How to Tie an English Knot

How to Tie an English Knot image by Jillian Downer

The English knot, also popularly known as the true halibut’s knot, fisherman’s Knot, true lover’s bend and angler’s Knot, is a knot used most commonly by a fisherman to tie two fishing lines together in order to lengthen its cord. This secure joining of two ropes is why the knot has been nicknamed the true lover’s bend. The English knot is a simple and fast way to securely combine two ropes together. Here’s how to tie your own English knot.


Step 1

Create a thumb knot. Before you try to join your cords, practice making a thumb knot. An English knot is created by joining two like-sized ropes, cords or lines together with a simple thumb knot. A thumb knot is the most basic knot. Take the left end of your cord and lay it in the palm of your hand. Loop the right end of your cord behind your pointer and middle fingers, crossing over the top of the left end of the cord and looping it under and through the base cord. Remove the cord from your fingers and lay it knot side down.

Step 2

Create your English knot. Set up your two cords or string so that they are lying one on top of the other in a parallel line.

Step 3

Tie two thumb knots. Tie the top cord in a loose thumb knot and do the same with the bottom cord. Make sure that the two cords are still in parallel lines with each other.

Step 4

Join the two knots together. Slide the cord to the left of the top cords knot through the loop made by the bottom cords knot. Now slide the cord to the right of the bottom knot through the loop made by the top cords knot.

Step 5

Tighten the knots. Use your right and left thumb to push the knots toward each other while your remaining fingers pull tightly at the loose ends of the cords in opposite directions. Tighten the knots until they slide snugly together.

Things You'll Need

2 ropes or cords of equal size

About this Author

Based in New York, Jillian Downer has been writing travel, fashion, and active lifestyle articles since 2004. Her work has appeared in "Travel + Leisure," "Outside Magazine," "Women's Health," "Footwear News," and "US News & World Report." Downer holds a Master of Arts in comparative literature from New York University.

Photo by: Jillian Downer

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