Uses of the Bimini Twist?

Gamecox09

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I'm relatively new to fly fishing (2 years of trout fishing) and have recently moved to Charleston, SC. I've been practicing multiple knots for saltwater fly fishing this winter and have the Bimini Twist down pat. However, I'm unsure how to use that. Can anyone explain?
 

bonefish41

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The BT is primarily conventional blue water for double line purposes; old days of marginal line or even today for giants Marlin Tuna...above 20 lbs 30 feet of double and 30 feet of leader...20 below 15/15...so you have double the line class for 30 and unlimited leader for 30. the thought of 1000lb Blue Fin or Blue Marlin doubled 130 now 30' of 260 then 30' feet of 300 fluro with couple turns on your 130 International and 70 lbs of drag I can feel my shoulders pop and .....as for fly fishing short BT for leader then to class tippet then to bite/shock...usually Tarpon or blue water...but not really necessary with modern leader material...don't need doble line for extra strength because your class break is 10, 8, 6 kgs and if you want to go no class IGFA then it's whatever you can cast the fly...30,40 50 straight
 

original cormorant

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There are normally two uses for bimini's, for backing and for class tippets. For backing it's essentially to create a loop and for class tippets it's to create doubled line.

For backing it's to create a loop for loop to looping onto a loop on the backend of the flyline. I and many others make a very big loop so it can be doubled over to create a double loop to spread the load on the fly line loop. (a simple surgeons loop can be used to make this doubled loop.) The loop to loop can also be made two or three times to make a bigger catspaw. A blind splice can be used to make a loop in hollow backing instead of a bimini.

For class tippets imho it is only really needed if you are following IGFA class rules. The object is to use doubled line when knotting the weakest section of the leader. It is possible to tie knots with doubled line without using a bimini. Others will no doubt come on board to give detailed information on the relative merits of different knots.
 

Rip Tide

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I use a doubled line when tying an Albright to add a wire trace.
The Bimini is cool because it's fun to tie, but for my purposes a simple Surgeon's Loop works just as well.

Much better for the loop2loop backing to line as the Bimini loop exits the knot clean and straight as opposed to at an angle like the Surgeon's or Spider Hitch
 

VaFisherman

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If you are using dacron or hollow core backing a blind splice is a much better way to make a loop in the backing. We used a Bimini all the time until I learned to blind splice, I have not used a bimini or a Surgeon's loop since. I don't use class tippet but a Bimini is the only way I know to make a strong double line in the tippet to tie to the leader or bite guard in big game fishing, as others have mentioned.
 

camelbrass

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Sometimes it's used to create a loop to connect a flurocarbon leader to the fly line to provide a bit of give in the leader (unlike mono, fluro doesn't stretch)

Regards


Trevor

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original cormorant

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I don't use class tippet but a Bimini is the only way I know to make a strong double line in the tippet to tie to the leader or bite guard in big game fishing, as others have mentioned.
Rob Fordyce recommends using doubled class tippet with no bimini to blood knot class to bite tippet.
 

VaFisherman

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Rob Fordyce recommends using doubled class tippet with no bimini to blood knot class to bite tippet.
Yep, I guess in hind sight I have doubled the line when attaching it to a heavy bite guard via a Albright knot. I just tied yesterday a Musky leader and used a 40# butt section with a short section of 20# in what I call a Fuse, then attached it to the wire bite guard with an Albright Knot and I doubled the 20# line at that connection.

I put that "Fuse" in the leader so when the fly hangs on a sunken tree too deep to get to I can break it off without risk of breaking the fly line.
 
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JoJer

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Lefty Kreh told me (in "Fly Fishing Salt Water", 1997) that I shouldn't even try to fish salt unless I could handily tie a Bimini twist, I tried off and on to learn that thing. When I got the opportunity to try the salt, I said " Sorry Lefty, it just ain't happening", and tied leaders etc as I always did based on my trout fishing experience. Since I never hooked up, it wasn't that critical. It's nice to know that more modern materials make it unnecessary for the in-shore salt I dream about trying again some day.
 

bigjim5589

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I'm relatively new to fly fishing (2 years of trout fishing) and have recently moved to Charleston, SC. I've been practicing multiple knots for saltwater fly fishing this winter and have the Bimini Twist down pat. However, I'm unsure how to use that. Can anyone explain?
What type of fly fishing do you plan on doing? Tarpon, Cobia and other larger saltwater fish are caught in the area, but for a lot of fishing along the SC coast, you won't need to tie a Bimini, unless as has been said, you're interested in IGFA Class records. Not that you shouldn't, but it's not necessary for all saltwater fishing.
 

okaloosa

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I have done a lot of offshore fishing, conventional, spinning, and fly fishing. A bimini or australian braid is invaluable for spinning and conventional but IMO completely unnecessary for a non IGFA leader fly fishing leader unless you care about going for a record fish (not me). I always used straight 50 to 100 lb mono for sailfish, cobia, mahi, and wire tippet with albright to mono for king mackerel. However, a bimini or australian braid is essential for connecting 50 lb spectra or 30 lb dacron backing to the loop of the back of your fly line IMO.
 

VaFisherman

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However, a bimini or australian braid is essential for connecting 50 lb spectra or 30 lb dacron backing to the loop of the back of your fly line IMO.
Do you find the Bimini a stronger loop in Dacron backing than doing a Blind Spliced Loop? My understanding is a blind spliced loop in a 100% connection and you can not get better than that, plus it is much smoother than the Bimini. Interested to see if you have used the spliced loop.
 

okaloosa

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Do you find the Bimini a stronger loop in Dacron backing than doing a Blind Spliced Loop? My understanding is a blind spliced loop in a 100% connection and you can not get better than that, plus it is much smoother than the Bimini. Interested to see if you have used the spliced loop.
you are absolutely correct...for really big game I did a bimini of my 30 or 50 lb spectra and did a loop to loop to anywhere from a few yards to 50 yds of dacron that had a blind spliced loop on one end to connect to the spectra and to the end of my fly line I would very carefully insert at least 18 inches or more of the end of fly line into the dacron and tie off with dental floss and get that chinese finger effect....it never failed!......but those blind spliced loops and the chinese finger technique (not sure what it is really called) need to be done just right but they are fantastic...That way there was no bump when the end of the fly line went through the guides, and with big game going into the backing happens a lot!
 
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Bigfly

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Every reel I have has a Bimini between line and backing to allow fast change out of lines.
Spool passes right through the big loop.

Jim
 

bonefish41

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A suggestion when using typical salt weak link tippets 20, 16, 12, 10( or kg 10,8,6,5) use three to five turn surgeon's loop in lieu of BT for backing loop. It's easier to tie and when using braid/spectra/PE stated 50lb (which is tensile more than 50) for backing it will not be the weakest link...according RIO and SA sites typical flyline core test is 20 and 30 some of the Tarpon 11 -13 wt are 40...and the bill fish GTs go to 50-70. A testing site using 10 lb power pro to 30 mono had the surgeons loop breaking at 13-14 lbs...obviously the 10 pound PP was more than 10 pounds tensile...whilst it placed behind the BT it's good enough for a backing loop to flyline when using 50lb PP to flyline core 20,30,40 and customary tippets.
The old Keys Tarpon guides use a traditional leader, tippet/class, to bite with BTs, twisted class, class and bite; however, none of the big three Keys Tarpon tournaments require the use if an IGFA class just stated test... IMHO taking blue water, GTs, Tarpon IGFA record seeking catches out of the picture and using modern nylon or fluro the BT's tedious construction is not required...surgeon's loop backing to flyline loop...leader knots: blood, improved blood, or uni then slim beauty to bite; however, since Keys Tarpon have become sensitive to thick bites ....the bite is just three feet of 30 or 40 lb fluro...modern fluro 60 5 feet to 3 feet of 50 to to two or three feet of 30 or 40 all blood or uni...I have never had a factory fly line loop fail in my salt experience but then I only fish salt at most 15 days annually ...not 50 days during Tarpon season
 

rodneyshishido

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I learned something at a fishing tackle show a number of years ago. A knot is considered 100% if it breaks above the rated strength of the line. 20 lb test monofilament breaks a bit higher than 20 lbs. I had fun testing a modified BT that a friend showed to tie mono to a hook. In the dozen or so tries, the line broke and never the knot. It is not a quick knot to tie, but if you want confidence in the knot, I think it's hard to beat the BT.
 

okaloosa

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I learned something at a fishing tackle show a number of years ago. A knot is considered 100% if it breaks above the rated strength of the line. 20 lb test monofilament breaks a bit higher than 20 lbs. I had fun testing a modified BT that a friend showed to tie mono to a hook. In the dozen or so tries, the line broke and never the knot. It is not a quick knot to tie, but if you want confidence in the knot, I think it's hard to beat the BT.
That was the whole rationale for the BT...it is supposedly stronger than the line and that is my experience in over 25 years of offshore fishing,
What is not appreciated is how easy it is too tie....People are intimidated by it but it is quite easy to tie...I would rather tie a BT on a pounding center console in 4 foot seas going 20 knots with 30 lb test than try to tie a blood knot with 6X tippet in 20F and 15 mph winds....
 

bonefish41

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That was the whole rationale for the BT...it is supposedly stronger than the line and that is my experience in over 25 years of offshore fishing,
What is not appreciated is how easy it is too tie....People are intimidated by it but it is quite easy to tie...I would rather tie a BT on a pounding center console in 4 foot seas going 20 knots with 30 lb test than try to tie a blood knot with 6X tippet in 20F and 15 mph winds....
I'd rather tie my knots the night before assembling gear whilst sipping a Cuba Libre:)...then set the drag stops with a digital scale with bent rod and not have any problems on deck and with modern braid on my two smallest Seiglers I have 300 yards of stated 80 tensile 96 on a reel the size of a 6000 Abu...functional drag to 25lbs but set 10, 15 and 20 and leader 25 feet of 60 fluro 10 feet lure of lure fluro 100...plenty of fail safe even with a poorly tied 50%...for blue water conventional as for BT or 4-5 turn Surgeon depends upon how much Libres but the purpose of the loop double line in heavy test braid(50 and up but still fine 8lb mono and up) is just a couple of feet to tie the leader knot to the 60or so lb fluro. Actually, I get less cuts and abrasions with fine Braid vs heavy mono line or 30-50 old dacron when I tie surgeons unless I grab gloves but that's clumsy for me old hands As for the fly rod last ten years I have four different KW guides, the young and the restless, (recently not so young) and one older Simon he uses the slim beauty ...never had a BT suggested... we are neither IGFA nor Tarpon Tournament rules...the only time I had a traditional Keys Tarpon set up with BT etc was in 1984...I fished one day with Stu Apte the last day he guided clients...got one fish about 70-80...It was intense but a learning experience...
 

okaloosa

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I'd rather tie my knots the night before assembling gear whilst sipping a Cuba Libre:)...then set the drag stops with a digital scale with bent rod and not have any problems on deck and with modern braid on my two smallest Seiglers I have 300 yards of stated 80 tensile 96 on a reel the size of a 6000 Abu...functional drag to 25lbs but set 10, 15 and 20 and leader 25 feet of 60 fluro 10 feet lure of lure fluro 100...plenty of fail safe even with a poorly tied 50%...for blue water conventional as for BT or 4-5 turn Surgeon depends upon how much Libres but the purpose of the loop double line in heavy test braid(50 and up but still fine 8lb mono and up) is just a couple of feet to tie the leader knot to the 60or so lb fluro. Actually, I get less cuts and abrasions with fine Braid vs heavy mono line or 30-50 old dacron when I tie surgeons unless I grab gloves but that's clumsy for me old hands As for the fly rod last ten years I have four different KW guides, the young and the restless, (recently not so young) and one older Simon he uses the slim beauty ...never had a BT suggested... we are neither IGFA nor Tarpon Tournament rules...the only time I had a traditional Keys Tarpon set up with BT etc was in 1984...I fished one day with Stu Apte the last day he guided clients...got one fish about 70-80...It was intense but a learning experience...
An in depth thread on your stu apte trip would be much apprrciated! Too cool!
 
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