The Fisherman’s or Grapevine Bend is essentially just two hitches: one from the first line onto the second, and another from the second line onto the first. This makes it a strong, reliable knot, and fairly good for lines of different thicknesses. Especially in modern ropes it can have a tendency to jam shut and be very difficult to open.
The Fisherman’s Bend is very reliable even in slippery modern ropes, because each component is secure and closed independently of the other. This means they will probably stay closed even in the knot is agitated a lot.
The Fisherman’s Bend is favored by climbers for constructing loops (by tying two ends of one line together) for Prusiks.
The Fisherman’s Bend can slide open and closed, especially if the knots are not made too tightly, and in a slippery line. This makes it a great knot for bracelets and lanyards: bend the two ends of the bracelet or lanyard together with a Fisherman’s Bend, and it can be adjusted to slip on and off one’s wrist or neck.
Step1. Lay the ends of your two lines parallel:
Step 2. Cross one working end over the other:
Step3. Bring the working end down under everything, forming a loop around the other line:
Step 4. Cross the working end back up over itself, and then down through the loop. This makes an overhand knot:
Step 5. Begin the same process with the other end, though going always in the opposite direction. Where the first end went up over the other line, this end goes down:
Step 6. Lay the new working end up and under everything. Again, this form a loop.
Step 7. Thread the new working end through the loop, and make a second overhand knot.
Final Step. By pulling the two standing end, tighten the two overhand knots back to back:
- The Overhand and Double, Triple, etc. Overhand Knots are the basic components of this knot, and are also stopper knots in their own right if tied in the end of a single line.
- The Albright Knot, Nail Knot and Becket Hitch are all also bends which are essentially just a hitch of one line to another (though the fisherman’s Bend Hitches both lines to each other).
A very strong hitch, though sometimes difficult to untie (especially if welded shut) this is a good knot for permanently attaching almost any two lines together.
Nick O’Law has been exposed to survival from a very young age. In his teenage years, he learned A LOT about bushcrafting, such as making snares and traps, and even how to make DIY knives.
If you haven’t ye read and tried his knot-making articles on Survival Sullivan, you should definitely check them out.