Create a Mechanical Advantage Using the Poldo Tackle in a Rescue Situation - ITS Tactical

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Create a Mechanical Advantage Using the Poldo Tackle in a Rescue Situation

By The ITS Crew

On this week’s Knot of the Week, we’re going to look at an interesting knot called the Poldo Tackle. Using two simple fixed loops, the Poldo Tackle affords you multiple options for anything that requires a tensioning device.

The most applicable use we’ve considered is in a rescue situation, where you might need the mechanical advantage to lift a buddy to safety. There are far better methods to lower someone in a rescue situation, but the Poldo Tackle would work well to aid in lifting. Just remember that it’s not the same type of application for lifting that pulleys would provide.

You could also use this knot for a clothesline, guyline or anywhere you may need to release or provide tension periodically to a line under load.

Poldo Tackle » Hitches

KOTW Paldo Tackle 04By far the coolest feature of the Poldo Tackle is it’s ability to quickly adjust. By simply moving the two fixed loops towards each other the knot will loosen, while pulling them apart will create tension again.

An important note on the Poldo Tackle is to ensure you’re using it with static loads, the shift in a dynamic load could cause this knot to release suddenly and without warning. As you can see by the photos, what makes the knot work is simply the s-curve. If that’s lost under the shift of a dynamic load, the loops will fall together releasing the tension.

(Strength: 4/Secure: 4/Stability: 2/Difficulty: 2)

Please refer to our Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.


  • Lifting in a Rescue Situation
  • Clothesline
  • Guyline for a tarp or tent

Tying Instructions:

  • Start with a length of rope or paracord (depending on the load) that’s at least three times the length of the movement needed in your tackle.
  • With one end, tie a fixed loop using a Bowline or other knot that creates a fixed loop.
  • Toss the opposite end, now the working end, around another fixed loop anchor point such as a carabiner.
  • Thread your working end through the standing bowline.
  • Create an “S” curve as demonstrated in the photos.
  • While holding the “S” curve, wrap the working end around your static load or desired object.
  • Tie a second Bowline or fixed loop around the bottom bight of the “S” curve.
  • To operate the Poldo Tackle, simply move the two fixed loops towards each other to loosen. Pull them apart to create tension again.

Photos and Video

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  • Blade Stalker

    Where were you last week? Auugghhh!

  • Chris Wright

    One of the issues to be concerned about is that nylon on nylon friction causes enough heat to create melt through and failure in the material. Allowing the nylon cord or rope to run across the apex of each of the bowlines (which are static) will cause that failure. It is definitely not for use under life safety or rescue loads using nylon fiber rope or line.

    The Poldo tackle was used in a maritime environment when hardware (pulleys) were scarce and most rope was made of natural materials. Theoretically it gives a 3:1 mechanical advantage (hence being a ‘tackle’), reality is that friction makes it a lot less. But it works much better than many of the ‘hitches’ that are used for shortening a rope if you need some degree of mechanical advantage.

  • Wayne K.

    I’ll put it in my repertoire but don’t think I’ll get too much use out of it. However, if one needs a mechanical advantage, then it is there for you or hanging stuff. If you aren’t familiar with it, Google the Siberian Hitch. It is a very simple and usable hitch that is undone with a pull. I think a main use for it is a tent ridge line with a tautline hitch or an adjustable grip hitch on the other end to snug it up.

  • Ryan G

    Not to be too nitpicky but its a poldo not paldo

    • That was one of those stupid spelling mistake days Ryan! Got it all fixed up 🙂

    • Ryan G

      No big deal, we all have those moments. Btw, I really appreciate all the good stuff you have on here. Keep up the good work.

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