Here’s a link showing the alternate method of creating a fixed loop, which also shows the tool with the grabber:
Here’s a pic of endloops made the way described in the article, but with oversized loops used for adjustment. The white line is in the initial condition – big loop, small tail. The green line shows what it looks like after tightening – small loop, long tail. It’s just enough to take out the stretch out after the dew falls.
I found some of my notes from break-strength testing. The line is Jerry Brown brand spectra fishing line rated to 200lb. It is probably very similar to the Aircore 1 sold on this site. I used the method shown in the link above (not what is shown in the article) to put fixed loops in each end, clipped them into carabiners and slowly pulled it apart.
Bowline: slipped at 30lb, cinched down on the biner and pulled through at 50lb. It didn’t break, rather the tail snaked its way through until it was untied.
Fig-8: broke <= 65lb.
Knotless splice: tested up to 187lb before breaking.
I found that if the cuff lengths aren’t long enough, it will break at a lower force, even if it doesn’t slip. For instance, one test which had a 20mm cuff adjacent to the loop and a 20mm captured tail, broke at only 131lb. I ended up settling on a 2” cuff adjacent to the loop, and a 1” captured tail. Longer doesn’t gain anything, but much shorter sacrifices strength.
I still keep a few of these type lines in my emergency kit, but I’ve replaced them on my tieouts with plain nylon line. Spectra is great if your lines are short and you can put a stake wherever you want, but I couldn’t figure out a way to make it as versatile as my nylon setup.
The setup described below has little or no knot tying in the field, is very fast to set up & take down, is adjustable during setup when rocks dictate stake position, is adjustable after setup without leaving the tarp, uses only the line itself for adjustment, and can eliminate the need for stakes by being convenient to attach to trees. It works particularly well for long lines attached to hammock tarps.
First, cut the line to the desired length. Tie a fixed loop in one end. In the other end, tie one stopper knot at the very end, and a second stopper an inch from it. Using additional line, make two prussic loops. See pic (2).
Attach one prusik loop to the line (with a prusik hitch) near the stopper knots, and slide it against the inner stopper knot. Attach the other prusik somewhere near the end with the fixed loop. Hitch the prusiks to the line so that the knot is farthest from the line. Use a three-wrap prusik hitch unless your loops are made from smaller cord than the main line. Pic (3).
Using the prusik at the stopper knot, girth the entire line onto the tieout point of the tarp as if the prusik was a fixed end loop.
For the longest line, when you can put a stake anywhere: simply stake the end loop.
For a shorter line, when you can put a stake anywhere: slide the free prusik to the desired length & stake thru the prusik.
When you have to hunt for a stake location: put the stake wherever you can get it, drop the prusik onto it, and pull on the tail of the line (the end with the fixed loop) while holding the prusik hitch until it tightens to the proper length. Use the same method without a stake to drop the prusik onto anything else that may be handy, like the stub of a broken branch on a tree.
To tie around a tree: slide the free prusik so it is between the tree & the tarp, take the end of the line (with the fixed loop) around the tree, grab the prusik and hold it as if it was a single strand (not a loop), and girth the fixed loop over the collapsed prusik (pic 4).
When the girth is pulled tight, it will be caught on the knot at the end of the prusik loop (pic 5).
Now slide the prusik to adjust the length.
If the tree is closer to the tarp than half the length of the line, substitute a slip knot for the fixed end loop (pics 6 & 7).
A slip knot would not normally hold in nylon line – if used say, as a stake-down loop, but it works fine in this application because it’s only supporting a fraction of the main load, and there’s additional friction in the girth hitch. Since it holds well enough, a slip knot is preferable to a stronger knot since it can be quickly tied with one hand and pulls out instantly when no longer needed.
Later, to snug up the lines without leaving the tarp, grab the prusik hitch at the tieout, and pull on the stopper knot (pics 8 & 9).
Note: This pitching sequence was invented by me (Eric Smith), and is called the “Eric-Way Two Loop Pitch.” When teaching it to others, please refer to it by that name.
--just kidding Ray.