Pitzen Knot

The Pitzen Knot is referred to under numerous different names including Eugene Bend, Pitzen, and the 16-20 knot. At one point in time the legend of fly fishing called it the Fisherman's knot. Lefty Kreh was very familiar with this particular knot and adept at tying it. The name Pitzen was actually derived because of E. Pitzenbauer from Germany who received credit for the knot. The name of Eugene Bend credited the Pitzen to the San Jose Fly Casters Club's Keen Eugene. The American Angler Magazine issue from March and April of 2002 featured an article by E. Richard Nightingale in which he wrote about the Pitzen Knot. He referred to it as the 16-20 Knot in reference to the 16-20 club. The fly anglers of the club managed to catch a salmon that weighed sixteen pounds with this knot on a #20 fly. 

Whatever name you choose to refer to the Pitzen Knot it is an incredibly effective way to tie fly, hook, or lure to your fishing line. The knot is believed to retain 95 percent of the breaking strength of the line. Tying this knot is easier if you are using tippets or a lighter line than it is for a heavier line. The San Diego Jam Knot is one of the derivatives of this knot. The only difference is the tag end runs through the opening on the bottom before the loop located at the top. This extra step adds an additional pressure point to the dynamics of the knot and gives the San Diego Jam Knot the ability to be used on a slippery braided line. 
Step 1:
To tie a Pitzen Knot you begin by threading your line through the eye of your hook. The tag is then looped back beneath the standing part.

Step 2:
 Use your index finger and hook the line around the tip. The tag needs to be wound back down so it is around the two parallel lines. As you work back down in the direction of the eye make four wraps.
Step 3:
 Using the little loop your finger is holding, pass the tag end back through this loop. Tighten your knot on your standing line.

Step 4:
Your line and knot need to be lubricated so your knot will slide down to the hook eye. This is most easily accomplished with your finger tips and not by pulling on your standing line. When your knot is in the proper position simply pull it tight.
Joshua Keaton
Joshua Keaton

Joshua is our senior staff writer for Fishing.org and Shooting.org. He is an avid hunter, clay shooter and amateur photographer.