What the *^%$ is a Bimini Twist? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What the *^%$ is a Bimini Twist?

04-28-2002, 02:47 PM
OK, I got the book "Inshore Fly Fishing". For those of you who made the suggestion, thank you very much. It has become very clear to me that there are about a bazillion things more you have to know than when fly fishing. Together, with the book, watching Mark Sosin's Saltwater Journal in the AMs and surfing the web, I have come to the following question:

What the Sam-H**l is a Bimini Twist?

Help me out...here's how I see a typical saltwater rig from Arbor to fly:

(Arbor Knot) 30# dacron backing ---> (Double nail knot) 30# mono ---> (Nail knot) Fly line ----> (Nail knot) Leader material ----> (surgeon's Loop) tippet material?

Is that about right? Where does the bimini fit in? What's the best knot for the fly? What is the purpose of the bimini?

I am starting to wonder if I want to enter the confusing world of saltwater fly fishing...Yep, still do.

Brian :eyecrazy:

04-28-2002, 03:48 PM
Don't let the small stuff drag you down...
The double surgeon's knot will work just fine for now and down the road you can spend a few minutes with someone who's broken the Bimini code and you will then be an honorary member of Club Piciune. (Until you break the code yourself, DON"T look at them directly in the eyes, as this can be construed as aggressive behavior!)
The Bimini Twist is easier to tie when under the influence of rum. Once leaned, although considered an offshore kinda' knot, it's handy for loop to loop use and when building pre-tied leaders and stuff like that...
Tying it on the beach, in the middle of a blitz, or in the dark should not be attempted by the faint of heart or those trying to de-stress...
Use the information supplied with most new lines to satisfy the set up questions. Everthing else is GRAVY!
I find that the loop to loop strategy works well for me but, to each their own.
In the beginning KEEP IT SIMPLE!

And most important of all...ENJOY AND HAVE FUN!

04-28-2002, 04:01 PM
I am also new to SW Fly Fishing and actually new to fly fishing all together so take my advice with a grain of salt. I have read more books than I can count at this point and one thing I have found is that everyone has their favorite system for knotting and rigging their equipment. I found that the best methodology is to keep things as simple as possible. I would use the following set up

Arbor Knot backing to reel, bimini twist in the backing (pg. 187 in Tabory's book) then make a surgeons loop in the line big enough to fit around the reel, double nail knot loop in the fly line at both ends and a surgeon's loop in the leader material. For the leader I use just an 8-10ft piece of 12# fluorocarbon or high quality mono. For attaching a fly I use the non-slip mono loop which gives more action to the fly than a basic cinch knot.

Using the loop to loop system allows you to change fly lines easily (a great bonus if you don't opt for an extra spool right away). Also, using a straight piece of material for the leader means you will be more apt to change it if it frays (or if you are still learning to cast and get a few tailing loop knots) and I have not had a problem getting the fly to turn over. I also found that making the bimini twist in the backing and then making a surgeon's loop gives you a double loop in the backing and prevents a girth hitch from forming.

Hope this didn't confuse you more.


04-28-2002, 05:31 PM
The Bimini is a hard knot to tie because you are usining more than both hands. Also, the only way I learned to tie it was by watching someone tie it. The book directions do not give you the "feel" as you pull up on the twists and let the standing line "automatically" twist around the first twists It's a presure tied knot and depends on tight pressure on your foot end and teeth end with feel on the fingers.I also use my foot or a door knob instead of the knee as the book instructions show. Basically I am using my teeth, one foot and both hands. It is a great powerful knot and I usually use it when fishing from a boat in deep water or fast deep rips. It ends up about two feet long. I tie a surgeons loop in one end to attach it to the butt and a Perfection loop in the end where my tippett is attached.

04-28-2002, 05:36 PM
I think the bimini is used for high stress connections, where you need a doubled line + there is some spring to the knot.

If you're fishing for tarpon & rigging by yourself, I'd strongly suggest you learn to tie it for your leaders.

FWIW, I used to enjoy spending a ton of time building my leaders and included the bimini in my saltwater leaders. Nowadays, for stripers, blues & funny fish, I make a loop in the end of my fly line ala LEfty (double the line back on itself & use 2 nail knots of 10# mono to secure it, surgeon's loop connection to a 30# butt section, 12# mono or fluoro (depends on what's in the chest pack) with a surgeons loop for quick tippet connections & a palomar to the fly (100% knot).

Backing to fly line? albright with a lock.


04-28-2002, 06:04 PM
The bimini is mostly used when one is fishing in a line class(maybe for records, maybe for pride), and wants to maximise their knot strength. Otherwise, it would be easier to just fish with a heavier tippet, and not worry about losing a couple of pounds of line strength.
About the only two applications I can think to use the bimini would be to tie the loops(double line) at both ends of a class tippet,and at both ends of the backing for an extra stong knot in the arbor and a loop for a loop to loop connection.
I think that once you learn it, the bimini is one of the easier knots to tie well because you can wind and unwind it untill it is just right.
If you are not fishing with a shock tippet, I don't think it is such an important knot. However, it does impress the ladies.

Doc Duprey
04-28-2002, 06:06 PM

Just a thought...I use a bimini at the end of my backing to double the line without loosing strength. Then a double surgeon's knot to make a loop. This way, I can switch lines w/o switching reels or spools. Sometimes (not always) and advantage. "Course I'm a newbie in salt water, too...just seemed a good idea that I got from a book.

Hang in there...this is a lot more fun than plotting fire missions!

Best regards,


04-28-2002, 08:22 PM
OK... I think you should learn to tie all knots whether you use them or not and try and comit them to memory... It's part of our sport... And fun to learn them all.. I don't use the Bimini all the time and don't have to use it in the conditions I mentioned ,but I will tie it from time to time to practice ALL my knots.

04-29-2002, 07:02 AM
I use the Bimimi on my backing and then double up with a double surgeon's loop. I always have, read it somewhere. Anyways, I think it provides a smooth connection and you leaves plenty of loop to toss a reel through.

On my tippet, I substitute a Spider Hitch for a bimini. I've found it pretty much the same for strengh and I can tie it without sitting down and using my knees.


04-29-2002, 08:21 AM
Good knot to learn and know but don't get crazy with it. There are 100's of knots out there but you'll find you really only need 4-8 of them. As far as the Bimini goes, its a great strong knot used primarily for BIG game. Learn the basic knots first, Clinch, Nail, Double Surgeon, Duncan Loop and the Uni Knot. Get the basics down and once you can do those with ease then worry about the fancy stuff.

04-29-2002, 08:33 AM

Doc's post hit it on the nose for most applications. One of the best uses for a Bimini is if you are using the same reel for several different lines. The Bimini makes a big loop that you can put your reel through so that you can attach a loop end to your fly line. Of course it has several other applications but that is the top of the list for me. A bimini can save you from buying 5 spools for the same reel.


John Desjardins
04-29-2002, 08:52 AM
I don't have much new info to add to what is described above. I suffered trying to tie the bimini twist until I was shown how to tie it. If you want to learn to tie it find someone who can tie it and have them teach you. It will be much less frustrating. Also try with a 8-10# line. Initially I tried a spool of 20# Ande that was several years old, and found that the line was too stiff to easily cross over the top when starting the wrap.

The only use I have for it, at the moment is to double up the line for a surgeons loop on my six year olds rod. The doubled loop doesn't collapse as easily and makes it faster to replace a snelled hook that has been cut off. Sorry for the bait fishing intrusion.

04-30-2002, 08:44 PM
Yes, indeed you can. The uninitiated can be taken for a few $$ as easilly as the "find the queen" card sharps trick.

Just bet Joe Angler that you can tie a knot which will not break before the main line when given a sharp tug and he'll laugh at you. So you say - "put your money where your mouth is" and you've got him :devil:

Oh, if you're planning on trying this, use low breaking strain nylon to avoid nast cuts and it's a good idea to practice tying the knot before-hand :hehe:

If no one has already mentioned it, get a copy of Practical Fishing Knots by Mark Sosin and Lefty Kreh.

Doc Duprey
04-30-2002, 09:12 PM

Sounds like the voice of experience?:D

Best regards,


BTW: Penguin is introducing me to the world of Yaks over the Memorial Day weekend. Thanks for the good advice!:)

04-30-2002, 10:07 PM
If you like tying knot then go for it however for stripers and such it is a waste of time. It is one of the best knots when you are tring to get 100% knot strengh (knot same strength as the line) which is important for tarpon and offshore fish but is a waste of time for stripers

04-30-2002, 10:38 PM
Damn I thought this thread was for Bikini twist. Nevermind. ;)

I'm with Nate here.

I'll quote Buddy Pinder bonefish guide, "Sully are you here to fish or tie knots"?

05-01-2002, 08:29 AM
The only "Bimini" I want to be near has a beach with bonefish all over it !:eyecrazy: