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Ltryptophan's avatar

What one semi-complex to complex rope knot is most worth mastering?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10285points) February 26th, 2010

There are lots of easy knots that we learn to tie in childhood. Like knots for shoes, or fishing. There are other knots that are more difficult and require practice to master. These knots can help you climb, or catch animals, etc. Which knot could really prove useful on a regular basis?

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15 Answers

Battousai87's avatar

a square knot is the most useful knot that you will ever come across, you can use it for a million different things. it’s not really to complex “right over left, left over right”

the next most useful knot would probably be a two half hitches. it’ll look like a smiley face when you’re done with it, its a great knot you use it for tying and then tightening it, it’s used for tying things down

then the last one, is also a simple knot but it’s a clove hitch. u use it to fasten a rope to a pole or something it’s good because it’s easy to tie and it tightens on itself the more it’s pulled on and is still simple to untie when you want it to release.

some people will say the bowline is an important knot too. i always have trouble with it, i have to not be thinking about it in order to be able to do it right it’s wierd. I mostly find though, that i can get by in almost any situation without having to use the bowline here’s how to tie the bowline though in case you want to know,

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Battousai87 what is the bowline good for?

nope's avatar

DEFINITELY bowline. It’s used a lot in yachting, but it’s particularly good because you can tie a rope to just about anything that has a hole or other thing to put the rope through. It will never slip. And, even though the knot may have been under immense pressure (on a large sailboat for instance, bowline knots are commonly used to tie on jib sheets, which is the line (rope) that controls the sail at the front of the boat, and the pressure on the knot can be in the thousands of pounds), you can ALWAYS undo the knot. You can’t do it with a square knot, and I know this from personal experience. Square knots can also slip, if the rope or line is slick, but the bowline will not.

Get someone to teach you the bowline…I learned it because of sailing, but use it all the time now in my “regular” life. Once you learn how, you can tie it in about 10 seconds.

whatthefluther's avatar

See ya….Gary/wtf

Cruiser's avatar

Monkey fist is hugely useful. Do it right and you have a nylon/hemp style mace that you can demonstrate the ability of that knot to grab their attention as it comes in contact with their forehead.

john65pennington's avatar

Square Knot can be used for just about anything. its using force against force, or the rope using its rope to forcible hold against itself.

FutureMemory's avatar

My boating friend also swears by the bowline.

nope's avatar

I thought I’d weigh in one more time on this. The bowline can be used any time you need an eye (loop) in the end of your rope or line. Here’s a great up close picture of one.

The comment from @john65pennington above reminded me of another great knot related to the bowline. A square knot is commonly known by many people, and is great for tying two lines together…if they are of equal diameter. If they’re not, this knot is subject to slippage. Instead, use a sheet bend, which looks like this. It can be used for lines of the same or different diameter, and is highly slip resistant.

Aren’t knots great?

Ltryptophan's avatar

@nope yeees….knowing how to tie them is even better!

Ltryptophan's avatar

@nope how do you do the sheet bend?

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

sheep shank, for shortening ropes, by passing a nick in the rope, cinching down cargo

nope's avatar

@Ltryptophan Sorry for the late response, didn’t see your question until now! The link posted by @12_func_multi_tool has pretty good instructions, the only problem is, when people start talking knot-language, things stop making sense to regular folks like me & you. What’s a bitter end? What’s a standing end? What’s a bight, anyway? Is Elvis really dead??

I found this nice illustration that has step-by-step pictures for how to tie this knot. I want you to know, too, that Troop 7 of the Coral Gables Boy Scouts say that “the sheet bend is the most important knot for joining two rope ends, especially if the ropes are of different sizes.” This, at least, according to the internet.

YoBob's avatar

Of course the square knot reigns as king of all knots when it comes to utility.

That being said, I’d have to go with the bowline for function. It is often called the rescue knot because it allows you to tie a loop in a rope that will not close when put under pressure. This means that you can put it around someone and pull them out of a hole without the rope cinching up around them.

Here are some useful illustrations. The bowline is #6 on this list…

nope's avatar

@YoBob Yes! How true. And, it won’t slip, either. Perfect in either direction, it’s the near-perfect knot.

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