Q. My question pertains to the Bimini/Spider Hitch knots. I have read over and over the greatness of these knots, but unless one goes for IGFA records, what use are they?
No knot breaks until it slips. That is the most important thing to understand about any knot. The Bimini twist creates a loop (two pieces of the same line) and will never slip. The Spider Hitch does slip when the line is jerked.
You can easily prove this. Take some 12-pound-test line, tie a Spider Hitch in it and pull it tight. Examine the knot carefully, and you will note that at the forward end the knot is very tight. But at the rear of the knot you’ll see a bit of loose coils. Grip the line firmly in the two hands and jerk, and the knot will break every time where the main line exits. That’s because the tight forward coils strangulate the loose mono being pulled through it. I don’t recommend this knot.
Why would you use a Bimini? If you are using light line (fly, plug or spin) and you attach it to the fly or lure, the knot will almost always be weaker than the main line. But a Bimini forms a loop (two lines), and now you can attach the lure or fly with two lines or make a knot that will be stronger than the main line. If you fish for sharp-toothed fish or a species such as snook that has a sharp gill cover, the thin main line will soon part. You can attach a piece of wire or heavy mono as a shock leader with a Bimini, and the connection will be stronger than the main line.