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How to Tie Traces the Correct Length

Storing traces and terminal tackle on a rack or board has many advantages.

If you are using a longline or kite rig you will need a trace rack of some sort to store the many traces on.

Those using the sliding trace rig also find a rack helpful for storing spare traces and weight lines on.

Many fishers just like to have spare traces available for regular fishing with rods and reels.

The fishing line on traces that have been stored under tension on a rack are straight, kink and twist free and are a pleasure to use.

Keeping spare traces on a rack will reduce your fishing downtime if you get tangled with others, get snagged or are busted off by a big fish.

You can also bait the traces while they are on the rack.

Running repairs only mean seconds of lost fishing time rather than the many minutes it takes to completely re-rig your line from scratch.

The main question we get asked at Paul's Fishing Kites is, "how to tie a knot for fishing traces and get them all exactly the right length?"

The first thing you need to do is tie or snell all your hooks to traces that are around 300mm (12inches) too long.

For snapper fishing one metre 20 to 30 kg (40-50lb) traces are best.

Fishing Trace Rack


Fishing Knots and Tips

  • Take one of the traces with a fish hook already snelled on and put the hook in the slot or over the nail on your rack where it will go when tied.
  • Put the clip and swivel in the opposite end of the rack where it will go.
  • Pull the trace towards the clip and cut the trace about 25mm (1 inch) beyond the swivel. On Paul's Fishing Kites racks simply cut flush with the inside of the rack as show

Cutting the Trace to Length

fishing knots and tips

How to Tie a Fishing Knot to Length

Hang the rest of the traces with hooks on over a bar or clothes hanger and pull the traces gently until the hooks are lined up perfectly.

Pull the traces into a pony tail and cut them all to the same length of the first trace you cut.

All the traces with hooks on are all now the same length and we only need to get the tab end on the knot we tie to the swivel the same to have traces the perfect length.

Both clinch knots are the best fishing knots for conrtolling the length of the tab end and are among the most popular monofilloment fishing knots.


How to Tighten a Fishing Knot Trace

The trick is all in the pulling up of the knot.

  • Tie the trace loosely to the swivel as shown in the either diagram below.
  • Pinch the top of the swivel, the tab end and the last loop of the line firmly in your left hand while leaving a tab end of 25mm (1 inch).
  • As you pull the knot up the tab end stays where you are pinching it and after tightening will still be 25mm long.
  • Test your first trace on your rack and if it is a little loose add half an inch to the tab end for the rest of the traces.


Knot Tying Illustration - Standard Clinch Knot

Clinch Knot for Fishing Tackle

Knot Tying Illustration 2 - Improved Clinch Knot

Tie the clinch knot as above and pass the tab end through the big loop for an improved clinch knot

Improved Clinch Knot for Fishing Tackle
Free Fishing Knots and Illustrations of Fishing Knots Guide compiled by Paul Barnes
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