I am getting ready to build my first hammock. My question is this: beyond the weight, cost and strength issue is there any reason to go with the small diameter lines to tie off to the hammock? I will be kayak camping not hiking, so a small difference in weight or cost isn't the issue. I have a hard time getting past seeing what looks like 3/16" line holding up a hammock. I realize that it may be 1200 lb test line. But visually it looks like "the weak link" If it bites the cloth better OK. I was thinking about a 6mm prussic cord. Will that slip more than the tiny stuff? I think I have read about a thousand posts on every topic, this site amazes me on the quantity and quality of the posts, the DIY info and the quick responses. Thank you all.
I use 5mm Excell racing(marlow) line that I found in the clearance section at west marine. The connection to the tree is made with seatbelt webbing I cut out of a car at the parts yard.
Here's the spec on the line.
Probably not the most knowledgeable on the topic, but I think the larger diameter stuff will work just fine as long as it cinches in behind the whipping knot or mass. Hammocks that run the line thru a channel at the end (ENO, TrekLight, etc.) and have no whipping mass use the larger diameter lines, but I think that's more to avoid the thin stuff cutting the fabric.
I once saw a guy hanging with that braided yellow nylon rope they use for anchor lines. He was still hanging in the morning and I can't think of a worse line/rope to use.
When I built my DIY bridge I used the 7/64 Amsteel blue for the cordage. I know what you mean about the visual effect. But I have no problem with it now. As far as suspension from tree to the hammock I use webbing. But thin I'm not a gram weenie. I use webbing on my wife's bridge because I have fetter hers with the JRB triglides. I use webbing on my HH because I like webbing better than rope in my ring buckles.
The thin cordage, while strong does have some unique attributes when it comes to knots. I can't be of much guidance on suspension knots there because I don't use cordage but suspension triangles of the bridge were interesting to get solid and permanent. I haven't worked with prussic cord so I don't know how that stuff handles.
The weight rating and the ease of handling would be what I based a decision on.