Hunter's bend

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Hunter's bend
Hunters Bend Final.jpg
NamesHunter's bend, Rigger's bend
Category Bend
Related Alpine butterfly bend, Zeppelin bend, Zeppelin loop, Ashley's bend
Typical useeasily-untied bend for rigging and mooring
ABoK #1425A

Hunter's bend (or rigger's bend) is a knot used to join two lines. It consists of interlocking overhand knots, and can jam under moderate strain. It is topologically similar to the Zeppelin bend.


When assessed against other bends in stress tests using paracord, it was found to be "not as strong as the blood knot, similar to the reverse figure of eight and stronger than the fisherman's bend, sheet bend or reef knot". [1]


Hunters Bend HowTo.jpg

In October 1978, an article in The Times presented it as a newly invented knot credited to Dr. Edward Hunter. [2] He had used it for years to tie broken shoelaces before discovering its originality through a friend in the 1970s. When it appeared on the front page, it led to much publicity for the knot and also to the formation of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. [3]

It was later pointed out by Amory Bloch Lovins that the knot had already been presented in Knots for Mountaineering by Phil D. Smith in the 1950s. [4] The tying of the bend was described as a modification to the alpine butterfly bend. [5] Smith had devised the knot in 1943 while working on the San Francisco waterfront and had called it simply a "rigger's bend". [1] [3]

Although not documented in the original 1944 print of The Ashley Book of Knots , it was later added in 1979 as entry #1425A. [1]

See also

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Butterfly loop Knot used to form a fixed loop in the middle of a rope

The butterfly loop, also known as lineman's loop, butterfly knot, alpine butterfly knot and lineman's rider, is a knot used to form a fixed loop in the middle of a rope. Tied in the bight, it can be made in a rope without access to either of the ends; this is a distinct advantage when working with long climbing ropes. The butterfly loop is an excellent mid-line rigging knot; it handles multi-directional loading well and has a symmetrical shape that makes it easy to inspect. In a climbing context it is also useful for traverse lines, some anchors, shortening rope slings, and for isolating damaged sections of rope.

Constrictor knot

The constrictor knot is one of the most effective binding knots. Simple and secure, it is a harsh knot that can be difficult or impossible to untie once tightened. It is made similarly to a clove hitch but with one end passed under the other, forming an overhand knot under a riding turn. The double constrictor knot is an even more robust variation that features two riding turns.

Butterfly bend

The butterfly bend is a knot used to join the ends of two ropes together. It is the analogous bend form of the butterfly loop, in that it is the butterfly loop with the loop cut. The observation that the butterfly loop is secure enough to isolate a worn or damaged section of rope within the loop indicated that the bend form of the knot would be similarly secure.

Carrick mat Flat woven decorative knot

The carrick mat is a flat woven decorative knot which can be used as a mat or pad. Its name is based on the mat's decorative-type carrick bend with the ends connected together, forming an endless knot. A larger form, called the prolong knot, is made by expanding the basic carrick mat by extending, twisting, and overlapping its outer bights, then weaving the free ends through them. This process may be repeated to produce an arbitrarily long mat.

Zeppelin bend

A Zeppelin bend is an end-to-end joining knot formed by two symmetrically interlinked overhand knots. It is stable, secure, and highly resistant to jamming. It is also resistant to the effects of slack shaking and cyclic loading.

Grief knot

A grief knot is a knot which combines the features of a granny knot and a thief knot, producing a result which is not generally useful for working purposes. The word grief does not carry its usual meaning but is a portmanteau of granny and thief.

Heaving line bend

The heaving line bend is a knot for securely joining two ropes of different diameter or rigidity. It is often used to affix playing strings to the thick silk eyes of an anchorage knot in some stringed instruments. In nautical use, the heaving line bend is used to connect a lighter messenger line to a hawser when mooring ships. It is knot number 1463 in The Ashley Book of Knots, and appeared in the 1916 Swedish knot manual Om Knutar.

Carrick bend

The Carrick bend, also known as the Sailor's breastplate, is a knot used for joining two lines. It is particularly appropriate for very heavy rope or cable that is too large and stiff to be easily formed into other common bends. It will not jam even after carrying a significant load or being soaked with water.

Sheet bend

The sheet bend is a bend. It is practical for joining lines of different diameter or rigidity.

Buntline hitch

The buntline hitch is a knot used for attaching a rope to an object. It is formed by passing the working end around an object, then making a clove hitch around the rope's standing part and taking care that the turns of the clove hitch progress towards the object rather than away from it. Secure and easily tied, the buntline hitch will jam when subjected to extreme loads. Given the knot's propensity to jam, it is often made in slipped form.

The buntline hitch, when bent to a yard, makes a more secure knot than two half hitches, but is more liable to jam. It differs from two half hitches in that the second half hitch is inside instead of outside the first one.

Surgeons knot

The surgeon's knot is a surgical knot and is a simple modification to the reef knot. It adds an extra twist when tying the first throw, forming a double overhand knot. The additional turn provides more friction and can reduce loosening while the second half of the knot is tied. This knot is commonly used by surgeons in situations where it is important to maintain tension on a suture, giving it its name.

<i>The Ashley Book of Knots</i> 1944 encyclopedia of knots by Clifford W. Ashley

The Ashley Book of Knots is an encyclopedia of knots written and illustrated by the American artist Clifford W. Ashley. First published in 1944, it was the culmination of over 11 years of work. The book contains 3,854 numbered entries and approximately 7,000 illustrations. The entries include knot instructions, uses, and some histories, categorized by type or function. It remains one of the most important and comprehensive books on knots.

Bottle sling

The bottle sling is a knot which can be used to create a handle for a glass or ceramic container with a slippery narrow neck, as long as the neck widens slightly near the top.

International Guild of Knot Tyers Organization

The International Guild of Knot Tyers is a worldwide association for people with an interest in knots and knot tying.

Fiador knot

The fiador knot is a decorative, symmetrical knot used in equine applications to create items such as rope halters, hobbles, and components of the fiador on some hackamore designs. As traditionally described, it is a four strand diamond knot in which six of the eight ends loop back into the knot, thus allowing it to be tied with a single line. While a specific knot is discussed in this article, the fiador knot has also been treated as an entire class of multi-strand knots similarly made with a single line.

Bight (knot)

In knot tying, a bight is a curved section or slack part between the two ends of a rope, string, or yarn. A knot that can be tied using only the bight of a rope, without access to the ends, is described as in the bight. The term "bight" is also used in a more specific way when describing Turk's head knots, indicating how many repetitions of braiding are made in the circuit of a given knot.

Snuggle hitch

The snuggle hitch is a modification of the clove hitch, and is stronger and more secure. Owen K. Nuttall of the International Guild of Knot Tyers came up with this unique hitch, and it was first documented in the Guild's Knotting Matters magazine issue of January, 1987. Generally, hitches are used to attach a line to another rope or spar, pole, etc., and are usually temporary. Thus, they should be relatively easy to untie.

Double overhand noose

The double overhand noose is a very secure hitch knot. It might be used by cavers and canyoneers to bind a cow tail or a foot loop to a carabiner.[ [File:Noeud double gansé.jpg|thumb|Double overhand noose binding carabiners.]]

Reef knot Type of knot

The reef knot, or square knot, is an ancient and simple binding knot used to secure a rope or line around an object. It is sometimes also referred to as a Hercules knot. The knot is formed by tying a left-handed overhand knot and then a right-handed overhand knot, or vice versa. A common mnemonic for this procedure is "right over left; left over right", which is often appended with the rhyming suffix "... makes a knot both tidy and tight". Two consecutive overhands of the same handedness will make a granny knot. The working ends of the reef knot must emerge both at the top or both at the bottom, otherwise a thief knot results.

The reef knot or square knot consists of two half knots, one left and one right, one being tied on top of the other, and either being tied first...The reef knot is unique in that it may be tied and tightened with both ends. It is universally used for parcels, rolls and bundles. At sea it is always employed in reefing and furling sails and stopping clothes for drying. But under no circumstances should it ever be tied as a bend, for if tied with two ends of unequal size, or if one end is stiffer or smoother than the other, the knot is almost bound to spill. Except for its true purpose of binding it is a knot to be shunned.


  1. 1 2 3 Ashley, Clifford W. (1993) [1944], The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, pp. 260–261, ISBN   0-385-04025-3
  2. Howard, Philip (6 Oct 1978) "Doctor ties up his claim to fame", in The Times (includes information from Inspector Geoffrey Budworth)
  3. 1 2 Budworth, Geoffrey (2002), Much Ado About Knotting: A History of the International Guild of Knot Tyers (2nd ed.), Needham Market, UK: Gipping Press, p. 5, ISBN   0-9515506-5-9
  4. Budworth, Geoffrey (1985) [1983], The Knot Book, New York: Sterling Publishing, p. 127
  5. Smith, Phil D. (1955) [1953]. Knots for Mountaineering, Camping, Utility, Rescue, etc. Twentynine Palms, CA: Desert Trail.