Line and Rigging

A New Bend Knot

for Amsteel
By Allen Edwards


This bend has been tested. Sometimes it slips, sometimes it breaks. Either way it is stronger than a triple fisherman's. Amsteel is very slippery. It is difficult to test a knot that slips and even harder when it slips sometimes. If you pull and let it sit after it starts to slip, it recovers and ends up being extremely strong. There are other knots that almost never slip, see the Last Bend, but it is ugly and not near as simple or easy to tie as this knot although it isn't bad. The standard for tying Amsteel or Dyneema together is the triple fisherman's knot. This knot slips less that a triple fisherman's so it is a step forward slipping or not. When it doesn't slip, it is stronger than the Last Bend. I present it here for your consideration.
This knot can also be untied even after being loaded up near breaking. Just put a spike through the center to loosen it up and remove the tails from the knot center. The rest is easy.
I am calling this knot the First Bend because by the time I was done testing dozens of variations on knots and never wanted to hear the word bend again, I called the final knot the Last Bend. It did well but upon considering this knot, the first one I considered, I came to appreciate it more. In fact, I am declaring it the winner of my search for the best bend for Dyneema. That said, the variation is stronger.

How to tie the knot

Start with a loop with the tail under and the other line over the loop

Then go under the tail. You will be going under, over, under, over -- kind of weaving the knot.



Now over itself

And under the other side of the loop

Now take the tail and come back over the knot and through the center.

Do the same with the other tail and if you did it right, it will be in the opposite direction.

Pull it tight and it looks like this on top

And this is the bottom. If it doesn't look like these two shots, take it apart and start over.

Video Demo

How to tie the variation

From the step where you are about to tuck the tail thought the center we can do a variation. It is somewhat stronger, about 10% stronger before it slips but it cannot be untied once tight. As before, tuck one tail through the center of the knot.

Go under the other tail, and follow the standing end of the other strand out of the knot. OK, so it really isn't being tucked thought center, except it is. It just doesn't know it yet. Once the other tail is threaded through, this tail will be in the center.

Take the other tail and go over two strands, under the first tail.

Over, and under and exit the knot following the other standing end going under one final strand.

Pull it tight and this is what you get. You want to really pull this knot tight. Take a pair of pliers and pull on the tails to lock up the knot. If you pull hard enough, it will not slip. But even without pulling hard, it out performed a triple fisherman's knot in my testing (see below).

Here is the result of a pull test to failure. The line broke at the knot

Video Demo of Variation

Testing on First Knot (not the variation)

This is the "bake off" between this First Knot and the triple fisherman's knot. May the best knot win.

This is the test bed.

Here are the knots ready to be tested

The First Knot won as the triple fisherman's knot slipped


Both these knots are stronger than a triple fisherman's knot, the industry standard for tying this kind of line. The main knot here can be untied and is very easy to tie. It is the one I will be using when I need to tie Amsteel together to make a small loop when splicing is not an option.
One of the applications for knots in Amsteel is in making a short loop, one where you cannot make a splice. For that the variation with the tails locked hard like is done with a diamond knot on a soft shackle would be a good choice. It is a very strong knot and easy to tie and inspect to see if you tied it correctly.

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