FG Knot Vs. The Bimini Twist [Strength Test]
By: Luke Simonds on December 1, 2016
It’s fishing knot contest time again!
My favorite thing about knot contests is that every once in a while I get completely surprised by the results.
And my latest knot contest certainly proved to be one of the contests that opened my eyes to a potential next strongest knot for the most important connection for saltwater anglers…
Best of all, any increase in strength resulting in this test will have a direct impact to the strength of many saltwater anglers’ overall line systems since many of us use a light braided line for our main line (to maximize casting performance) with a heavier leader that can withstand the sharp/rough mouths of our target species.
But before getting to the surprise, let me first explain this contest so you can understand the purpose of the test.
FG Knot Vs. Bimini Twist Overview
As many of you know, the FG Knot won my original knot contest along with all of the other direct braid to leader connection contests.
Similarly, the Bimini Twist won the most recent contest that focused on line “doubling knots” used for tying line to leader knots with doubled line (which is supposed to be stronger).
Knowing that these are two of the strongest overall fishing knots, I decided to go ahead and actually test the top single line to line knot against the top line doubling knot paired with some of the top doubled-line to leader knots that members of the Salt Strong Fishing Tribe recommended.
Here are the four knots I combined with the Bimini Twist (to compete against the FG knot):
- Improved Bristol (aka. No Name Knot)
- Uni-to-Uni (aka. Grinner Knot)
(1) For connecting the braid to the leader, the Bimini Twist was first tied to form a loop at the end of the braid. Then, each of these knots were used to connect the braid loop to the leader before testing its strength against the FG Knot.
(2) I used a range of 20 to 30 twists in the Bimini Twist to see if it made a difference.
FG Knot Vs. Bimini Twist Results
Since the braid to leader knot using the doubled line technically has two core variables (strength of the Bimini Twist + strength of the Loop-to-Leader knot), I did three rounds of tests for each finishing knot.
Note: All tests were done using 10 lb PowerPro for the braid and 30 lb Berkley Big Game mono for the leader.
Test 1 – Improved Bristol Knot
The Improved Bristol knot is similar to the Bristol, but instead of making 10 wraps in one direction before bending back…
The improved version makes the initial 5 wraps, but then reverses the next 5 wraps over the first similar to a Crazy Alberto Knot.
Improved Bristol + Bimini vs. FG – [Results]
- FG Knot won at 12.6 lbs
- FG Knot won at 13.2 lbs
- FG Knot won at 13.5 lbs
Findings: Although the breaking point was higher than the listed strength of the light braid, I would not recommend using the Improved Bristol Knot because the others had higher breaking strengths while also being a bit easier to tie (it’s tough to do the 5 wraps over the first 5 with mono).
Test 2 – Uni to Uni Knot (aka. Double Uni Knot)
The Double Uni Knot knot is probably the most popular of all fishing knots because it can be used for almost any connection.
And it’s strength is often tested as one of the top contenders.
Note: The standard wrap count for this knot is 5 turns each, but I did 10 turns on the braid loop since me prior testing of the double uni showed that doubling the count on the braid side adds strength.
Double Uni + Bimini vs. FG – [Results]
- FG Knot won at 17.5 lbs
- Double Uni Knot won at 18.1 lbs
- FG Knot won at 17.9 lbs
Findings: Although the Double Uni Knot won a bout, the FG knot still pulled ahead in the official 3 tests (plus most of the prep ones too).
Test 3 – Yucatan + Bimini vs. FG Knot
The Yucatan is what many claim to be the strongest option for connecting a doubled main line to a leader.
Note: In order to maximize the strength of this knot with braid, I made 10 to 14 wraps (vs. ~5 that many online tutorials show) around the leader since braid has less friction than mono.
Yucatan + Bimini vs. FG – [Results]
- FG Knot won at 17.7 lbs
- FG Knot won at 16.5 lbs
- FG Knot won at 17.1 lbs
Findings: Of all the loop knot connector knots I tested, this has been my favorite to tie since it’s much quicker than the double uni while having a comparable strength… but it’s still not as quick and strong as the FG knot based on this test.
Test 4 – Albright + Bimini vs. FG Knot
The Albright knot is another very popular knot used for connecting a doubled main line to a leader.
Note: In order to maximize the strength of this knot with braid, I made 10 to 15 wraps around the leader since braid has less friction than mono.
Albright + Bimini vs. FG – [Results]
- FG Knot won at 15.9 lbs
- FG Knot won at 15.5 lbs
- FG Knot won at 16.5 lbs
Findings: Although the Albright + Bimini connection provided a higher breaking strength compared to the line’s listed value, I still prefer the FG Knot since it proved to have a higher breaking strength while also being quicker to tie compared to having to tie both the Bimini and the Albright for the doubled connection.
The Big Shocker!
Given that the FG knot won 11 of 12 head to head contests, I concluded that the FG Knot was superior to the Bimini Twist.
But before I completed this article, I decided to see how the FG Knot would do on the doubled line behind the Bimini Twist instead of the more commonly used knots specified above.
And I was shocked at the results….
The doubled line FG Knot with the Bimini beat the single line FG knot every time.
Given that final test, I finally found a braid to leader connection that consistently beats the standard FG knot.
But it required the FG knot to be tied onto a doubled line behind the Bimini twist.
So although the Bimini Twist was the main consistent factor in all four sets of the earlier tests, it was not the root cause weakness.
And since the surprise finding happened at the very last second, I’ll have to dig into the specifics in a different knot analysis exercise… my hunch is that the FG knot did the best job at making sure the Bimini’s coils did not shift.
Good news: We finally found something that beats the standard FG knot.
Bad news: We still have some more analysis to do for determining exactly what doubled line knot is the absolute best for this very important connection for saltwater anglers.
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