How to tie a spade end hook using hook tying tool

The Matchman hook tying tool is an easy to use hook tying device for tying spade end hooks. All sizes of spade end hook can be tied with this hook tying tool.

Matchman hook tyer

Using a Matchman hook tyer

Clamp a spade end hook by the bend in the jaws of the hook tying tool. Leaving the hook shank showing. Pull off a couple of feet of fishing line and trap the spool under your leg or something heavy.


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Pass the loose end behind the back peg and point the hook tying tool down the line towards the spool. Without overlapping, whip eight turns of line up the shank towards the spade, trapping the spool line under each turn as you go. Do not wrap the line on too tightly, but enough to keep it in place.

After the eighth turn, pass the loose end behind and under the hook of the front post. Release the loop of line behind the back post by pressing the posts down flush. At the same time, the loose end will be caught under the front post of the hook tying tool.

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Pull on the spool line to tighten the back loop down over the loose end onto the shank. This step is the reason why the tuns of line around the shank should not be overly tight. If they are too tight, the spool line will curl up like a pigs tail as it is pulled from under the whipping.

Release the hook from the hook tying tool. Pull the hook free and allow the loose end to pull out from under the knot. Next pull the knot down tight without moving it up the shank.

Line position

The spade, of a spade end hook, is slightly turned out away from the line. Pull the whippings up to the spade so the line comes from the inside of the hook. This ensures the hook and bait are presented nicely and the line is not against the edge of the spade. Finally cut off the tail end and tie a figure of eight loop for connecting to the reel line.

There are plenty of good quality ready tied hooks on the market, so why bother tying your own? Ready tied hooks all tend to follow the same formula of increasing line strength with hook size. There have been times when I have wanted to use a larger hook, perhaps to change to a different bait. However, I couldn’t because the ready tied line was too heavy for the main line I was using.

Nowadays I carry a selection of hook links I have tied specifically for my preferred main lines. In addition I can use my favourite hook link material, that I know the condition and age. I continue to use ready tied hook links, but even as just an amateur angler, I can see the advantages of tying my own with a hook tying tool.


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