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Spey Is The Way
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What knots work for making a loop in gel spun backing?

Thanks, Leo.
 

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loco alto!
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3 turn surgeon’s knot for everyday ease (most gel spun is super strong), or double bimini if you’ll be onto something special in bluewater and want to double that final loop
 
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Actually there was an extensive article in Sport Fishing Magazine about ten years ago about gel spun. They found the 6 turn Surgeon's (or the real triple surgeon's loop) to be best. They caution to use exactly 12 twists in a Bimini. Their testing and proof was quite convincing. Unfortunately, I saved that article as a bookmark and the magazine must have taken the article off their site as I can no longer retrieve it. I used a 12 twist Bimini finished with a three turn surgeon's loop for my last trip for spinner sharks in Florida. I had numerous fish in the backing and everything held together just fine. The article never did try to determine why 12 twists was the strongest, but they tested it against others that had up 100 twists. Usually, loops are used for backing and I've stopped using Biminis for backing and use that true triple surgeon's loop (six turns.)
 

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loco alto!
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JR, interesting to know. On the other hand, there are so many more types of braids today than 10 years ago, that I expect the exact number of correct turns depends on the brand and pound test in question, just like mono. The braids sold for fly backing are made a bit differently and feel different than an old-school PowerPro, and now there are "fused" braids, too. They're all a bit different in knot behavior.

I don't have a testing machine, but I do test knots for the specific materials that I use. It is a reassuring way to spend an evening. Loops are the easiest to test. I make 2 different loops in a 1' length of line, insert a chopstick or screwdriver in each loop, and pull it apart. Best loop wins!
 
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JR, interesting to know. On the other hand, there are so many more types of braids today than 10 years ago, that I expect the exact number of correct turns depends on the brand and pound test in question, just like mono. The braids sold for fly backing are made a bit differently and feel different than an old-school PowerPro, and now there are "fused" braids, too. They're all a bit different in knot behavior.

I don't have a testing machine, but I do test knots for the specific materials that I use. It is a reassuring way to spend an evening. Loops are the easiest to test. I make 2 different loops in a 1' length of line, insert a chopstick or screwdriver in each loop, and pull it apart. Best loop wins!
I've used the same test method for loops. In fact, a month or so we had a long thread on loops and I pointed out the difference between the Kreh loop and the non-slip mono loop. I tested them ten times and the Kreh loop won all ten (in mono). Good enough for me. I suspect you're right regarding the materials and method of making today's braids. As Bill Nash pointed out, the Bimini is probably not the knot of choice for gel spun anyway. Lefty also made a comment on that back page column of his in Fly Fishing in Saltwaters that he'd take a true triple surgeon's loop (six times through) over any bimini for a loop in one's backing. That's when I stopped tying Biminis all together. They're no longer needed on most big game leaders nor in backing. They're fun to tie (though less so with braid) but just not really necessary any more.
 

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3 turn surgeon’s knot for everyday ease (most gel spun is super strong), or double bimini if you’ll be onto something special in bluewater and want to double that final loop
3 turn surgeon works for me on black fin tuna and they are pull harder than a steelie.
 
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3 turn surgeon works for me on black fin tuna and they are pull harder than a steelie.
Are you using braid? And is this in your backing? I've always felt that we put way too much emphasis into fancy knots in our backing. But considering the flex of the rod and the stretch of the line and leader I doubt any of us could put more than ten pounds of actual pressure on our backing.. I don't doubt that even a standard surgeon's knot would hold. Most of us don't have the courage to do that when fighting something like a blackfin, but it would almost certainly work. What a terrific fish the blackfin is. Where do you fish yours (general area not specific?)
 
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