In climbing, a double fisherman's knot is used to tie together two separate pieces of rope.

How would I tie such a knot?


3 Answers 3


Double fisherman's knot

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This is covered extremly well on Animated knots by grog:

Overlap the two ends. Wrap one end around both ropes two full turns. Then pass this end back through these turns and pull tight. Next pass the other end two full turns around both ropes. Pass this end back through and pull tight. Pull on both ropes to tighten the two knots against each other.


The best answer to this might be - don't.

A double fishermans is very strong and secure, but it has serious downsides. The main being that the knot can become impossible to undo if the rope gets wet and strongly loaded, but also the knot can get caught over an edge.

At a course a few years ago (run by the MLTA) I was taught that a simple overhand can be used. It is simpler, easy to untie and less likely to jam when pulling over an edge.

See "Euro Death-Knot" Testing for the safety information about the flat overhand bend and related knots. Never use a flat figure-8 bend in a critical application.

  • How would you use an overhand knot as a bend?
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 18:40
  • 6
    I don't think it's fair to say "don't." In some situations it might not be the perfect knot, but that doesn't mean it's useless.
    – Greg.Ley
    Commented Apr 1, 2012 at 6:25
  • @Mr.Wizard - Thanks for the update, interesting reading. Its well worth mentioning that an overhand used this way needs to be properly tightened and tied with a long tail (half a meter).
    – Qwerky
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 10:14
  • 2
    also the knot can get caught over an edge Here you seem to be assuming that the knot is going to be used for joining together two climbing ropes for a rappel. This is not the only application of the double fisherman's knot, even in climbing. Actually a more common use is simply to form a sling out of a piece of utility cord. This answer is also not so great because it doesn't explain how the overhand is tied for this application (although I'm sure the links do explain it).
    – user2169
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 19:50
  • This applies to rapelling. However, a double fishermans is fine for some other applications (such as prusik loops).
    – Qudit
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 7:41

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