Skip to Content

How to Tie a Rapala Knot

The Rapala non-slip knot was invented in the 1930s and is primarily used by anglers and fishers to affix a lure to the end of a fishing line. It’s considered relatively easy to learn. If an angler isn’t sure which knot to use, it’s a safe bet the Rapala knot will work, as it’s very versatile and is known to work with most lures. For other uses, this knot can be used where an individual needs a non-slip knot.

How To Tie the Rapala Knot

Use the following steps to tie a Rapala knot properly. The steps are the same whether you use string, rope, or fishing line. To learn this knot, you can use twine, a shoelace, or similar cordage. To use it during fishing, you’ll need to use a fishing line. You’ll also need an object to thread the string through.

Step 1

Layout at least eight inches of cordage. If you’re using a fishing line, layout twice as much as you think you’ll need so that you’ll have enough tying end to complete the knot. You can trim off the excess at the end if desired.

Step 2

Near the center of the length of the cord, make one simple loop.

Step 3

Thread the tying end up through the center of the loop from behind. 

Step 4

Pull gently to leave an open loop with the cord crossed at the bottom of it. 

Step 5

Grab the object you want to attach. The thing could be a keychain, a fishing lure, or even a Christmas ornament. The gadget should have an open hole that you can thread the tying end through. Thread the tying end through the open circle on the object. 

Step 6

Bring the tying end back through the first loose loop you made from behind the circle, not over the top of it. 

Step 7

Pull the tying end through the center of the loose loop to slacken up the line. When you pull slightly, it should form a small circle around the object you thread it through. 

Step 8

Take the tying end and thread underneath the cordage on the side of the loose loop furthest from the object.

Step 9

Pull up on the tying end so that most of the slack is removed from the line. 

Step 10

Bring the tying line over the cordage back towards your body from behind the line. Repeat this to complete five rings circling the cordage on the side furthest from the object.

Step 11

Bring the tying end back through the center of the first loose loop from behind it. Pull it through the circle slightly.

Step 12

Pull both ends of the cord slowly so that the knot tightens down onto itself. When tightened completely, it will leave a loop formed around the object. 

Tips on Tying the Rapala Knot

  • Anglers should not use the knot on anything but a monofilament fishing line. 
  • This knot will not work for braided fishing lines.
  • The Rapala knot should not be used when a slip-knot is needed.

Variations on Tying the Rapala Knot

The Palomar knot is a variation of the Rapala knot that can be used with a fluorocarbon or braided fishing line. Using this variation is helpful when the angler does not have access to a monofilament fishing line. 

The Perfection Loop knot has fewer wrapping steps than a Rapala knot and is used mainly in fly fishing.

Advantages of the Rapala Knot

When tied correctly, the Rapala knot doesn’t bunch up or prevent the movement of a fishing lure. It’s been found to work well for long fishing lines. The Rapala knot is considered a stronger knot and will stand up to moderate abuse from currents, debris in the water, and fish.

Disadvantages of the Rapala Knot

Even though the Rapala knot is strong, it is not always considered the strongest knot and shouldn’t be used for large loadbearing items. The tension point rests on only one point, increasing the chances of breakage. The nature of the knot also leaves a tag end, which might collect debris in the water, weighing down a fishing line. 

History of the Rapala Knot

The Rapala knot was invented by the fishing product company Rapala. Rapala was founded in 1936 in Finland after the founder created the first artificial lure out of cork, candy wrapper, and melted film slides. 

Uses for the Rapala Knot 

Although the Rapala knot is primarily used for securing lures to the fishing line, the Rapala knot can be used for other things.

Survival Situations

Because the Rapala knot is used for most lures, it can be used in the wild. If someone needs to rig a fishing line for a makeshift lure, this knot can come in handy. Because it is not a slip-knot, it is not suitable for setting snares for small animals as the line would not cinch up around the animal.


Anglers use this knot with a monofilament line to allow a fly or a lure to work as the manufacturer intended. By design, the knot leaves an exposed loop from which the lure can move freely, increasing the chances of the lure working well. 


The Rapala knot is not used in hunting as the knot places all the tension on one potential breakpoint in the line. It is not suitable for hanging animals before dressing them. 


The Rapala knot can be used to suspend small, lightweight solar lamps at key points around the camp. Learning to tie the Rapala knot for fishing is a great group camping activity.

Around the House

Rapala knots work well for suspending tree ornaments from tree branches or party favors from other objects and various heights in the home. Remember that this knot should not be used on heavier items where harm or injury could occur if the knot breaks.

Related Knots

For more useful, fun, and helpful knots, including the Perfection Loop knot, click here.