Knot-tying buff Neil Mackellow insists that every angler should have at least one tidy ‘power’ knot up their sleeve, and cites the tough spider hitch as a winner. Anyone can tie this handy knot in just a few seconds and Big Mac shows you how in simple easy-to-follow-steps.
If there is one ‘power’ knot that anglers should get familiar with then the spider hitch is a great shout. Simple and quick to tie and impressively strong, the spider has numerous front line applications. Originally rooted in light line sport fishing, the spider has spilled over into our everyday sea angling and is a reliable way of creating a robust length of double line, particularly in thin braids.
In several ways the spider hitch is similar to the massively strong Bimini twist / Bimini hitch but it is much simpler and faster to tie. A correctly formed spider can still boast around 95% of the knotted line’s true breaking strain at the knot. It produces as long or short a length of double line as desired and is securely tied off with the hitch. It is more of a weave than an actual knot in truth, with the line wrapping together to form the finished bight rather than bunching into the classic knot form.
Among the many applications are forming a suitable loop to join a mono leader to braid, or a loop for joining a shockleader / rubbing leader to a mono mainline for shore fishing over rough ground. If opting to fish leader-less, the spider provides a means to tie the doubled length of mainline straight to the connecting swivel or link. Where the spider scores over the Bimini is that it can be formed very quickly even in bitterly cold wind and rain-lashed conditions. With a little practice a neat spider hitch can easily be tied in under 10 seconds.
I have used a fetching red line to make the knotting sequence easier to follow. See exactly how to tie the spider hitch by scrolling through the step-by-step pictures below.