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So I have bbeen wondering about this. I have always used a medium (6 MM maybe) "prussic size" line to tether my oars. Yet there are lots of strap style oar tethers for sale. What are the negatives of using a strong rope/line ties between the frame and oar?

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One positive is that it takes such little time to rig them up you get plenty of time to watch people figure out their new expensive ones while you wait to launch..
 

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One that I've heard thrown around is that with a strong enough cord, the oars won't break away if you're getting maytagged. I could see that being either a positive or a negative, depending on how much you like your oars and how much you're worried about getting smashed in the head/rest of you by them.
 

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The ones with the metal rings make noise. Had to get rid of em. Stout cord and proper sized bowline knots are the ticket.
 

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Breaking strength of webbing versus prusik or parachute cord is one reason to stick with cord. I watched a raft get beat to shit because oar attached to it stuck in rocks and held boat in current while it was stripped of pretty much everything except frame... cord is easier to cut as well.
 

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The thing I like about some of the commercial webbing systems is that they generally have a quick release. You can't as quickly cut the webbing, but you can unsnap them.

I like prussik/cord because it's easy to cut, will probably break when it needs to, and it's quiet.

I've started using a trigger snap with my prussik/cord and think it's the best of both worlds.
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If you want to go with webbing just use a loop strap, but I will agree the stupid metal ring is a total pain, noisy, gets hung up, for awhile I just couldn’t figure out why my oarlocks made so much noise, and it was the damn metal ring sliding.
 

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Watch the link below to learn why traditional oar tethers are a waste of money. Link below.

 

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If you want to go with webbing just use a loop strap
+1 on the loop straps. No reliance on plastic fastex buckles, cheap, super easy to release and reattach the oars.
 
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+2 for loop straps on both my boats. Tuff River Stuff's to be exact. I put a stainless ring on the oar shaft and loop the strap to it. Easy to get apart and together. Also, can keep the 1/2 looped to the oar stand in place by cam'ing it to a frame strap while in transit.
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I just use 5mm cord with a loop tied on the oar side and a snap or cheap non-rated carabiner on the frame side. It’s quiet and strong enough to be secure in the event of a flip, but not so strong that it won’t break away before doing damage to either your oars or frame.
 
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Here is our solution.They are quiet, strong and effective.
 
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Here is our solution.They are quiet, strong and effective.
And you can release them under a load.

If you're releasing an oar in a panic situation, it's probably under a load!
 

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I use 5mm or 6mm line. If it needs to break, I hope it does. If it doesn't need to break, it keeps the oar floating near the boat and easy to pull back aboard.

I just tie a bowline around the oar shaft barely loose enough that it can slide freely. I have a Cambridge frame, and I tie the other end onto the oar tower with a modified bowline. I don't pull the tag end all the way through, but just tighten it up on a bight. If I need to release it, I just tug on the tag end, and the bowline will release.

And since nobody asked.... I prefer my spare oars with blade towards the stern and handles forward. The handles make a nice blade rest. It's easier to get on and off the boat. If I need to deploy one, I just undo ONE cam and slide the oar out from the front. It takes a moment longer to shove it into the oarlock, but it takes three moments FEWER to release it from storage; overall, it works.
 
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