Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Knots Kayakers Should Know

Number 1:

Double Fishermans






Joining ropes, joining cord abseil and prusik loops

Number 2:

Tape/Water Knot





Joining climbing tape

What other knots would you suggest?


  1. iboutdoor

    – Italian hitch (for pig rig, belay and abseil)
    – Clove hitch (for tying in to anchors)
    – Fig 8 on the bight (for creating a loop or inside a throw bag)
    – Round turn and 2 half hitches (for tying boats to roof racks)
    – No knot (for anchors)

    You only need a few, but to know them well.

    • Joe

      The Double fishermans knot. Is not a good knot for joining two ropes together in a water based environment. Why…. The main reason is that it is very difficult if not impossible to pass anything over the knot due to it’s size. A simple over-hand with a 30cm tail is much better. The knot when pulled has a flat side allowing a krab to pass over it.
      Also in an abseil situation this is the same.

      • Unsponsored

        The DF is great for prussic loops though.

  2. Robin

    A Bowline makes a loop in the end of your rope and if you practise can be very fast to tie and very fast to untie. It has the ability to ‘break it’s back’ to undo it after coming under tension. This means that you don’t spend hours trying to undo it / you can undo it quickly in an urgent situation. You can tie a bowline round something (like a rescue point on a boat or a tree) much easier than the figure of eight on a bight. Add an extra half hitch for security.

    A Sheet Bend is useful for tying 2 ropes together. You can also break it’s back for fast untying. It is also very quick to tie. Add an extra half hitch for security.

    A Round Turn and 2 half hitches can be useful if you are tying a rope to an anchor (i.e a tree) under tension.

    A Rolling Hitch can have many uses. Performs a similar function to a Prusik but with 1 end of a rope.

    These are just a few. The more knots you know the greater your ability to improvise in situations. Learn as many as you can, you will eventually find a use for them.

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