The Strongest Knot For Doubling Over Braided Line [Knot Contest]
It’s knot contest time again!
Of all aspects of fishing, our knots are the only thing that we have 100% control over so it’s on us to make the time to ensure that we’re using the best knots for all of our connections.
And this is especially true for the connection on the weakest line in the system since the weakest link will of course determine the overall line strength.
This knot contest is focused on determining the strongest knot for anglers who like to double over their braided line so that their braid to leader knot strength is maximized.
One of the benefits of doubling over the line for saltwater anglers is so that the leader to braid knot can be stronger since there are two strands of the braid which is often at a lower listed strength compared to the leader for maximizing casting performance while having enough strength at the end next to the fish to withstand the sharp/rough mouths of many saltwater gave fish.
But the potential issue the line doubling knots create is a new weakest link in themselves…
So this contest is going to focus specifically on the line doubling knots to see which one is the strongest.
Here are the 4 knots that I’ll be evaluating:
- Bimini Twist
- King Sling
- Spider Hitch
- Surgeon’s Knot
And here are the lines used for this experiment:
- 10 lb PowerPro braid (representing the main line)
- 30 lb Berkley Trilene (representing the mono leader)
Note: I altered between the Double Uni and Yucatan knots for the final connection to the leader to see if either of them would bread before the line connector knot did.
Line Doubling Knot Contest Details
To test these 4 knots out for their strength relative to one another, I paired them up against one another in a tournament style bracket with the stronger knot going to the final round against the other winner.
For each head to head series, I tied them against one another on the same strand of line and pulled until the weaker one broke.
During the tension loading for breaking the line, I attached a scale on one end so I could log the strength on the line when the break occurred.
Then I repeated the process until 5 tests were logged.
Quick Assessment Of The Knots
This is known to be the strongest of all fishing knots. It’s strength is due to it doing a great job at spreading the load across a long series of twists without any sharp load bearing points.
Here’s a video I made last year (pre-beard) showing how to tie it:
This is a knot that I was not even aware of before starting this analysis… I did some pre-experiment testing on a variety of knots and this one turned out to be surprisingly strong.
Spider Hitch Knot
The spider hitch is what many anglers use to replace the bimini twist when time is a factor. It’s much quicker to tie compared to the Bimini Twist.
Surgeons Loop Knot
The core design of the Surgeon knot always seems to make for very strong connections. Although it’s an extremely basic and simple design, it’s hold strength can often be one of the best for various connection needs.
Line Doubling Knot Contest Results
Here are the results for each of the head to head match-ups:
Round 1 – Spider Hitch vs. Surgeon’s Knot
To analyze which of these two knots creates a stronger connection, I made them both with 5 twists. This way, the most efficient design will come out on top.
Here are the results:
- Spider Hitch won at 13.5 lbs
- Surgeon’s won at 14.1 lbs
- Spider Hitch won at 15.1 lbs
- Spider Hitch won at 13.2 lbs
- Spider Hitch won at 13.8 lbs
Conclusion: The Spider Hitch is stronger than the Surgeon’s knot due to winning 4 of 5 bouts.
Round 1 – Bimini Twist vs. King Sling
To analyze these two very different knots, I kept the wraps equal to what I saw to be the typically directions from others websites/videos (25 twists for the Bimini Twist and 5 turns for the King Sling).
Here are the results:
- Bimini Twist won at 16.1 lbs
- King Sling won at 17.9 lbs
- Bimini Twist won at 14.1 lbs
- Bimini Twist won at 17.4 lbs
- Bimini Twist won at 13.7 lbs
Conclusion: The Bimini Twist is stronger than the King Sling
Round 2 – Bimini Twist vs. Spider Hitch
For this final round, I experimented with different amount of twists for each knot.
Here are the results:
- Bimini Twist won at 16.3 lbs
- Bimini Twist won at 16.9 lbs
- Bimini Twist won at 13.3 lbs
- Spider Hitch won at 19.1 lbs
- Spider Hitch won at 17.0 lbs
Conclusion: The Bimini Twist is stronger than the Spider Hitch, but it was closer than I was expecting.
So the winner of this contest was the Bimini Twist, which explains why it’s by far the most popular option. And although many people feel intimidated by this knot, it’s actually quite easy once you’ve done it a few times.
This experiment proved that the Bimini Twist is the strongest of the line doubling knots that I’ve tested so far.
But although it’s by far the most popular, I was a bit surprised by how close the Spider Hitch and King Sling knots came from beating it.
And comparing the breaking range of the Bimini Twist to what the FG Knot did in the single line to leader test, I’m looking forward to testing them against one another.
As of right now, I believe that the FG Knot will be the victor since it was breaking at over 20 lbs in our last contest with it using the same types of line.
I’ll be testing them against one another using the same exact strand of line to make sure the difference isn’t from line quality.
Your Help Needed: If you use the Bimini Twist as part of your line to line connection, please let me know which knot you pair it with so I can make sure to include it in my testing.
Leave a comment down below or send me an email at Luke@saltstrong.com with your knot of choice for me to use next week.
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I am curious why the knots were not wetted prior to being pulled completely tight? Maybe because of the overall knot size and type of line…. does it help or hinder or not matter if the lines are wetted prior to final tightning
Here’s an experiment we did on wetting lines before tightening them… does more harm than good in many cases: https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/saliva-cinch-down-fishing-knot/
Do the surgeons with 6 wraps standard practice. That extra wrap makes a ton of difference. Make sure its sinched properly nice and neat. My snell broke before the surgeons knot did.
Thanks for making time to post the helpful comment David!
I’m curious about the strength of a loop to loop connection, have you ever done any testing with this? This is widely used in fly line to leader connections, usually surgeons loop. Comparing say loop to loop vs loop to FG or other. I guess the FG is stronger but by how much, i.e. is the result worth the extra time to tie.
Keep up the great work! Interesting stuff.
I generally see an increase in strength of the FG compared to loop knots that’s over 30%, so I don’t recommend using them for braid to leader connections (the FG is stronger and thinner).
Enjoy this site. Thanks for the enthusiasm and diligence.
Tight Lines, as well.
Thanks for making time to leave the nice comment Tom!
I use the Bimini Twist and the Aussie Quickie.
Just a question, if you took all the results for each knot, and did a statistical average of break point and calculated standard deviation, what are those numbers for each knot? Might not change the results but based on seeing some break above 17 and below 13 for the same knot, its a wide variance. Would be interesting to see a table of all values for each test, I would be happy to run the analysis and share back the results. And of course the bimini and spider hitch with double the test results will have presumably tighter data set with fewer outliers.
Sorry if I got too nerdy on this.
I agree that it would be interesting to see how the breaking point standard deviations compared for each knot. The trouble in that is the human factor given that it’s impossible to tie a knot exactly the same with the precise same sized loops, twists, etc. as well as applying the exact same tension the exact same way when tightening the knots. So the reason why I haven’t gone down that path is the fear of taking up a bunch of time to not learn anything more than what can be found by of these basic knot vs. knot pull tests.
Have you ever compared braid stitching with the bimini? It’s not feasible at low breaking strains but pretty easy in 50lb 4 strand (possible but more difficult in 50lb 8 strand).
I tried to run a relative test but the improved uniknot kept breaking before the knots I was trying to test.
I have not tried stitching braid at all because I very rarely use braid over 30 lbs, and I’ve heard that it’s very tough to do with line that thin.
Thanks for all the tips and tests you guys do. I usually tie.
my Bimini to my leader using a surgeons knot. I’ve never had a failure with it but would like to see the results if you should test it. Keep up the great work guys.
I have not yet tried the surgeon’s knot on the bimini, but I am very confident that the FG knot on the end of the bimini would be the superior choice if the goal is to maximize strength. The con is that it’ll take a bit longer to tie, so I think that the ultimate test would be the bimini knot and surgeon combo against tying straight to the FG knot. My guess is that it’ll be extremely close so the answer will likely be dependent on the lines that you’re using. I highly recommend trying it out on your lines to know for sure. But either way, both options will certainly leave a very strong connection.
I double my line with a bimini then attach my doubled line to leader with a slim beauty knot.
I really can’t thank you guys enough for your entire website and you tube channel!! Your time and knowledge of all aspects of fishing is very much appreciated
Our pleasure, Vincent. It’s great feedback like this that keeps us super excited to make new content… especially these knot contests which are tedious to create. Tight Lines!