How to splice a rope

Updated February 21, 2017

Rope splicing is the creation of a semi-permanent joint between two ropes or two strands of the same rope. Splicing is performed by partially untwisting the rope(s) and then interweaving the strands to form a new bond. Splices can be useful for forming a stopper at the end of a rope line or to make a loop or eye in a rope or as a way of joining two separate ropes together. Splices are preferred by some to knots because they maintain more of the original strength of the rope, up to as much as 95 per cent of the original strength.

Learn how to splice rope by starting with an easy splice--the eye splice--on a piece of rope such as a double braided polyester rope. Lay your fid splicing needle down next to the rope and use a felt tip marker to mark the rope one needle's length in from the end (about six inches).

Determine the size of loop or eye that you want by folding over the rope so that it forms a loop; when you have the size loop you want, mark the end of the loop so that it starts at your first mark and ends at your second mark. Measure 60-inches from your second mark and tie a knot in the rope there.

Use a small fid needle or sharp knife to extract the core of the rope at your second mark. Remove the slack from your rope cover by sliding your hand from the knot outwards toward your second mark.

Remove another needle-length of rope core from your second mark and use your felt tip marker to make a third mark on the rope at this point. Withdraw an additional two-thirds of a needle's length from your second mark and make a fourth mark on the rope with your felt tip pin at this point.

Extract an additional three or four inches of rope from your second mark and secure it to the rope cover by inserting a needle in the rope at that point.

Slide another splicing needle into the exposed rope at your third mark and use it to feed the rope cover back into the core at your fourth mark until the end of the cover is hidden. Insert a needle into your third mark and pull it out at your second mark in one pass.

Pull the rope core through the rope cover until all slack in the rope is eliminated. Guide your splice back into the cover by sliding the cover back over the splice until it reaches your first felt tip pen mark. Your first and second marks should now meet.

Cut off the exposed core and stretch your loop until the core goes under the cover. Your eye splice is now complete.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Felt-tip marker
  • Double braided polyester rope
  • Fid splicing needle
  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring tape
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