wet or frozen, it loses little strength. Additionally, nylon
line defies mildew, rotting, and attack by marine borers.
Nylon rope can hold a load even when many strands
are abraded. Normally, when abrasion is local, the rope
may be restored to use by cutting away the chafed
section and splicing the ends. Chafing, and stretching do
not necessarily affect the load-carrying ability of nylon
The splicing of nylon rope is very similar to that of
manila; however, friction tape is used instead of seizing
stuff for whipping the strands and line. Because it is
smooth and elastic, nylon requires at least one tuck more
than manila. For heavy loads, a back tuck should be
taken with each strand.
As with manila, nylon rope is measured by
circumference. Nylon, as manila, usually comes on a
reel of 600 to 1,200 feet, depending upon the size. Do
not uncoil new nylon rope by pulling the ends up
through the eye of the coil. Unreel it as you would wire
rope. Avoid coiling nylon in the same direction all the
time, or you could unbalance the lay.
When nylon rope is stretched more than 40 percent,
it is likely to part. The stretch is immediately recovered
with a snapbaak that sounds like a pistol shot.
The snapback of a nylon rope can be as
deadly as a bullet. Make sure no one stands in
the direct line of pull when a heavy strain is
This feature is also true for other types of lines, but
overconfidence in the strength of nylon may lead one to
underestimate its backlash.
The critical point of loading is 40-percent extension
of length; for example, a 10-foot length of nylon rope
would stretch to 14 feet when under load. Should the
stretch exceed 40 percent, the linc will be in danger of
If a nylon rope becomes slippery because of grease,
it should be cleaned with a light oil, such as kerosene or
Do not store nylon line in strong sunlight. Cover it
with tarpaulins. In storage, keep it away from heat and
Kevlar is most popularly used to make bulletproof
vests and knifeproof gloves. The characteristics of
Kevlar line are similar to those of Nylon line except for
one significant differenceKevlar line does not
snapback when it parts. This is an important safety
feature, since parted nylon line has resulted in numerous
deaths due to violent snapbacks.
HANDLING AND CARE OF FIBER LINE
If you expect the fiber line you work with to give
safe and dependable service, make sure it is handled and
cared for properly. Procedures for handling and caring
of fiber line arc as follows:
l CLEANLINESS is part of the care of fiber line.
NEVER drag a line over the ground or over rough or
dirty surfaces. The line can easily pickup sand and grit
that can work into the strands and wear the fibers. If a
line dots get dirty, use water only to clean it. Do NOT
use soap, because it takes oil out of the line.
. AVOID pulling a line over sharp edges because
the strands may break. When you have a sharp edge,
place chafing gear, such as a board, folded cardboard or
canvas, or part of a rubber tire, between the line and the
sharp edge to prevent damaging the line.
. NEVER cut a line unless you have to. When
possible, always use knots that can be untied easily.
Fiber line will contract or shrink if it gets wet. If
there is not enough slack in a wet line to permit
shrinkage, the line is likely to overstrain and weaken. If
a taut line is exposed to rain or dampness, make sure that
the line, while still dry, is slackened to allow for the
INSPECTION OF FIBER LINE
Line should be inspected carefully at regular
intervals to determine if it is safe. The outside of a line
does not show the condition of the line on the inside.
Untwisting the strands slightly allows you to check the
condition of the line on the inside. Mildewed line gives
off a musty odor. Broken strands, or yarns, usually can
be spotted immediately by a trained observer. You want
to look carefully to ensure there is no dirt or sawdust-like
materia] inside the line. Dirt or other foreign matter
inside reveals possible damage to the internal structure
of the line. A smaller circumference of the line is usually
a sure sign that too much strain has been applied to the
For a thorough inspection, a line should be
examined at several places. After all, only one weak
spot, anywhere in a line, makes the entire line weak. As
a final check, pull out a couple of fibers from the line
and try to break them. Sound fibers have a strong