EDK vs Flemish Bend for joining two ropes for rappel


Original Post
Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 562

This isn't really anything that needs a debate, but with all the talk of joining ropes for rappel, I only saw a few off-hand comments about the Flemish Bend. Same in a few articles and older discussions too. Why the apparent bias against the Flemish? It's simple enough to tie and only takes a little longer- is the Flemish more likely to get snagged? Not that I have anything against the EDK of course, I've used both knots in certain situations

Sam T. · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 170

Bingo. Snag and hang-up potential on edges are the main issues. EDK is preferred primarily for it's propensity to get stuck far less often.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136

The flemish bend is awesome, and it's my choice for everything other than joining rap ropes, due to the EDK's lower profile. For everything else, the flemish bend is the way to go.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

Nolan,
the FB is great. It is just the EDK is a little better. I used to teach the FB as the knot to use when rapping, as doing so means one can create a short climbing course based only on the figure of eight.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45

What's your input on a double fishermans? Is it the most likely knot to get stuck? As far as strength goes, I'd say it is comparable to the others

wivanoff · · Northeast, USA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 392
JoeGaribay wrote:What's your input on a double fishermans? Is it the most likely knot to get stuck? As far as strength goes, I'd say it is comparable to the others
More likely to get stuck. More difficult to tie/untie

I sometimes use a Flat Double Fisherman's. Less likely to get stuck than Double Fisherman's. More difficult to tie/untie that Flat Overhand. Has an odd (but very unlikely, bordering on impossible, IMO) failure mode that other's may point to.
Cor · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 930

The flat overhand bend (edk - which is wrong name) is the standard.

It works, it's simple, it's fast, it doesn't get caught up like others..

rging · · Salt Lake City, Ut · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 30

layflat double fishermans

Don Ferris · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0

I use the Flemish blend 100% of the time to join two ropes. It actually has an overall lower profile when compared to a EDK or fishermans. So if the rope wanders over into a crack while you're pulling it has less of a chance of getting caught up. It also has some edge rolling characteristics (though admittedly, won't roll an edge or pass through a biner as easily as a edk) but I think this is a less common snag that the aforementioned scenario. I also prefer a knot that allows you to set it and forget it. Yeah, it may be more "difficult" to untie but there is some confidence in that.

rob.calm · · Loveland, Colorado · Joined May 2002 · Points: 545
Don Ferris wrote:I I also prefer a knot that allows you to set it and forget it.
Not a good idea. If one is doing multiple rappels, the knot should be inspected at each rappel station no matter what knot is being used.

rob.calm
20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128
rob.calm wrote: Not a good idea. If one is doing multiple rappels, the knot should be inspected at each rappel station no matter what knot is being used. rob.calm
Why does the figure eight not require inspecting at each belay station when climbing but the flemish bend does? They are the same knot.
Brendan Blanchard · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 475

After the previous thread as well, I'm a little annoyed at the use of the word "profile." Though the EDK is a very small knot, I don't think that's its main benefit. The symmetry (well, lack thereof) is the primary benefit of the EDK. Yes, it's small, but the fact that it has an asymmetrical profile (s^*%, sorry!) is what makes it possible for the knot to get stuck on edges, and in cracks, corners etc, and still release after a few pulls.

On the other hand, knots like the Flemish or double fishermans (while perfectly fine), don't have this property, and tend to stay stuck with they get stuck, on top of being more likely to get stuck in the first place.

FWIW, I use the EDK for all rappelling purposes. I cinch the knot and pull every strand at least once, and leave plenty of tail. If done right, there's really no reason to be concerned about strength differences for rappelling, and I rarely find it easier to combine two ropes and keep the same knot for multiple rappels, so I wouldn't consider the EDK's need to be re-tied/cinched a downside.

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 163

Flat double fishermans and the Triple Overhandknot
gudelius.de/spst.htm

These should pull as well as the edk if you are concerned about that knot which you don't need to be.

Flat double fishermans


Triple flat overhand ( 3 interleaved single fisherman's knots )

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 511

Something that was really simple just got really complicated after reading that article. Now I'm really confused.

I think that Euro Death knot is a great name! It has been used for at least 20 years since I was taught it that long ago. I'm sure it's been around much longer. I think the benefit is it does invoke a bit of fear and heightened awareness. This is a great thing for such a simple task that leads to death all too often. Instead of changing the name I think it would be better when teaching someone new to say we use the euro death knot for rapelling. And when their eyes get really big, just tell them well that's what it's called because if you do it wrong by tying a flat eight you just might die but instead it's just a simple flat over hand. Do it properly and it's completely safe.

I will keep the name.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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