Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Greebe, Jan 6, 2017.
number 12 and number 36. 36 is good for general purpose and 12 is excellent for crafting
Never cared much for paracord. Too bulky and expensive. I have always found cheaper alternatives for my applications. Bank line is one of my favorites.
Tarred Nylon Seine Twine
As always, if you're storing it for use "someday", vac sealing it keeps your pack from smelling. Cut the bag long, it's easy to roll back up when you use some.
Ooooh look at that, #120! The great thing about bank line is the availability in different sizes. I have #12, 36 and 60 on hand. Just sewed up a knife sheath with the #12. Another source is Hamilton Marine.
Another thing I like about bank line, beyond the sizes we can choose from, and which we should take more advantage of, is its ability to hold form not just in knots but in a small wrapped bundle, it doesn't come undone easily, it stays put. At times I carry a small hank around in my pocket and feel lost with out it. I have not experienced any stickiness to it or seen residue left, but then maybe I am tolerant to such things. I would encourage others to try out the variety of sizes available. #60 is so much better when it comes time for bowdrill friction fire, something about the bulk it brings with it. Just as the smaller strings can cut into things and are harder to tie and untie, the bigger strings are easy on cold finger and old eyes. Be adventurous, go bigger!
Actually tar, and waterproof as far as string goes. Great for trot lines.
It is good stuff! However, none of the hardware or sporting goods stores around here seem to carry it. I had to order a roll on line.
I think I'll stick with paracord. I don't want to run the risk of getting tar residue on anything or the fact that people have said it can leave a smell. I use my pack for more than just going hiking and camping. I'm willing to trade off the extra cost and weight. I know people have said you can put it in a bag but I just don't get the warm and fuzzies about using and carrying it.
I put it in a couple of zip lock bags and keep it in the garage until I'm ready to throw it in a pack.
I'm still going to pass. I don't want it stinking up my pack or making a mess even if it is in a bag. I don't feel like reaching into a bag to get a handful of tar. I've never had a problem with paracord. Different strokes for different folks. I'm glad someone started this thread because the day before is started my friend and I were talking about it and wanted more information on it.
There must be various grades. The Catahoula brand stuff leaves pretty much no residue whatsoever unless you are in middle of the Iraqi desert or something. And as far as the smell, the first week or two is does smell, just leave it out of any bag or container in the storage shed or something and the smell is almost non-existent after that.
From my limited experience, paracord is great for some things, but for the majority of woods tasks is dwarfed in usefulness by several other types of cord. I heard a theory somewhere about how it started and I think it is very accurate.
(This post isn't aimed at anyone in particular, but just a theory I read/heard somewhere, on why the recent shift from paracord to alternate cordage)
Back however many years ago when this was starting to become a "thing" outside of normal hunter's common sense and the military training, there was little literature on "modern survival". What was there was mostly military manuals and a million-and-one books derived from military manuals/training. The military training was for a group of people who would most likely find themselves with an abundance of parachute cord in a survival situation. So they taught folks how to use it and that focus on paracord sifted out into the mainstream "survival" knowledge and through that into the "bushcraft" community.
Now people are starting to slowly realize, that while paracord has it's uses, it isn't quite the Wonder-Cord that it is made out to be and finding other things such as kevlar, dyneema, tarred bank line, etc.
Tarred line was used to prevent things like trot lines rotting was what I learned as a kid, and we made up a good many trot lines. Then I discovered "jug fishing" and switched over to that. I just put out about 10 or more "jugs" (think 2 liter pop bottles) with a monofiliment attached to a hook and baited. Just use the canoe to paddle around and gather them up. (A friend sprays some florescent paint inside them to see them better but not 100% needed)
Tarred line also is handy for lashings and the break strength is pretty good for the diameter of it. I can carry 1000 foot roll of that in less space than 1000 feet of paracord, and it tends to cost less.
Something I get often is "carpet yarn" from the carpet plants around here when they throw out the "ends" of giant spools they use there is often a couple hundred feet left and it is usually useful, and free. Never underestimate the attraction of free string. LOL
Years ago I came into several "seconds" of kevlar "yarn" that was made by a plant that used it to weave the fabric used to make the "carcass" of aircraft tires for things like the large passenger jets. This stuff is amazing strong (think 3 or 4 times the breaking strength of a same diameter steel cable). I hold onto this stuff for specific uses. It doesn't tie as well, and wants good knots or sewn together. but it pretty much doesn't break. I have twisted up a 30 food "rope" of this stuff that is maybe 1/2 inch diameter and it will pull vechicles like a tow rope. I tend to use clamps over the knots with attached tow hooks / etc. This is a special cordage.
I also love bailing twine. It rots fast, but can do lots of lashings and if you use a "rope machine" and make a thicker version is reasonably strong again pretty much free cordage since it is left over from large rolls I use with the square baler instead of that plastic string.
I have thought that having some tar (not the sticky stuff but the pine tar used to waterproof old wooden boats and applying it to some of my made / found cordage would make it more durable and knots hold better. I'm not sure if I want to mess with it or not.
The wallyworld tarred bank line is not so heavy coated, and for some uses I like that better than the true tarred line that is sticky / rigid feeling.
Different strings for different uses.
If one hasn't tried it a spool of it with over 1000 feet is usually well under 20 bucks and even if you use it as a secondary string, it will get used around the home place and out in the woods.
I also have found rolls of second paracords where they spool 1000 feet onto one spool, often in random lengths between 40 and 200 feet but always total over 1000 feet of paracord. This sometimes showed up on places like Amazon for under 40 bucks for the roll, and even the shorter lengths find their way into various packs and other places where paracord is the cordage of choice.
I don't do much climbing / repelling these days, but I prefer military or civilian equivalent to military nylon repelling rope for such uses. That is because of my old marine training. I don't need all the fancy modern equipment, and learned to tie a swiss seat and use just a carabiner (military grade) to repell. I can make prussic knot ascenders, but seldom have needed to except to play with it on repelling towers in years gone by.
There is also a rope company (Buccaneer) in the county that sells rope used for things like boat anchor line etc. I have gotten samples / partial spools from them also. (I used to program a lot of PLC / CNC / etc type machines and people with factories found out I had done it for various textile plants before I went to working for NASA and would give me contracts to do some of that so I got to pick up scraps and made a lot of cordage friends over the years. It is often neat to live in the place your family has lived for generations. Ya get to know everyone for 100 miles around and they often give you things that they think you might enjoy playing around with, and you pay it forward / back to them with similar things.
Well another long winded novel, but I'll leave it up for those who might find something interesting in it.
I agree with this. I like paracord a lot, but it really is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.
You looked around for a cheaper price for paracord but not for the bank line. This is not a fair comparison as paracord is $68.99 for 500 feet at that store. I would not pay $28.99 for #36 bank line either. I get it for $15.95 on Amazon and there are probably cheaper options, too.
Cheaper is not always better.
Lol! Amen! My all time favorite paracord bracelet is one where I took paracord and replaced the inside strands with a strand of braided fishing line, a thin strand of jute twine, and two strands of #12 bank line.
Regarding where to find it, I have found the tarred bankline in sporting goods stores close to waterfowl decoys and related equipment. It is handy stuff for many purposes.
wallace cordage makes and sells tarred braided nylon line as decoy line, not bank line - and their price is under $12 for 500ft of #36.
It puts my teeth on edge. But then so do popsicle sticks.
I'm looking for tarred bank line for using as a backing on a Cuban Yo-Yo reel if possible. I'd like the smallest diameter I can find to mate with a 20-25' length 20lb. test monofilament line. Any suggestions?
Has anyone used bankline to braid a tarp ridgeline? Just curious, since I picked up a roll a few weeks back.
Yes, I made a tarp ridgeline with a 4 strand round braid of 1/8th inch bankline (#36??)
I went back to using a 3 strand paracord one!
The characteristics that make it great for lashings and fishing are a detriment for temporary use. Tarred bankline holds knots really well, too well for something that requires being untied on a regular basis.
The last time I used that ridgeline, a multi-day camp during the Texas summer, I thought I was going to have to cut it in order to take it down.
I regularly use it as a tarp ridgeline as-is. 300lbs is plenty strong, so I don' know what advantage you would get from braiding it.
I just received a spool of #36 from 5col Survival Supply. Cool stuff. Tried a Canadian jam knot, works great on the synch, a little bit of effort to get it to release. Which for my intended purpose, lashing, is just fine. I have a bit of minor tar transfer on my hand, but not enough to be concerned. I have a ditty bag full of cordage, not really concerned about other stuff getting a little tar transfer.
Down here we can have some fairly significant limbs and occasionally whole trees come down.
While my ridgeline may not stop an entire tree, it does allow me to sleep soundly knowing that I am protected from most anything smaller.
Another vote for baling twine, for general-purpose "string". My family has had an open ball of twine in every garage and barn for four generations, pretty much as long as it has existed. It's made to automatically pull from the center of the big ball (it's a cylinder, but often just called a ball) as used in a baler. It often comes in a four-pack. If you're just using it for general-purpose string, that may well last you a lifetime. Some recent versions are actually sort of poly, will last longer on the ground/outside on a bale.
It's often just called bindertwine, as it was used in binders to tie bundles of grain, before the combine (or balers) were invented.
I carry both in my pack I use the bank line for building and small projects. The 550 cord is for ridge lines and where I want more strength because of weight or over head stuff as extra security and peace of mind.
Copy of a review I did on difference between twisted and braided and comparison of different bank line.
Ok BEFORE YOU BUY BANKLINE / TARRED LINE, READ THIS.
There is a difference between "braided" and "twisted" tarred line. Catahoula sells both types. Red and blue labels.
Braided line does not fray. If you cut it, the ends should hold true. This is great for knot tying and things like ridge lines etc, it's great to have, easy to use, and better than paracord. But unlike paracord you most likely won't untwine it...it's good stuff. Braided bank line will likely cost more. Don't confuse the difference and cost.
Twisted tarred line pulls apart easy, can be taken apart into three smaller strands easly. Make snares, use as thread to fix backpacks and if needed can extend the length of you line by three times (but weaker line). The ends need to be knotted to assure it won't untwine. Twisted bankline will likely cost less.
Catahoula line is AWSOME, they sell both types; twisted and braided. It's dipped in tar, and great quality. I hate to say it. I never use paracord anymore. It's bankline and amsteel always. Amsteel is what it sounds like, very very strong. Oh and regular cheap jute twine, jute twing bioderades, starts on fire nice, is light, cheap and very useful.
At first I said I could not tell much difference if at all between #36 "catahoula" and "sgt knots" bank/tarred twisted line. I just looked hard at both. Catahoula clearly is much more dense in the amount of tar. When bent or pinched it holds the bend while Sgt knots does not. Sgt knots, while I love it, does not seem to have as much tar in it. In the picture I supplies, Catahoula is on the top showing it keeps the bend points, do to having more tar while Sgt knots didn't. This comparison is on both twisted lines due to Sgt knots not having braided line.
Both serve a purpose, both very good. Both completely different.. I...when I go out I try to take a length of both.
I do still keep paracord, just don't use it much.
Just a point on bank line selection : The braided stuff doesn't work for me as I can't pull it apart and use individual strands (at least, not easily). I only buy the twisted, which I think makes it much more versatile. No. 36 bank line can be unraveled very easily and the individual strands can be used as rabbit and squirrel snares and will keep their shape, especially in cooler temperatures. The way this stuff acts due to the tarring, and especially the way it holds a knot, has earned it's way into my kit. I also carry thin (but extremely strong) tarred twine, along with a sail needle for field repairs of gear and clothing. Great stuff.
I still carry para cord. It's free and it has many, many uses. I am seriously thinking of making a gill net from para cord core. If nothing else, its a great way to "zone" for a few hours.
I agree, if I had to pick one it would be twisted. It is just as strong and very versatile and cheaper. If I was to make a ridgeline at home and didn't use amsteel I would prefer braided. Both are good if you know how each work, and order which one works best. Paracord is also great. Making natural cord is a cool thing to know also. Cordage is only as good as the knot/knots on it too.
I have more spools of different types cord than my wife would like me to have or knows that I do have. You can't make soft shackles with bankline. Each has different qualities.
I use #12. Great for guy lines, lashings, bow drill (great grip!), bank hooks, and snares. I bought 12 on accident actually and figured if I ran into any issues with it I'd buy some #36. But three years later I'm still using #12. I cary 550 as well as 225...but I honestly speaking never use them. Bank line gets it done.
I will have to get some #12 then thanks. I have always gotten #36. I have three spools of bankline now. Was looking at that titan survivor cord, but not sure I would use it much.
I carry both 550 and #36 twisted B.L. I wanna try some braided B.L.
You can get it untarred also which comes in a green color (Catahoula brand)...http://houla.com/gre~brai.htm
How does waxed jute compare to tarred bank line?
I use #6 tarred bank line with my speed stitcher lol. Just so I can have a strong, black thread.
Got it here: https://netsandmore.com/products/twine/twt
Didn't see this in the thread so I'll add. If someone mentioned my apologies. The tar helps water proof the cord so it doesn't stretch like uncoated nylon in water.
My first exposure to it was years ago when it was commonly used to attach weights to duck decoys.
I've used #12 and #36 for the last several years. #12 is plenty strong for tarp lines and whatever. #36 is very strong stuff. But if I was to carry only one it would be #12. It gets used the most.
A while back I Andy started carrying #18 and I got a roll of it. I think that size is a great compromise between strength and the amount of cordage one carries. I haven't used it much yet but it could easily be my new fave. A quarter pound roll is 250 feet and it holds 165 lbs.
I'm one of the ones who buys twisted line. I've never used braided bank line. That said -- I've never had a reason to untwist any of it. For really small stuff-- I carry repair thread. For big stuff I can braid or twist whatever I have.
Oh, and I don't carry paracord very often. The way I use cordage bank line and paracord makes them interchangeable. A 1/4 lb roll of bank line is easier to handle and plenty compact.
What I use the most is the jute twine I stuff into the bank line spool. That's my dry tinder.
It is cheaper than para and comes in several "weights".
You can easily find NYLON twine at hardware stores in several weights that does not have tar on it.
Used often in construction for laying out forms and such.
The "plain" is not as messy.
And it won't rot for quite a few years anyway, much less a few camping seasons, since it is made from NYLON.
I have found lost trotlines in water and on shore that were made of the plain stuff, and that I know were 10 years old because I was the one who lost them, and the line was still too strong to break by hand.
I had a doubled strand about 2' long that was tied to my Jon boat to hold a fish basket for over 10 years and never broke.
I would skip the redundancy and mess of tarred "bank line" (AKA nylon twine) for the plain stuff.
It is CHEAP.
I actually prefer the bank line. The amount of "tar" is pretty light and it doesn't get on my hands. Maybe that's a bigger problem in hotter climates (I am in the Pacific Northwest). I like the bit of stiffness from the tar and how it holds even my crummy knots.
I just checked 5col.com. Andy sells uncoated nylon siene twine as well. Still the good stuff -- Catahoula. Supposed to be rot resistant, good for trot lines, etc. It's bound to be more supple and easier to see in low light. And yeah, it's cheaper than tarred bank line.
I would just about be happy with mason's line for many things....if it weren't all screaming orange or neon yellow.... Of course, you may want bright colors for some things.