How to

Doing the Twist

IF there was one connection that I’d recommend to any young anglers who want to push their tackle to its very limits, it would be the Bimini Twist. This knot is the foundation block of rigging for high performance sportfishing. Sport and gamefish are often extremely powerful and considerably heavier than the breaking strain of the line being used to pursue them. To have any chance of landing these bruisers, you really need to fish your tackle as close to its full capabilities as possible. 

The Bimini Twist is one of those rare connections that when correctly tied is as strong as the line it’s tied in. That’s the reason why so many game, lure or fly fishing rigging system instructions begin with “first tie a double in your mainline or backing with a Bimini Twist”.

For many years I plaited my doubled lines when game fishing, but over time I’ve developed confidence in the Bimini Twist, mainly through its use during extended battles with heavyweight gamefish such as marlin. The Bimini Twist is also a much better proposition than the plait when tying those complex IGFA legal fly fishing tippets. 

I find the Bimini Twist a relatively straightforward connection to tie in both monofilament and GSP lines, especially if only a short double is required to provide a transition from main line to leader or trace. Basically, you fold the end of the main line back on itself to create the length of double you require. You then put your fingers in the end of the loop and make 30 twists if using monofilament and 50 to 70 if using GSP lines. The next step requires the loop to be placed over an object to allow the Bimini Twist to be formed; most people put the loop over one or both feet. You then tension the main line and tag end to compress the twists as tightly as possible. Once the twists have been compressed down as far as they will go you fold the tag end back on itself and allow it to backwind over the top of the compressed twists. This is the step considered by many to be the tricky part. To achieve this you have to expand the loop you’ve formed. Many people tension the loop by spreading their feet apart, although others push the loop up towards the twists with their hand. Either method works fine. Once you’ve completed the backwinding of the tag end along the full length of the original twists, you’ve formed the knot and it only requires locking off. The simplest way to do this is to put a half hitch around one leg of the doubled line with the tag end, then do a minimum of three half hitches around both legs of the doubled line. I then finish the knot off with a Rizzuto Finish to ensure the hitches can’t unravel, but it probably isn’t really necessary. Tying a long Bimini Twist is a little bit more difficult, especially when fishing from a small boat as you really need to be able to hook the end of the loop over an object such as a hook or post to tension the knot.  Check out the video detailing how to tie the Bimini Twist at

While tying this wonderful connection sounds like a terribly complicated process, with practice it’s quite simple. For some reason, the Bimini Twist is a knot that many anglers won’t attempt to master so they persevere with knots of proven inferiority such as the Spider Hitch. While the Bimini twist is renowned as a 100 per cent break strength connection, noted rigging authority Geoff Wilson states in his Complete Book of Fishing Knots & Rigs – Millennium Edition that the Spider Hitch when tied in GSP lines only retains between 40 and 60 per cent of the line’s actual breaking strain. I know which connection you’ll see on the end of my line – the Bimini Twist every time.

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