Overhand Loop Knot

This is a simple knot. Almost everyone already knows this knot, even if they don't know they know..... <grin>

An Overhand Knot is only a 50% rated knot. That means that a 100 pound rated line with an Overhand Knot or Overhand Loop is then only a 50 pound line. There is some argument that as a loop in the end of the line it is somewhat stronger than 50%, but that is not the way to bet. If strength is a real concern, use a Figure 8 knot instead of an Overhand.

Using an Overhand Loop in the middle of a flying line to hang laundry or to belay to an anchor is not a good idea. It is a very inefficient knot and is difficult to untie after having been under stress. A much better knot for these purposes is the Butterfly Loop

The best use of the Overhand Loop on the ends of flying line for stunt kites or single lines. A stronger method for putting a loop in the end of a line is Splicing, but that is not recommended for stunt kite lines or for stacking lines. The reasoning is that these lines are often on the ground and subject to being grabbed by vegetation. A lot of splices have been pulled out this way. Also, believe it or not, splices are less acurate than knots. Sure, they can be adjusted to compensate, but afterward it is hard to tell whether they have been 'compensated', or they slipped.



Now, there is a school of thought that says to sleeve the ends of flying line, especially small diameter Spectra stunt kite lines. The thinking is that this increases the diameter of the line, making it easier to untie the Lark's Head later. There is an even older school that says the sleeving prevents chafing.

And then there is another way of thinking, which says sleeving only encourages the Overhand Knot to slip, and chafing isn't a factor, so the only possible excuse for sleeving the line is to make the line thick enough to remove easily from the kite. But there is an even better way:

 To make the Lark's Head easy to undo after flying, simply add a 'release knot' to the Overhand Loop before Lark's Heading it to the kite. It is just another Overhand Knot near the end of the loop.


Pulling the release knot instantly releases the Lark's Head from the bridle. Must faster and easier than undoing a swivel.

Another great aspect of the Overhand Loop is that it can be tied in such a way as to yield a line of exactly the length desired. By marking the line, bending at the mark, and tying the loop, it doesn't matter where the knot ends up. Wherever it lands, it soaks up the same abount of line. As long as the line is bent at the mark, multiple lines with marks in the same places will be the same length. This is especially important when making stack lines for mutliple kites.


The amount of line the Overhand Knot will soak up varies with the diameter of the line used. Most of the diameters we use soak up 3/8". That's the number I use for 250 lb Spectra. I allow 5" past the mark. So, to make 4 foot (48") stack lines, they should be cut 58-3/4" long, marked 5" in from the ends, and tied.

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