the end of the line through the loop to create what is known as a slip knot. Then you can tighten the knot by pulling on the free end of the fishing line.

The slip now will be able to freely slide up and down the fishing line. 

Tighten & Tidy Up 

Next, pull on both ends of the fishing line to tighten the knot securely. Once the arbor knot is successfully in place, you may need to cut off any excess fishing line.

When doing this, always ensure that there is at least ¼ inch slack at the end of the knot.

Is It Easy To Release An Arbor Knot?

The Arbor knot is incredibly easy to release if you need to change or replace the fishing line that you’re using.

Simply pull on the second Overhand knot at the free end of the fishing line.  This will loosen the first overhand knot and make it easy to release. 

Arbor Knot Plus?

There is a technique used amongst fishermen to provide an even sturdier Arbor knot. This can be done by winding the line two or three times around the arbor before making the first Overhand Knot. 

This increases friction, which can be especially useful when using highly polished reels. It’s imperative to ensure that when the line is wrapped around the arbor, rotating the reel should tighten the line instead of loosening it. 

What Are The Advantages & Disadvantages Of An Arbor Knot?


  • Arbor knots are simple to tie, incredibly effective, and can be used for a variety of purposes in a range of environments.
  • They stop the fishing line from slipping when reeling in your catch.
  • Work especially well with fluorocarbon and monofilament lines.


  • Requires braid-ready or non-slip features to use the Arbor knot with unifilaments and braided superlines. 


Knowing how to tie an Arbor knot is an essential piece of knowledge for those that love to go fishing, for those that love to camp out in the wilderness, and for those hearty sea dogs who live to sail.

This will be one of the first knots learned by any young angler that is looking to learn spinning or baitcasting fishing techniques. 

Hopefully our handy guide on all things Arbor Knots will help you keep your fishing line sturdy and secure. We wish you luck on your angling adventures and hope you catch an even bigger one next time! 

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