Concern about the “fisherman’s loop"

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18 years 1 month ago - 18 years 1 month ago #123740 by jimw
This is a new thread picking up from “Knot Questions” under “Tree Climbing Technique.” To get up to speed on my request, look back at that thread.

I’m glad Nick posted to this thread because it gave me yet another opportunity to look at the drawing of the “fisherman’s loop.”

When I first saw the picture of the knot back in January (and several times after that), I immediately thought it was the butterfly knot and moved on. Seeing it this time, however, made me realize that it definitely is NOT the butterfly--very different.

When I tied it, it really is two slipped overhand knots (not very descriptive, but the best I can do verbally without an awful lot of words). RescueMan called it the “double overhand noose knot,” which is pretty descriptive. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this fisherman’s loop (I bet you know the butterfly), tie the two knots and see the difference.

I have a strong concern about the fisherman’s loop in that pulling on the loop can pull the tail (bitter end) out of the overhand knot that’s tied in the working end, and then we’re left with only an overhand knot holding the carabiner (or whatever). (Yes, I know to use a stopper knot, and, yes, if the loop is small, this probably wouldn’t happen.)

It just seems to me that there are several other more secure knots to perform this function: figure 8 on a bight; buntline; anchor bend.

The point is that the fisherman’s loop has no turns/wraps/twists to provide friction to keep the bitter end from being pulled out.

I’d like to see some discussion from those of you who are experts on usage of these knots. The other knots I mentioned seem so much more secure than the fisherman’s loop.

Peace.

Jim

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  • stevebullman
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18 years 1 month ago - 18 years 1 month ago #123741 by stevebullman
I use the double fishermans for most of my friction hitch knots. I have never heard of the knot coming undone, although i agree it looks like it could do.
But still, im confident using it. All the cords that i use regularly are pre-tied and the ends terminated with whipping twine for that bit extra safety

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18 years 1 month ago - 18 years 1 month ago #123742 by jimw
Replied by jimw on topic Oops!
I'm glad I had some time to think about this before too many of you read my earlier concern.

It just dawned on me that one of the overhand knots is next to the carabiner, and one is at the bitter end--it is not a symmetrical knot--"polarity" matters.

So for safety, it is necessary to have the overhand knot that is adjacent to the carabiner tied in the working end; and the overhand knot that is away from the carabiner tied in the bitter end. Tie the knot and you'll see what I mean.

I'm glad I got it "wrong" when I tied it earlier and learned this lesson before I went naively into the field. If I use it, I'll probably still use a stopper, although that's pretty much what the "inside" overhand knot does anyway.

Steve's comment about using whpping twine to secure the knot sounds good, too (I have some great waxed whipping braid that I use).

I now have to change my opinion and agree with Steve: it does look like a good knot for the purpose . . . when tied correctly. But tie it with the wrong polarity, and watch out!

I'm still open to more comments about other candidate knots for the purpose.

Peace.

Jim

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18 years 1 month ago - 18 years 1 month ago #123743 by jimk123
Jim,

If you look at the photo of the "Fisherman's Loop" that I posted, it is very similar to the Butterfly knot. Rescueman posted a photo of the "Fisherman's Loop" that cinches. These are two very different knots. My current understanding is that Jepson is proposing the Fisherman "thing" that cinches against the carabiner. Nick is proposing the other version which doesn't cinch for the ease of change.

Regards,
JimK

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18 years 1 month ago - 18 years 1 month ago #123744 by stevebullman
i might be mistaken, i assumed we were talking about the double fishermans, which i think is what rescue man refers to as a double noose?
i havn't seen a double noose in jepsons book

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18 years 1 month ago - 18 years 1 month ago #123745 by jimw
Well, it appears that I have opened a can of worms--lots of misunderstandings resulting from terminology. I've never even seen a throw line as tangled as this thread!

The knot I was raising concern about is the one posted by JimK on 4-26-04 at 16:30. The link to that knot is
http://www.korpegard.nu/knot/index.php?knot=9&hideComments=&showInt=


On 5-17-04 at 23:30, JimK said:

Originally posted by JimK
If you look at the photo of the "Fisherman's Loop" that I posted, it is very similar to the Butterfly knot.

Yes--the pictures do look similar--that is what "fooled" me several times. However, when tied, they are very different.

I hasten to point out that, now that I understand this knot, I rather like it . . . when it's tied properly. (Remember the frequently quoted statement from Ashley (Jepson uses it): "A knot is never nearly right; it is either exactly right or it is hopelessly wrong, one or the other; there is nothing in between.") My point is that if this one is tied "backwards" (wrong "polarity"), it could be the last one you tie. I've located this knot on a few web sites, and none of them point this out.

On 5-18-04 at 13:46, RescueMan wisely admonished:

Originally posted by RescueMan
Make sure you know what you're doing before hanging you life on a mis-tied knot.


Referring to his 4-26-04 at 17:13 post, RescueMan said:

Originally posted by RescueMan
I don't know what you're tying, but it's not the double fisherman's noose that I posted a picture of.

That's right--I was tying JimK's knot (above). The problem is that I see no picture accompanying your post--only the little icon with an "X" in it where the picture should be. I would like to see this picture so I could understand. Will you post it again?

RescueMan also says:

Originally posted by RescueMan
And I think you're also confused about terminology. The working end is (obviously) the end you're working with. The standing part is the rest of the rope. The bitter end is the far end opposite the working end. Nothing is tied in the bitter end.

My several rope books, and several web sites I just checked (to see if I could find a discrepancy) indicate that the
running end
working end
free end
bitter end
are one and the same. (One example:
http://powerboat.about.com/library/glossary/bldef-bitterend.htm
defines bitter end as "The free, working end of a line, rope or cable"

So not only do we call different knots by the same name (e.g., be wary of several "butterfly" knots), and give several different names to the same knot, but we also call the same part of the rope by different names. Sounds pretty hopeless, eh?
So RescueMan and I both made an error.

Here is my properly reworded caveat:
"So for safety, it is necessary to have the overhand knot that is adjacent to the carabiner tied in the standing part; and the overhand knot that is away from the carabiner tied in the bitter end (or running/free/working end)."

If you ever plan to use this knot, please fiddle with this knot until you understand this.

As I said before, I still think there are better--or equally good--alternatives.

So, back to my original question: What are some other knots you recommend for tying to a carabiner when used such as in JimK's fine picture, and as commented on by NicK?

Peace.

Jim

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17 years 7 months ago - 17 years 7 months ago #124108 by jimk123
Replied by jimk123 on topic Fisherman Loop and Butterfly Knot
Just to keep everyone on track, the Fisherman Loop and Butterfly Knot are two different knots.

Here's why. The Fisherman Loop was used by the sailors to send a proposal of marriage to their sweety. This was in the day where illiteracy was common. The rope symbolized what words couldn't describe. Upon sending the knot, the sailor would slide the two halves apart. If the young lady accepted the marriage proposal, she would unite the two halves, making one and send it back. One can't use the Butterfly Knot to propose marriage. It doesn't slide apart.

This is the link for the Fisherman Loop.
http://www.korpegard.nu/knot/index.php?knot=9&hideComments=&showInt=

The Butterfly Knot is found in Jepson 2nd ed page 88. Once I find a link on it, I'll edit this reply.

This brings us to a point. What sites can we identify as an organization that will be the basis of consistent nomenclature?

Discussions become knotted up when words are used in place of diagrams.

Regards,
JimK

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17 years 7 months ago - 17 years 7 months ago #124113 by wildbill
I have been confused most of my life, so this particular thread doesn't confuse me any worse than anything else. In the meantime, I will admit I've practiced the double fisherman so many times I can do it blindfolded, behind my back or in the dark. Maybe one of the problems we have (okay, I might be stirring up things a little bit here while not always knowing exactly what I'm talking about) is that we try out too many different knots and other stuff when we only need about six or eight different ones. I confess, I've tried out stuff like this, too, and I always end up going back to the basics.

Now, having said all that, I'm quite willing to try to figure out some of this stuff. In fact, I'll be heading down to my practice tree in a few minutes to try out various things I've gotten from other climbers in recent days.

And, hey, just for the record, I need only 37 feet of vertical climbing to reach a milestone: Sometime today I'll reach and pass 10 miles or 52,800 feet of vertical climbing. I just felt like bragging a little bit.

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