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  #1  
Unread 04-16-2006, 10:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Superior Rappel Knots?

What are flat knots? These are the asymmetrical type knots you use for tying two ropes together for abseiling/rappeling. You know, the ones that roll nicely over edges with out snagging due to their asymmetrical profile, rotating them away from the rock.

There are several out there but the main ones are;

1. overhand-flat knot (the so called - EDK)
2. figure eight-flat knot (instant-death knot!)
3. figure nine-flat knot (much safer, than 2.)
4. double-fisherman's-flat-knot
5. triple-fisherman's-flat-knot

I have noticed an alarming amount of ropes being joined with the "figure eight-flat knot" in KOREA and often with only 6-10 inches of tail and no backup. These knots have failed and killed people in the past. By failed I mean the knot has "Capsized/rolled" right off the end of the rope!

This got me thinking (doesn't happen too often ). I personally have been using the "tried and tested" "overhand-flat knot" (the so called - EDK) with a backup behind it. I recently found out this too can tumble over itself if not tightened well enough and not backed up. But it requires a lot more energy than the figure eight-flat knot to do so.
I also learned about a new addition to the "flat-knot" team, number 4 on the list. Edelrid did a test on it and it held until the rope broke! Great! Im changing, perhaps you might like to too! The figure nine-flat knot also held up well in a seperate Black Diamond test as it has a built in back up knot).

Overhand-flat knot (the so called - EDK)

Double-fisherman's-flat-knot
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  #2  
Unread 04-16-2006, 10:50 PM
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i think i figured out the double-fisherman's flat knot but do you have a diagram on how to tie it just to make sure?
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  #3  
Unread 04-18-2006, 08:49 PM
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http://www.animatedknots.com/
http://www.layhands.com/knots/Index.htm

These are the best websites for learning knots.
Tying two ropes together is known as a "Bend."
The double or even triple fisherman's not is not supposed to be used for heavy loads. The best is the Alpine Butterfly Bend. Please go to the layhands website and you will learn a great deal plus it's fun/easy.
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  #4  
Unread 04-19-2006, 12:25 PM
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I still prefer the good old fashioned double fisherman's. It gets stuck in cracks and behind flakes less.

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  #5  
Unread 04-19-2006, 12:36 PM
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Another important factor in knots is the simplicity of tying them and the ease to visually check them. The alpine-butterfly-bend is an awesome knot, but can easily be mistied and is harder to check visually. The same debate exists between the double-bowline and the follow-through-figure-8 for tying in to the end of the rope. Most of us use the 8, but the double bowline is a superior performing knot, albeit harder to tie and properly check.

The best knot is the one that you know how to use.
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  #6  
Unread 04-19-2006, 02:06 PM
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hmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro de Pacas
I still prefer the good old fashioned double fisherman's. It gets stuck in cracks and behind flakes less.

I like this one too, but it's not a flat-knot and so, perhaps, has an even greater tendency to get caught, than it's flat knot friend No#4, don't you think?

By the way both of these knots take the same amount of time to amke and use exactly the same stopper knots to make them, owever no#4 puts them in parallel as opposed to opposing.

What do you think?
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  #7  
Unread 04-19-2006, 06:51 PM
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This is a good thread. Not enough is said about knots in my book. Plus, any one knot can have 4-5 different names. I must agree with pedro that I also prefer the double fisherman's knot over the Alpine Butterfly. However, the Alpine Butterfly is pure simplicity. It does not have the danger factor associated with other knots/bends as mentioned in the layhands website. I've practiced with both and the "Ashley Bend." For some reason, to me anyway, the fisherman's just has that extra look and feeling of security, but supposedly, the Alpine Butterfly and Ashley are stronger and have held up to pull tests better. I bet this would be a good subject to talk about while drinking beer......
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  #8  
Unread 04-19-2006, 11:08 PM
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Knots, Not Nuts

Flat knots, such as the Figure 8 "Death Knot" and simple Overhand Knot are very safe if they are fastened tight so that they don't roll over on each other. They generally have a lower probability of getting snared; however, safety back-up knots, which is not neccessary with a fair allowance of tail, DO increase their probability of a snag. These two knots are also extremely time efficient, which could prove to be potentially critical. The best knot is NOT the knot you know how to do best. The best abseil knot is the knot least likely to get caught up or snagged for each given abseil; granted the style of the abseil and granted one ties the knot properly and securely. The more abseil knots learned, the better off one is.

Last edited by CHOI BAWI : 04-20-2006 at 11:39 PM.
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  #9  
Unread 04-20-2006, 10:36 PM
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Fantastic thread guys! Great links ideas too, so big thanks and wraps to all involved. Like Rockboy, I've always been using the EDK or over-hand flat knot to join rap ropes (maybe it's an antipodean prejudice)..albeit with a variation that doubles the wraps from 2 to 4. The Alpine butterfly bend however might get me to change as it gobbles up about the same or less rope and seems easy to visually check.
As an aside, when rapping in windy conditions, or in snag-happy terrain you can half coil the rap lines and throw only half down at a time. This keeps the lines weighted and together, lessening the chances of getting them caught-up or snagged, as well as providing a super-sized incidental mid-point stopper knot (should something really untoward occur...). In alpine situations it's also common to loose-coil the rap lines in the top of your pack so that they feed out as you rap...but I've never got this to work properly for myself.
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  #10  
Unread 04-23-2006, 10:02 PM
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Hmmmmmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHOI BAWI
Flat knots, such as the Figure 8 "Death Knot" and simple Overhand Knot are very safe if they are fastened tight so that they don't roll over on each other. ...........safety back-up knots, which is not neccessary with a fair allowance of tail,


AHHHHHHH. This was kind of the whole point of the post, tests showed the figure 8 will roll right off the end of the rope if not backed up!!!!!!!!

Infact you can try it at home 750 lbs later and your've got failure. I suggest people who use this knot, try not to bounce around too much. The jarring affect helps to topple the knot.
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Last edited by rockboy : 04-24-2006 at 12:44 AM.
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