This section is from the book "Camping And Woodcraft", by Horace Kephart. Also available from Amazon: Camping and Woodcraft.
By passing the ends twice through the loop, as in Fig. 100, a very strong but bulky knot is formed.
A favorite knot for uniting strands of gut, in making leaders. (The strands should first be soaked several hours in tepid, soft water to make them soft and pliable.) Make a small overhand knot close to the end of one strand, a. Through this thrust the butt of another strand, and, close to the end of it, tie a similar knot around the first strand, b. Draw both of these knots pretty tight, and then pull them together by drawing on the two long ends. Tighten the two knots as much as possible, draw them together until they bed themselves in one knot, and snip off the protruding ends.
The water knot mav be drawn apart by pulling on the ends c and d. This is an easy way to insert a dropper fly at any joint, as in Fig. 171, Tor thin gut, especially, the double water knot (Fig. no) is preferable, as it is stronger and less apt to pull out. It is made like the other, except that the short end is passed twice round the other long part, instead of once, and then through both loops thus formed.
In this knot, the ends, when snipped off close, are firmly held in the middle and guarded on each side by two round turns cf gut; consequently the leader slips smoothly over or through obstacles. To make it, overlap the ends of the gut, as in Fig. 108, turn one end twice around the other and slip it between the two strands; then, gripping between thumb and finger at a, reverse the ends and twist the second part in the same way; shove and humor th? knot taut, in direction shown by the arrows, and cut the ends off close.
A hitch is a twist, or combination of twists, to secure a rope or other line.
Simply a turning in of the end of a rope.
Another turn in the rope forms two half hitches, which, when drawn together, hold securely. This is the quickest and simplest way to make a rope fast to a post or ring. When subjected to heavy strain it is apt to jam so tight as to be hard to undo.
Three or more half hitches bind so tightly on a pole that it can be hung vertically with a heavy weight on the lower end. Also used as an easy and pretty way of "serving" rope, and for covering bottles, jugs, etc., to preserve them from breaking.
The quickest way to make a rope fast when it is under strain, and without letting up the strain in the act of securing it. Take two or three turns around the stake, pole or ring, then make two half hitches round the standing part, and haul taut. There are other and more elaborate rolling hitches. This one is often called a "round turn and two half hitches," or simply a "sailor's knot." It is one of the most useful and easily made knots known.
Take two turns round the object, as above, then make two half hitches, the first of which is slipped under both turns. A very secure fastening, but can only be made on a slack line. Chiefly used for bending a rope to a ring or to the shackle of an anchor, or for attaching a line to the bail of a bucket.
Simplest of all hitches. Used to attach the end of a rope to a hook, where the strain is steady. The strain on the first turn jams the end between it and the hook.
This is one of the simplest and yet most useful fastenings ever invented. It can be made under strain, will not slip on itself nor along the pole, and can easily be cast loose. It has numberless applications, from mooring vessels to setting up staging or reducing a dislocated thumb. Every woodsman should learn to make it in various positions.
To make it on a post, hold the rope in the left hand, give it a twist toward you with the right, and it automatically forms a loop (Fig. 118, a) ; hold this with the finger and thumb, give another twist in the same direction, and a second loop is formed (b) ; now, for the next move, bring b under a, as in the middle figure, slip them both over the post, shove them tight together, and haul taut. In this way a boat is moored, or a rope fastened to a tent pin, almost as quick as you would bat an eye.
Next learn to make the clove hitch on a long pole or other object that the loops cannot slip over: for instance, a horizontal rail. With rope coming from behind, pass the end forward over the rail, down and around it, back over the rope, up and over as in Fig. 119, and then bring the end out through the opening c.
Then tie it in reverse position, end pointing toward you. Observe that, in any case, the end goes round the pole the second time always in the same direction as the first, and that the end and the standing part comes out on opposite sides.
Absolutely to prevent slipping, take a half hitch around the standing part (Fig. 120).
All of these illustrations show the hitch before being drawn taut, which is in the direction of the arrows.
A clove hitch may be used to secure a small line to a stout rope. Since this hitch it not apt to slip along a smooth timber, it is used by builders in fitting up scaffolding. Its advantage in setting a dislocated limb is that, while it cannot slip, yet no amount of pulling will tighten it so as to stop the current of blood.
Another easily made hitch that will not slip along a pole. It can be made with a line that is under strain.
A quick fastening for a rope that is under strain. Never use it to make fast the mainsheet of a sailboat (see Slippery Hitch, Fig. 138).