12-Turn Bimini Twist

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by Mr GreenJeans, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Mr GreenJeans

    Mr GreenJeans Well-Known "Member"

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    <FONT size=3><FONT face=Calibri>I’ve recently come upon a new understanding regarding the bimini twist, so I thought I would share it with others. A while back I saw an article that talked about knot strength. Here is a link to the original article. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    http://www.sportfishingmag.com/techniques/tips/staying-power-53427.html <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Among other things, the author said he found that a 12-turn bimini, or even an 8-turn bimini produced a knot that was stronger than the absolute breaking strength (ABS) of the original line. A stunning finding, but who was I to argue with the facts. So after that I switched to tying a 12-turn bimini. I’m guessing I am not alone in this conversion.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Since that time, I have had the growing suspicion that the bimini is a rather weak knot, and so I have changed my fishing over to using a pulled loop knot in hollow braid, (loop to loop to a wind on leader) which I find reliably produces a very strong connection. In essence, I lost confidence in the bimini and changed to a pulled loop knotless connection.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Then a few weeks ago, johndtuttle put up a link to a post by pametfisher discussing the technique for splicing hollow braid onto solid braid. Here is that link:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    http://www.sportfishermen.com/board/f172/hollow-spectra-i-solid-hollow-splices-382776.html<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    It looked like pametfisher was a frequent poster of thoughtful articles, so I clicked around and found that he had a website full of interesting posts. Here is that link:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    http://www.streamlineleaders.com/links/<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    On pametfisher’s site I found some comments about the strength of the bimini twist. In short, he says a 12-turn bimini is very weak, and to get a bimini approaching 100% you need to use 50 or more turns in the twist.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I decided it was time to do my own tests on the bimini. To do this, I used 30# JB solid braid. I chose this weight because I could reasonably break the resulting knots on my 50# spring scale. The testing method was to tie the bimini, hang the loop over the hook of the scale, wrap the main line around a wooden dowel, pull until the knot broke, and then record the knot breaking strength. Here is what I found:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    12-turn bimini – On multiple tries, this knot consistently broke at approximately 18#’s. Observation revealed that the loop of the bimini collapsed and one leg of the loop broke. In short, the twist was slipping down the loop.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    30-turn bimini – Multiple tries showed that this knot consistently broke at approximately 30#’s. This was 100% of the stated line strength and a vast improvement. The knot usually broke at the head or top of the twists. The reason it broke here is beyond me.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    50-turn bimini – I tried this five times and the line broke at 38#, 40#, 40#, 40#, and 42#. The knot didn’t break. Rather the line broke mid-line, usually fairly close to the wooden dowel. It may be that wrapping the line around the dowel was causing the break. I figured I was getting pretty close to 100% ABS.<o:p></o:p>
    60 and 75 turn bimini – I tried several of these knots, and they broke between 32# and 40#. I found the twist was getting long enough that I was having a hard time tying a nice clean knot. I believe the poor knot quality led to inconsistent results.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    So there you have it. From now on, all my bimini knots will be 50-turn.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    As I post script, I have been trying to figure out why the author of the original article was getting such good results from a 12-turn bimini. I will never know for sure. But my best guess is that it was due to how he tested the knot. He was using a line testing machine. The machines I have seen online appear to test just a few inches of line, with the ends secured around a drum. My guess is that securing the end of the loop around the drum prevented the twist from slipping down the loop, yielding what appeared to be excellent knot strength.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I did a search and didn’t find a similar thread. So hopefully this is not old news. I welcome your thoughts and critique.<o:p></o:p>
     
  2. mcrae

    mcrae More wishing than fishing

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    Thank you for the time and effort. I think part of the issue is that the Bimini is weaker in braid than in mono.
     
  3. Wildman

    Wildman Junior-Assistant-Deputy CharterMaster in Training

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    Very cool - thank you!

    50?!? Thatsalotta twistin!
     
  4. harddrive

    harddrive Wish I Was Fishing!

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    Thanks for the testing. I started to tie a Surgeons knot after reading that article.
     
  5. Sactotuna

    Sactotuna Well-Known "Member"

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    There's a real gem in this post, it's the link to streamline leaders!!
    Why?

    Because the streamline link leads to a link to a post by Jureal on Senor Tuna on how to make a loop in hollow spectra using the "Jerry Brown Flip". No needle, just a doubled piece of 27# wire.

    I learned how to do this years ago from a phone call to Basil that took me hours to actually be able to execute from just his verbal description. Now you have an actual visual tutorial.

    I show this to guys in the galley struggling to make an end loop on their reel with those damn expensive needles every once in a while when they ask for help. The look on their faces is always quite amusing.

    Thanks for posting this hidden gem!

    www.senortuna.com/main/showthread.php?t=25277
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  6. el capo

    el capo Member

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    This is all based on MONO.
     
  7. afraser

    afraser I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Once you learn to do the end loop with wire, you'll find it is easier than any other method. It literally takes less than 2 minutes if you are using 80# braid or higher (JB 60 just takes longer to get the wire through the line). The key is remembering that you thread the wire in the line AWAY from the tag end and put all 3 tag ends through the wire loop (2 wire tags and 1 braid tag). Really quite simple.
     
  8. afraser

    afraser I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Only thing left that I'd like to know, is whether you still need as many twists with thicker/heavier braid. Whole point with 50 twists in spectra is it is thinner and slippery, so you need more twist than with mono.
     
  9. HermosaJoe

    HermosaJoe Well-Known "Member"

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    Great post, David.

    Presently (for 50-65lb braid) I do a 40-turn bimini in my solid braid, then add a loop-to-loop leader made with hollow, replacing my former worm-knot-to-fluoro leader connection. I do feel more secure with the hollow loop leaders I make than I did with the knot connecting the fluoro to the braid. But I have never once doubted the strength of the bimini itself, on the reel side of the connection, nor have I ever had a single failure with a bimini in either the worm knot or loop-to-loop configuration.

    Yes, the double hollow, loop-to-loop set-up is probably more consistently 100%. But I find fishing with solid&#8212;versus hollow&#8212;on my reel advantageous on two counts:

    1. I can get more line on my reel. I fish a BX2 400 with a 40lb topshot. I can get more 50lb solid than 60lb hollow on it, from what I can tell.

    2. I think the solid casts and fishes much better than the hollow coming off the reel.

    In fact, I have been rather suspicious of recent concerns about the bimini&#8212;concerns which (I suspect) have been generated more from (a) the trendiness of having a reel loaded with hollow spectra and then using two hollow loops than from (b) actual problems with a well-tied, 30+ loop bimini. You have confirmed my suspicions, at least for my application (50-65 lb braid connected to short 30-60lb fluoro leaders), at any rate. I will happily stick with my bimini! Thanks!

    Other will disagree with some/much/all of the above, but that's how I see it.

    Thanks, again, David, for taking the time to do the testing and for posting your results.

    Joe
     
  10. afraser

    afraser I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    One thing to note here is that multiple casts will weaken any knot, but not so much with a Loop 2 loop in hollow line. That means you have to retie the bimini every so often or it will not have the same strength. I don't believe this test was done after letting the line go through the guides 50 or 100 times first.
     
  11. HermosaJoe

    HermosaJoe Well-Known "Member"

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    I dunno. I learned with the wire and then got a Daho reverse latch needle that makes it pretty easy. All what you're most familiar with, I imagine.

    Joe
     
  12. HermosaJoe

    HermosaJoe Well-Known "Member"

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    Good point. But a little glue on the bimini ameliorates this problem to a degree, at least. Plus, I have my rod-wrapper use no smaller than #12 guides/tip on my 8 ft rods that I use for this application. With the glue+larger guides, I'm not sure that the bimini is compromised, even after 50-100 lobs/casts w/live bait.

    Now, maybe it would be a whole 'nother story fishing all day with a :jig:
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  13. Sactotuna

    Sactotuna Well-Known "Member"

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    You used AMELIORATES in a post?!?!?!
     
  14. Mr GreenJeans

    Mr GreenJeans Well-Known "Member"

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    <FONT size=3><FONT face=Calibri>Thanks for all the great replies. Two in particular caught my eye. The first was when Joe said that his 40 turn bimini works great and he is going to stick with it. Excellent point – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. For the application Joe described using 50# braid with a wind-on 40# leader, a well tied 30-40 turn bimini will do the job pretty much 100% of the time. The terminal knot at the hook will almost always break before the bimini connection.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    But I’m a bit obsessive about my knots, as you will soon see.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The second reply that stood out for me was from Aaron, who asked if the 50-turn “rule” applied to heavier weights of braid. It’s an excellent question. No way to know without breaking a few knots. For those of you that don’t have the patience to read through yet another lengthy post, here are my conclusions:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Conclusion 1: I tested 50# braid, and yes you need to do 50 turns in your bimini to get to approximately 100% ABS.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Conclusion 2: Technique matters when tying a bimini. Small changes in how I was tying the knot yielded big dividends.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Now for the long story.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The challenge with breaking knots in heavier braid is that it’s darned hard to break the knot. Most people use 50# or 65# braid for their backing, and breaking braid that heavy with a 50# spring scale just wasn’t going to get the job done. So I hit upon the idea of using the dumb bells I have around the house. I have a set from 5-30#. With a little mix and match, I can assemble weights up to 100# or more in 5# increments. Not quite as accurate as the 1# increments of the spring scale, but close enough for my purposes.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    So I took some rope and tied a loop in each end. Then I stacked the weights and put the rope around them, and snugged it up by putting one loop through the other loop. Finally, I put the terminating loop into a snap clip. I could then put the loop of a bimini into the snap clip and lift the stack of weights by the main line of spectra coming from the top of the bimini knot. A bit cumbersome, and sometimes I had to stand on my workbench to get the right leverage for a dead lift, but it worked. And hey, all that lifting and jumping up on the workbench was a good work out. Help get me in shape for pulling on big fish.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    A good starting place was to try and determine the ABS for the 50# izorline braid I wanted to test. I did a solid to hollow braid splice, pulled a loop in the hollow and tested the breaking strength. The solid 50# braid broke at approximately 55#. So my goal was to see if I could get a bimini to break at 55#. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    At first the process was a little frustrating, because it was hard to get a good knot when putting 50 turns into 50# braid. The knot wasn’t clean and broke at well under 100%. The 50 turn knot and the 30 turn knot both broke at about 40#. Certainly good enough for most applications, but still nowhere near 100%. And the 12-turn bimini was just plain pitiful. The loop collapsed at 25# or less. Pitiful.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    So I started adjusting my knot tying technique. For heavier braid, I typically use the technique of spinning my hand in the loop to put a twist in the line, opening the loop to put my legs inside the loop, and using my knees to open the loop and push the twist up so I can wrap the line down over itself. (Hope this is clear. If you have used this method, I’m sure you recognize the description.) <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I read somewhere that the “knee” technique can bruise the line, so I changed that first. I also decided that spinning my hand was the wrong way to create the twist. So instead I looped the line over the convenient handle of a c-clamp, and held the main line stationary while wrapping the tag end around it. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    A small change I know, but it made a difference. The “spinning hand” method seems to do two things: it crosses the two lines, while also putting a twist in the line. By that I mean the kind of twist that makes the line want to curl up on itself. By wrapping one line around the other, I was able to get 50 wraps, but there was no twist in the line. With no twist, I was able get a much cleaner bimini knot.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I know it sounds weird to say that I was trying to tie a bimini twist with no twist in the line, but that’s what I did. And, for me, it worked.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    So here are the results:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    50-turn “no-twist” bimini – The line broke mid-line at 55#. As close to 100% ABS as I am likely to get.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    40-turn “no twist” bimini – The line broke at the head of the knot at 45#.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    So I’ll restate my original conclusion that even with heavier line, you need 50 turns to get close to 100%. Whether you need or want 100% ABS is totally up to you.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    As an aside, I will echo something that many others have said. The stated line strength on the label bears only a shouting relationship to the real ABS. I tested 30# JB solid and got it to break at 40#. I tested 40# Hollow Ace and it broke at 70#. I tested 50# izorline solid and it broke at 55#. The moral to the story is, if you want to know the breaking strength of your line (or your knot), test it yourself.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Okay, now my back is sore. Must be time for a nap.<o:p></o:p>
     
  15. HermosaJoe

    HermosaJoe Well-Known "Member"

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    Another winner of a post. Thanks, David. I've always wondered if the traditional way of doing the winds puts an undesirable twist in the line. Actually, though, I will be happy to get 40# out of that 50# Izor solid anytime! I don't envision myself ever putting over 20-25lb of drag on a 40-50lb leadered outfit, so it's great news to hear I can get 40# by tying like I normally do.

    Obsessive individual that I am, however, now I'll probably find myself going to the trouble to do the wraps around the stationary line, like you describe. Thanks for making extra work for me, buddy. :cheers:

    Keep these great posts coming. But be careful with those dumb bells. Once I left a dumb bell where is should not have been. It rolled off and landed on my wife's foot. I won't even tell you what happened next. :argue: :_smack_:

    Joe
     
  16. johndtuttle

    johndtuttle Angler/Client

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    This topic came up on other forums and the same pametfisher did an analysis that demonstrated that the testing apparatus that author uses was disguising the effectiveness of his claim that a 12 turn Bimini was stronger than traditional 40-50 turn knots. As well, the applicability to heavier braid was equally suspect and born out by testing. If I recall correctly the requirement of more initial turns in the Bimini was necessary to ensure that there were ~24+ back wraps when completing the second half of the knot. This should then yield a 100% of Actual Breaking Strength (ABS) Bimini Twist when tied perfectly.

    This is something that I have posted about previously and should spur further testing and technique refinement on your part. It is important for you to establish what the ABS of your braid really is as most braids test far higher than the rating listed by the manufacturer. This is because the standard operating procedure is to assume that the average guy ties terrible knots, and by rating the line far lower than it really is, after the terrible knot is tied, it still breaks close to the listed rating, even though it is only 60% of ABS. This way the line manufacturers "cover their butt" and people are happy with their purchase (due to their own mediocre knot tying skills).

    Take for example JB Hollow, a line I am very familiar with. JB60 has an ABS of 90+lbs even though it is listed at 60lbs. Consequently, if you tie a *terrible* Bimini and it breaks at 60lbs you are like *stoke* but in reality, you are sacrificing ~30%+ of the ABS.

    Why does this matter? If you are fishing "small reels for big fish" in all their varieties you can confidently fish much, much lighter braid and get far more capacity on your reel. Yet, due to the quality of your connection if it is truly 100% you can fish it very, very hard. More people could be fishing "40lb Braid" (which is closer to 60-70lb ABS) as their mainline for 30-60lb leaders if they perfected their technique and got closer to 100% of ABS Knots.

    Their baits would be swimming freer and they would be getting bit more etc etc and would still have an adequate mainline and more reserve capacity even if that JP fish hit at the Rocks.

    Just one way to do it, obviously carry on all you readers that are happy with your current approach. It ain't hard to catch fish when top boats put you over them :D.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  17. Mr GreenJeans

    Mr GreenJeans Well-Known "Member"

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    John, you hit the nail on the head. The reason I started down this road of knot testing is because I wanted to put 40# braid on my Bx2-400 and fish it with a 50# wind-on leader at the Rocks. I want my bait to be fresh and friskie when he gets out to the kill zone. I figure the less braid he is pulling, the better he will look.
     
  18. johndtuttle

    johndtuttle Angler/Client

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    yup yup, that's the idear. A perfect Bimini is still the standard by which others are judged and the IGFA line class records still are dominated by it. Using a Bimini to double the mainline then tying an uni/knot of your choice can convert that knot from 60% to 100% when tying braid strait to the lure too (say for wahoo for example).

    The other knot/way to tie to consider is using a bobbin to tie this knot:

    YouTube - PR Knot Bobbin

    you can use the weighted bobbin to tie really good biminis too.

    One last thought is the technique for splicing solid to hollow shown in pametfisher's streamline links and then splicing a loop (for your L2L) in the hollow (you can use 60 hollow to keep it light for live baiting). This has tested to 100% of ABS of the weakest line. This is what I'm doing now as due to my professional commitments I fish less than I would like and my Bimini/PR skills get rusty and I lose confidence in them right before a trip. A spliced connection is utterly fool proof and leads to no surprises. The bait tows maybe 4 feet of 60lb around but the rest is 40lb for max capacity and you can have total confidence in your connection.

    best, keep up the good work.
     
  19. Abaco

    Abaco Member

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    I need to bone up on this. All my life I've been a modified cinch-tiein' trout and salmon fisherman. Now, this long-range habit has me practicing my knots out by the pool all summer. I had the palomar all ready and first tied on the last trip then the deckhand showed me the san diego knot and I used that with great success. But I watched the guy who loaded my reel (spectra to mono) at the fishin' shop and he had a big, twisty spider web thing going on. I need to learn that. And, here's a potentially stupid question: Which knot do you use to attach spectra to the spool? I see my fancy tuna reels have the little nub that sticks out of the reel spool. For my pretty little trout any ole knot worked fine there. One tuna almost spooled me last time out, though. That got me thinking...

    Thanks for the help, too.
     

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