Among the skills that anglers learn when they take up the habit is learning to tie some simple fishing knots. While many of the most complicated knots are particular to fly fishing, there are several good knots that should be known by any angler. And, they're not nearly as hard to learn as many dread.
There are a few basic principles of knot tying that pertain to all of the basic fishing knots. For starters, you should make sure to tie them slowly, pulling each knot tight while taking care to make sure they don't slip on you. You should also be sure to keep the line wet while tying the knots in an effort to "lubricate" the line and reduce friction. Try to use single strand nylon line whenever possible this actually creates a stronger knot than the thicker "double strength" nylon line that some people erroneously use in an effort to create stronger knots.
One of the first of the important fishing knots that many people learn is the "arbour knot." This allows you to very quickly attach new nylon to the reel spool and make quick repairs to the line when you need to. The arbour knot is one such knot that is very easily learned from one of the many online guides that provide tutorials. When done properly, it not only ties a loose line to the reel but also, leaves an extra knot, just in case.
Another very useful fishing knot is the "clinch knot" (sometimes called the uni-knot) that is used to tie hooks and other metal devices with an eyelet onto the line. This is very much like the knot often seen on a hangman's noose. Be sure you give yourself a few extra inches of line to work with you can always cut the extra off, but it's impossible to deal with when there's too little line.
A "double surgeon's knot" is perhaps the best way to fasten a loop with a single line. This knot is actually very simple to perform, even if it does sound complicated. There are also quite a few example of this fishing knot to be found online. The basic premise is to make a loop and secure it with a double "overhand" knot. This knot is very useful when making leaders. It retains quite a bit of strength when done correctly.
Tying proper fishing knots is a skill that's of use to anyone who enjoys angling. You can teach yourself with online tutorials or from diagrams in books. There are even classes that will demonstrate the tying of several different knots that are important to both sport and coarse fish anglers.