How to

Plaited Double


THE pursuit of powerful sportfish on line class game, fly or sport fishing tackle generally requires you to create a double in your mainline or backing to provide a connection method that retains the full breaking strain of the line being used. There are two recommended methods of creating a doubled line: the Bimini Twist (see July issue) and the plait. Both maintain the full breaking strain of the line they are tied in. The other method available is the Spider Hitch, which only retains about 80 per cent at best of a monofilament line’s breaking strain and even less in GSP lines. As we’ve already looked at the tying of the Bimini Twist and the advantages it offers anglers, this month we’ll look at how to tie a plaited double.

The plaited double is a tremendously reliable connection that travels through both fixed and roller guides very smoothly. I’ve been using plaited doubles for close to 30 years now and I’ve never seen one slip or come undone. That includes during extended fight times of more than six hours on large gamefish. The plaited double is a favourite of game fishers worldwide and it does enjoy a significant advantage over the Bimini Twist in this specialised field of angling.

International Game Fishing Association rules for line classes up to and including 10kg allow a maximum double line length of 4.57m. For lines over 10kgs a doubled line of up to 9.14m in length is permitted. It can be quite difficult to tie a Bimini Twist of this length in a boat, especially considering that the majority of boats aren’t even this long! However, it’s a relatively easy task to plait a double of this length in any size of boat because of the method employed. For this reason most game fishers that I’ve fished with over the years who use maximum length doubled lines favour the plait over the Bimini.

To commence tying a plaited doubled line most anglers prefer to put the outfit being rigged in a rod holder. Pull the required amount of line off the outfit from the rod tip and put the reel in gear with enough drag to stop line coming off the reel during the tying process. Remember that to tie a 4.57m long maximum IGFA length double will require more than nine metres of line to be pulled off the outfit. Always pull an extra metre of line off if you’re attempting to tie a double to the maximum length the rules permit to allow for the tying process and cutting off of tag ends. Begin the plaiting process as per the accompanying illustration. It’s vital that consistent tension is maintained on all legs during the plaiting process to ensure you complete a neat, tight plait. The secret to tying a neat plait utilising this method is to keep the rod with a consistent slight bend or load on it during the process. You will learn with experience how much of a bend you need to keep in the rod to maintain the correct amount of tension on during the plaiting process. This consistent loading goes a long way to ensuring each of the line legs are evenly tensioned through the whole length of the knot.

How long should you tie your plait knot? There is no set rule, although I prefer to make my plaited double knots a minimum of 25mm, or one inch long on the old scale. I’ve never had one slip and feel confident with this length. However, feel free to make them longer if you feel it is required. This wonderful connection will travel through rod guides just as smoothly if it’s 25, 50 or 80mm long.

There are two methods available to finish off a plaited doubled line. One method is to plait a loop in to finish the connection, which is demonstrated in the accompanying illustration; the other method finishes off the plait with a series of hitches around both line legs and finally a Rizzuto Finish (which is basically a whipped finish). I have used both methods over the years and prefer to complete the connection with a Rizzuto Finish in exactly the same manner that I complete a Bimini Twist. In my opinion it results in a tighter, neater overall knot. However, both methods result in a reliable connection, so feel free to try them both out and choose whichever one suits you.      

I would recommend that anyone getting into game fishing learn how to plait a doubled line. It really is the way to go when fishing rigs employing long doubles from small boats. The Bimini Twist is a fantastic method of tying short doubles, but it is a real pain in the bum for longer doubled lines. It usually requires two people to complete a long double line in a small boat when using the Bimini. The plaited doubled line is a proven rigging method that has never failed me. I’d like a dollar for every world record taken on an outfit rigged with a plaited double line!


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