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Old 06-08-2011   #11
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
Throw bags made of poly are not rescue rope. Some rescue rope is wrapped in poly so that it can be used dual-purpose. I carry a bag with that type of rope on my waist.

Poly stretches and is not suitable for rescue rope. Didn't you get a book with your class? It should have some good rope info, if not there are other good books out there.

As others say, rescue rope is not something to get from anywhere other than a whitewater rescue source. I'm sure there are some exceptions, but unless you are experienced enough to discern the myriad of ropes, stick with what the pros offer.

I can't imagine being glad I saved $50 on rope when my Zdrag fails. Especially if a knucklehead set it up and didn't anchor the rope and it went flying and knocked someone out, or otherwise hurt them. Anytime you are looking for rescue or safety gear, get good stuff. You won't regret it when you use it, and if you never use it you are fortunate.
Quality poly does NOT stretch and in fact it's often a good choice for static line in longer lengths because it's 0% stretch whereas a nylon "static" will still stretch 2-5%. Given, in 75 feet a 5% stretch doesn't mean much. What feels like stretch in a cheap poly rope is just the loose weave. Furthermore, nylon, whether treated or not, absorbs water whereas poly is 100% hydrophobic by virtue of its chemistry. The poly rope in the wet bottom of your boat floats better towards the end of the day than a nylon. That said, most rope manufacturer's use a poly over nylon layup because in tandem you get a nice water resistance to strength to size/weight trade-off.

FWIW, in application, I think the most important thing is length and girth (ladies, do you agree?). You need more rope than 50' when you start z-ing it and those little pinner 1/4" dia. ropes don't hold a friction knot nor any other rope traction device nearly as well as larger diameters. Ditto goes for a swimmer grabbing those skinny lines. If you're really going to use it, and you have a creeker to store it in, then go with 75' by 3/8". IMO, over 3/8" would be sweet, but it just gets too big and heavy to use as a throw rope.

Good tech discussion here:

Damn it feels good
Schizzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2011   #12
salt lake city, Utah
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by slamkal View Post
I'm not sure what you are referring to --- but hopefully not the stuff from Home Depot.

If you want to unpin a raft you should look into 1/2" static line rated for rescue operation. People have opinions, etc on what is best, bluewater II is an example of something sufficient.
I second this. You need to go to a climbing/rescue 10 or 11 mm static line, like what you would haul a haulbag with (i.e., not dynamic that you would be leading on). Mine is 200 feet long. The forces generated during mechanical advantage recoveries are huge. Did they not cover this in the class??

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Old 06-08-2011   #13
salt lake city, Utah
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by Hans View Post

i'm mostly clear creek bound, keeping myself in my comfort range until the skills rebound (well that and develop way more than they ever were!).

blue water makes good ropes, you probably chose a suitable rope for your needs. hanging out on the rocks/ice for fun, hanging in trees with sharp objects for work, & now hanging off stacks & towers 100s of feet off the deck, i've never bargain shopped for ropes or safety equipment, but rather bought what i need from a reputable manufacturer who back their gear & labels it.

couple minor items to keep in mind... size your prussic cord accordingly. think it needs to be roughly 1/2 the diameter of the rope it is to grab in order for it to actually grab (verify that factor though)

as your setting up your z-drag, toss a pfd, drybag, or anything easily available over the working end of the rope. that way if it snaps, that item dissipates the energy & can save you or others additional injury.

you can save yourself an anchor sling (simpler is always better) by wrapping the end of rope around a tree (2-3 times dependent upon diameter & bark roughness) & if there is a figure 8 on the rope end clipping it to the line going out.

damn i really need to get out there and practice this again. it's possible to get from deployment to actually pulling on the drag in under a minute... can be a fun competitive game while hanging around camp with your paddling buds.

i'm not certain why the melting point factor is a consideration. if you're paying out rope with a friction device at a rate fast enough to approach melting point, think a rework of the setup is in order. without a friction device, your hands would burn so bad you couldn't use them well before the rope starts to heat up.

more a factor is stretch, hence the semi-static or static recommendations, and a sufficient braiding pattern to keep the rope intact & not having strands pulled out. under high enough strains the cross section of the rope can "collapse", "square out" & get out of round, which can reek havoc on the gripping ability of the prussic.

sorry, hope i'm not rambling

For what its worth, I like to cary a couple Petzl Tibloks in my kit to use in stead of prussiks (I have Prussiks, too). They are excellent for Z-drag application, in some cases they can be "self-minding" at the anchor pulley, which is sweet. A jumar is worth it too for the anchor pulley and can be self-minding or as a good handle for pulling. Obviously I am talking about a raft kit, not kayak, tho.
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Old 08-18-2011   #14
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
i know this thread is a few months old, but.....

i really don't like those tibloks. the teeth seem like they would just wreck the sheath on a rope. i use a ropeman by wildcountry (see here). works greats, feed well. basically the guts of a jumar.

for rope i have 200 feet of bluewater 1/2"/13mm bw-r3 (5,000lbf/22.2 kn tensile strength). i chose that simply because it floats, so less likely to sink & get hung up-one less thing to worry about.

and the anchor that hans mentioned regarding just wrapping the rope several times around a tree and clipping to itself is called a frictionless hitch, if someone was trying to look it up.

Never get out of the boat
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