How to tie the Marlinspike Hitch. The marlinespike hitch is a rope knot that is often used with a rope that is already attached at one end to something in order to gain better purchase or grip on the rope for tightening. The marlinespike (or rod, stick, tool handle or any long and thin object) that has been inserted into the knot can be used as a handle to pull very hard on the rope.
The knot can also be tied in a series of parallel knots down two side-by-side ropes with rods attached through both knots to be used as a makeshift ladder. The load that is put on the rods (or whatever is being used as the marlinspike) should only be from the standing side of the knot. The knot is commonly used in rigging hammock suspension systems and "whoopie slings".
Marlinespike Hitch Knot Tying Instructions
1. Form an overhand loop in the rope with the working or tag end of the rope on top of the standing part.
2. Grasp the lower side of the loop and fold it up and over the top part of the loop such that it will lay on top of the standing line with the standing line centered in the new loop formed.
3. Hold the lines in place and take your marlinespike, rod or other long cylindrical object and slide it into the knot from the right side. You will be going over the right side of the loop, under the center line, and then over the left side.
4. Now pull the knot tight around the rod by pulling on the working end assuming the standing end is secured and if not pull on both ends.
5. Once the knot is tight you can exert tremendous tension on the rope by using the rod/marlinespike as a handle and pulling down with it.
4. To release the knot just remove the rod and the knot will be untied.