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  1. #1
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    Pickin Rope Question

    Last winter I gave away all 3 of my DIY Speer Hammocks … unfortunately with their 8’ Hennessy support lines and DIY tree huggers.

    I just finished a DIY sorta-Double ENO and will make another ‘something’ soon. I’d like to get better line, if possible, than the approx 3mm Hennesy stuff(which works but is kinda stiff) for support line and low stretch load bearing ridge lines. The line on the HH Explorer is thicker thus smoother to handle but larger and bulkier. I’m looking for good knotting(tying and untying), low stretch, resistance to abrasion and in a relatively low viz color. Replacement tree huggers are no prob.

    Hennessy lines and REI climbing accessory faux-low-stretch line (usually Mammut) in 4 to 6mm are all I know for hammocking.

    I’ve heard these at least mentioned in posts: Spyderline , Amsteel and Vectran. Can anyone make an informed recommendation among these &/or others that might be suitable? Figure 200 pound load.
    Last edited by riverkeeper; 04-04-2009 at 22:04.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

  2. #2
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverkeeper View Post
    Iíve heard these at least mentioned in posts: Spyderline , Amsteel and Vectran. Can anyone make an informed recommendation among these &/or others that might be suitable? Figure 200 pound load.
    I use all three of these.

    Spyderline has a sheath over over a core. The sheath "grabs" and in applications where I want to have a prusik on the line (e.g. in a Single Line Suspension) I'll go with the spyderline. Because of the sheath you have to get heavier line for the suspension than you do with the other two. I have a pair of 3.8mm Spyderline cords that are actively used for suspension, particularly my hammocks that use a garda hitch. The rings do what looks to me like not good things flattening Amsteel and Vectran.

    Now Vectran is very slick stuff, both in handling and in it's light weight. Of the three you mention it is best at the weight/strength thing. But there are knots that hold on other lines that don't hold on it because of the slickness. What has been working for me is to run the Vectran to a ring, do a full turn, and finish it with a slippery buntline knot. I'll usually pop another bight in to the slipped bight for good measure, although it seems not to be needed. Predictably Vectran is also the most expensive of the three.

    Amsteel is a lot like vectran, not as slippery, not as strong for a given diameter, but also not as expensive as vectran.

    If what you were going to do is buy 20' of one cord, to be used (after cutting) for the suspension on one hammock, and the difference of an ounce or two didn't weigh large in your figuring, then I'd go for the 3.8mm Spyderline. It's more "flexible" in the sense that you can use more knots and hence more possible suspension arrangements.

    If weight is the biggest concern, then if $$ are not a constraint the Vectran is the way to jump. If weight is a concern but so is $$, then Amsteel would be my call.

    If you're just a gear junkie like me then you pick up a bit of each kind every once and a while or when there's a good deal on 'cuse the bits you picked up before have gotten lost in the gear piles somewhere <grin>

    Grizz

  3. #3
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    Response was really focused. Thanks Grizz.

    Think I'll go with Spyderline.

    My new DIY and existing HH hammers will have at least one set of Garda Rings, maybe two. My DIY's have often been used in prussik situations inside NPS back country ranger stations -- the climbing accessory cord has worked great for that at the expense of bulk and weight. A Garda Ring system obviates prussiks in my situation.

    I recently read some of your design work on bridge hammocks (along with TeeDee and others) ... impressive and probably my next project for my wife.
    Thanks.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

  4. #4
    i like the amsteel blue. i also like that it comes in grey. i have been able to use prussiks (small dia nylon or poly line) on it with enough wraps. it seems to work well for most knots, some friction knots like the garda won't work, but most knots seem to work well.

    i've used the slipped buntline (without the extra wrap or extra bight) to hold me and my wife (~300 total) with no slipping. simple double overhand knots (water knot), as well as double sheetbends among others. i like it. i think it's pretty close to vectran in regards to strength to weight. the masteel blue is stronger than the older "regular" amsteel i believe.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    1--- i also like that it comes in stealthy grey.

    2---i have been able to use prussiks (small dia nylon or poly line) on it with enough wraps.

    3---it seems to work well for most knots, some friction knots like the garda won't work,

    4---i've used the slipped buntline (without the extra wrap or extra bight) to hold me and my wife (~300 total) .
    1-- I like stealthy NPS gray too.
    2-- My prussiks aneed to be full load bearing.
    3-- My initial Ring-Garda experiments are excellent so I'm headed that way for now.... till now been doing the HH knot or misc slipped hitches.
    4-- Slipped Buntline is a great knot and I learned it here. Spouse and I occ hung for an hour or so in a DIY 1.9 oz Speer on 3 Turns 4 mm Prussiks on about 12+' of 6 mm climbing support line -- can you say stretch? About 330#.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    The rings do what looks to me like not good things flattening Amsteel and Vectran.
    Grizz, could it be that you just can't see what rings are doing to the Spyderline core because of the sheath? Or do you think that the sheath or the diameter of the line makes a difference? This is an honest question, and I really am curious. I have Amsteel on my bridge setup, with rings, and have noticed what you are saying as well. If Spyderline really doesn't have this issue because of the sheath (or because it is a larger diameter line,) then I am buying some to replace my Amsteel.

  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishinFinn View Post
    Grizz, could it be that you just can't see what rings are doing to the Spyderline core because of the sheath? Or do you think that the sheath or the diameter of the line makes a difference? This is an honest question, and I really am curious. I have Amsteel on my bridge setup, with rings, and have noticed what you are saying as well. If Spyderline really doesn't have this issue because of the sheath (or because it is a larger diameter line,) then I am buying some to replace my Amsteel.
    It is true I can't see inside the sheath to observe the core---lost my Superman x-ray vision around the time I started having to wear bi-focals. But on the outside I don't see evidence of flattening and I don't "feel" that the core inside has broken.

    My best guess is that the larger diameter of the cord helps, as does the fact that the core is a more solid mass than the braid of the Amsteel.

    I don't know that a pinch in the Amsteel is necessarily deleterious. I've done a little googling to see if I can find any commentary on that, but have come up with nuthin.

    Grizz

  8. #8
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    Grizz's description of Spyderline last night reminded me of static climbing-caving-white water rescue rope (Bluewater in my case). Low stretch, tough outer shell which protects the core from abrasion and cutting and other damage.

    Couldn't quickly find stretch specs for 4mm static line, strength rating is 790 v 900 for 3.8 Spyderline. Based on using larger dia and probably similar Bluewater in far more difficult circumstances, I'm initially comfortable with Spyderline for Garda Rings on hammocks.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

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