The Bimini Twist
Although it sounds like the last ingredient in a tropical cocktail, the bimini twist is an essential addition to your knot collection not your happy hour. This knot forms a loop often used to connect backing to fly line or in conjunction with other knots and loops to join leader material of unequal diameter (e.g. class to shock tippet or tapered butt section to class). The knot adds strength, stretch and durability. There are variations of the Bimini, but when tied correctly it is 100 %, meaning the knot does not diminish the integrity of the leader material.
Start by purchasing a hockey puck sized or guide spool of 16 or 20-pound RIO Alloy Hard Saltwater Mono Tippet. The larger spools are a little less coily and have enough material so that by the time you get to the end of the spool, you should have tied a pretty solid Bimini Twist. Don’t be stingy with the mono. Use enough so you don’t have tiny tag ends and loops. When tying multiple leaders, keep a mug of warm water near by to moisten the twist. Your salivary glands will thank you.
The first step is to form a big loop, holding the spool and tag end in one hand. With the other hand rotate the wrist 20 times twisting the two legs together. A few more or less twists will not make a difference, so choose whatever number feels lucky. Note: when using a gel-spun product, double the number of twists.
Next, slide the loop around your foot, the suicide knob of a boat’s steering wheel, an anchored beer bottle or whatever strikes your fancy. Reposition, wet or lube the mono and ensure that everything is under tension. I like to sit on the spool on my left side and hold the tag end with my right hand. I then slide my left index finger under the twists pulling them together and tighter.
With a relaxed grip, align the tag end at angle slightly less than 90 degrees to the twists and allow the tag material to slide loosely.
Change the angle of the tag to closer to 90 degrees and continue to stack the material in a tight manner until the original twists have been completely covered by the tag material.
The knot should be tied with tension but should roll together with little effort. The loose and tight sequence of wraps prevents the mono from cutting into itself at the start of the knot and keeps the knot small and tidy, respectively.
Pull the tag end through the loop to lock down the twists and make a half hitch around both legs of the loop.
Two or three half hitches are recommended. Follow with a 4-turn uni-knot to secure.
Trim the tag end tight to the knot but not flush.
Tarpon season is quickly approaching so now is the perfect time to perfect the Bimini Twist. Good luck!