Knot of the Week Video: How to Tie a Monkey's Fist to Weight a Throwing Line - ITS Tactical

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April 26, 2016Stopper

Knot of the Week Video: How to Tie a Monkey’s Fist to Weight a Throwing Line

Knot of the Week Video: How to Tie a Monkey’s Fist to Weight a Throwing Line


While the Monkey’s Fist is often used to finish off decorative knot work or make fancy keychains, there are actually more practical applications that we’ll be going over in today’s Knot of the Week. Hopefully it will also convince you of its place amongst your knotty repertoire.

The Monkey’s Fist is primarily tied on the end of a rope to weight it and add momentum during its flight, this is often called a heaving line. If you’ve ever tried to throw a rope on its own, you’ll know it can’t get very far without a weighted end. Once a heaving line is thrown, it could then be attached to a larger or heavier line and pulled back into position. A good example of this would be hanging a bear bag to keep your food off the ground and obviously away from bears.

A Monkey’s Fist was historically used to run a line for ship-to-ship operations due to the fact that it could be tied with a weighted core inserted and endure many tosses back and forth. As you’ll see in the video below, I demonstrate how to add a weighted core, which can be anything from a golf ball to a rock you find lying around.


U.S. Navy photo by Airman Peter Carnicelli (RELEASED)

Currently the U.S. Navy uses Shot Line, which resembles Dummy Cord, during ship-to-ship transfers for UNREP (Underway Replenishment.) The Shot Line is connected to a projectile housed in an adapter at the end of an M14 and fired by a blank round, to be received by the opposing ship’s crew.

A Monkey’s Fist can also be used as a stopper knot, to stop a knot from passing through a hole, or even as a pull. I used a Monkey’s Fist with Paracord to replace the pull handle on my attic ladder.

Monkey’s Fist » Stopper Knots

(Strength: 5/Secure: 5/Stability: 4/Difficulty: 4See below for what these ratings mean.



Each knot will be assigned a rating from 1-5 (1 representing the lowest score) based on the following four properties:

Strength – All knots will weaken the strength of  a rope, however, there are knots that are stronger than others. The scale here will reflect how strong the rope remains with the specified knot.

Security – The security scale refers to how well the knot will stay tied, and resist coming loose under a normal load.

Stability – Stability refers to how easily the knot will come untied under an abnormal load (i.e. the knot being pulled in a direction it was not intended to) A lower score here represents instability.

Difficulty – The lower the number, the easier a knot is to tie.


  • Brushpopper

    Good demonstration!

  • Jörg Kuschel

    Since this year absolutely forbidden here in Germany! 🙁

  • TherocketJJ

    ITStactical or to smash some faces

  • jadedtreebeard

    Just attempted, and mostly succeeded, with my first.  Using some old 20 sided dice for my first attempts..

    • Chris_Webb

      jadedtreebeard Nice use of a d20.

    • jadedtreebeard

      Chris_Webb jadedtreebeard Thanks!  I gotta credit my wife for it, because I don’t know that I ever would have thought of it!

  • Northshore Coconut

    Awesome. Thanks for all the weekly knot xtying. Videos, Aloha from hawaii🏄

  • Northshore Coconut

    Excellent instruction , ‘very well done, only knot videos I need need to watch. I will subscribe and pass info on to my.fellow coconut tree climbers here in hawaii. Mahalo

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