What is your preferred method for tying a rope to something? Knots are common and popular, but they can reduce breaking strength by as much as 50%. In contrast, splicing allows the rope to retain its full strength while still enabling people to make loops at the end.
The eye splice is perhaps the most common type of splice that people make with double braid nylon ropes. This method is how you create a loop that can retain more strength than making a mere knot. It is also a convenient example of rope splicing that serves as a great introduction to the concept. Here is our in-depth guide to making an eye splice.
The first step involves a fid — a tapered spiked pin with a hollow end designed for splicing rope — but does not involve any actual splicing. After lining up the fid beside the rope, measure one fid length from the rope’s end and label it with a marker. This is Point A.
With this mark as a reference point, form a loop of the size you had in mind. Then, curve it into a U shape and mark the area exactly across from Point A. You now have Point B, where most of the next several steps will take place.
Extracting the Core
Bend the rope at Point B and start parting the individual threads and strands. A marlinspike can help if your fingers are not nimble enough. It may take a moment, which is a good sign that you are using quality rope. Eventually, you will reach a more solid piece — the rope’s core braid. You will not be parting any of its own threads and strands.
Instead, you will pull the braid itself out from the layers that ordinarily wrap over it. Tug out the part of the core that reaches the nearest end of rope. Once it is all out, place a mark on the braid where it meets Point B. Let us call it Point Alpha, using Greek letters to differentiate core marks from rope marks.
An important term you will need to know for the next step is “short fid length.” It is not a vague descriptor, but a concrete unit of measurement spanning about a third of the fid’s full length. Some fids feature scribing lines, and a short length is the distance between those lines and the fid’s hole.
Pull more of the core braid and make two more marks along the newly exposed stretch. Point Beta is one short section of the fid away from Point Alpha. Point Gamma is one full fid length plus one short fid length away from Point Beta.
Piercing the Core
Instead of using it as a measurement tool, you will now use the fid for its true purpose. Tape the end of the rope cover and insert it into the fid. Then, penetrate the interior of the core braid with the fid at Point Beta. The goal is to get it out at Point Gamma and keep pulling until Point A emerges from the hole you make.
As you run the fid and the rope cover along the interior, you also run the risk of damaging the core braid. Carefully inch it along, readjusting the braid so that nothing gets scrunched or tugged.
Tapering the Rope Cover’s End
Before the next step, you must remove some strands from the section of the rope cover between the tip and Point A. Do you see the pattern in the double braid nylon rope’s threading, with pairs of lines moving down and alternating between left and right? Count the fifth set from the tip, then pick at it until it comes out as a loose string.
Repeat this with every five sets up to about an inch from Point A — we can label that endpoint Point C. This stretch of rope should look like a tree, with strings like branches extending every which way from a gradually narrowing trunk. Take some scissors and cut the strings close to the rope. Finally, tug on the end until the section straightens out.
Reconnecting the Core
It is time for the core to reenter the rope cover, at least in part. Now that the rope cover’s end is tapered, pull it back through the core braid until you see Point C emerging from Point Beta. Tape the core braid’s own end to prevent fraying. Then, label Point D at one short fid length down from Point B.
Stick the core braid into the fid, then stick the fid into Point C. As carefully as before, carefully move the braid inch by inch to its intended exit at Point D. If you are doing this correctly, the eye should become apparent.
You may notice a great deal of slack in both the rope cover and core braid, from all that grinding and sliding. Smooth it all out until its appearance goes from fluffy to normal. You will need everything to be nice and tight.
One last time, let us make one more mark on the braid. Point Delta goes right where the core’s end sticks out of the rope cover. Tug out some more of the core, then cut the braid right at Point Delta. Unravel the ends a bit (remove the tape if you have not done so already), then nip them with the scissors at a 45-degree angle.
Massaging the Rope
What do we do with all the leftover braid? We reel it back in with a move called “massaging the rope.” With one hand, pull the rope cover toward the loop. With the other hand, pull the loop itself. The pressure will cause the braid to worm its way inside.
Before you know it, the core will be back inside, with no sign that it was ever exposed. The rope will now end in a hardy loop that retains the double braid nylon rope’s full strength.
Double Braid Nylon Ropes on Sale
The real first step to making a great eye splice is to have great materials at hand. You can find top-shelf double braid nylon ropes right here at Rope and Rope Products. Our high-quality braids are excellent for all your needs.