I have first looked at other questions/answers here on stopper knots here and tried all of the ones suggested but I am seeking something better. My application is a single line through a hole. I want to be able to tension the line, so the act of tightening the knot does not create slack through the hole. I don't have slack through the hole before tying the knot. It is really not needing to hold any more tension that just pulling the rope taunt. I would also like easy untying. It seems a single overhand is maybe the best I can do thus far. Probably with a loop back (like how you tie your shoes) for even easier untying. This is a photo of it: enter image description here

  • Not sure what you mean by "loop back" but my first thought is to use a slipped overhand knot.
    – Martin F
    Jul 14 '20 at 23:04
  • Hi @MartinF - I added some clarification in words and a photo above. I tried the slipped overhand knot, but it is not easy to pull the slack out of it. Just pull the tail to easily untie it. Jul 16 '20 at 0:35
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    Is this a standard use of the term "stopper knot" in some group, field, or sport? In rock climbing in the US, when we refer to a stopper knot we just mean a knot that's bulky enough so that it can't pass through a belay device.
    – user2169
    Jul 16 '20 at 18:08
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    @BenCrowell I’m of the same opinion (UK). I thought that was what OP was asking for though; putting a line through a hole (in a board or wall or something) and a knot on the end to stop the line coming out again. Unless I’m mistaken.
    – Darren
    Jul 17 '20 at 10:22

I'd suggest a "slippery figure of eight" - although i'm not sure if that's the right canonical name for it.

enter image description here

It's my go to knot I use when trying to shorten guy lines on a tent or tarp - i.e. when I have a runner with a hole and can pull some of the line through, tie a stopper knot and then use the shortened guy line.

When taking the tent down, a brief pull of the loose end and the knot is undone despite the tension it was under in use. And as a bonus, this knot can be tied in the middle of a line without needing access to the end of the rope.

  • I like this. It is pretty easy to tighten it up, and, of course, easy to untie. I'll go with your name for it too! Thanks. Jul 17 '20 at 14:23
  • @KevinBuchs - How is this any easier to tighten than an overhand knot?
    – Martin F
    Jul 17 '20 at 17:24
  • Well it is my conclusion after comparing the two. With the Slippery-8, one can hold down with a loop and pull the knot tighter without letting the tension go on the other end. Jul 18 '20 at 2:26

You are looking for the barrel knot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRfjF5TcQbw. This is used by climbers to make sure the rope can't pass through the hole in a belay device.

  • Hi Kevin. Welcome to Stack Exchange! Thanks for your answer. I tried it and it seems to be hard to tighten this knot without pulling on both ends of the rope. That wouldn't work for my application, where I want to maintain tension on one end. Jul 25 '20 at 15:00
  • you could also tie a clove hitch around a toggle
    – Kevin
    Jul 25 '20 at 19:01

A cow hitch, when pulled tight, can both grip quite well and be slid along to take up the slack. (This one's not pulled tight.)

enter image description here

For quick release, make it slipped.

enter image description here

If it needs to grip more tightly, use a Prusik (ie, a cow hitch with extra turns).

enter image description here

  • This won't really fit my application. I'm not trying to tie a hitch/loop. I really need a stopper knot. This knot would not hold if you ran the line on the left margin through a hole and pulled on it. Jul 18 '20 at 2:32
  • @KevinBuchs - "It is really not needing to hold any more tension that just pulling the rope taunt."
    – Martin F
    Jul 18 '20 at 3:55
  • Yes, and your knot will not keep the rope taunt. As soon as there is a little vibration it will start to slip. Jul 19 '20 at 13:22

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