Over My Waders

Splicing Lines


When a line is damaged or cut, don’t discard it, as it can be spliced quite easily so that it will give efficient and lasting service. The best method that we know for splicing a line is as follows: First scrape away the outside layer of finish until the threads of the weave are exposed on a quarter of an inch of each end to be spliced. Tease out these exposed ends so that the threads of the weave are separated . Remove carefully about half of the threads from each end. Now wash your hands thoroughly so that your fingers are absolutely clean, after which swab off the fingertips with alcohol. Using shoemaker’s wax or a flytyer’s wax that has a high resin content, give each of the teased-out ends a thorough soaking in the wax, first warming it to insure complete permeation. This done, divide each end into two equal sections and fit the two ends together so that they interlock. Roll the splice on something firm but not too hard-a magazine or notepad pad will serve-until the ends are rolled tightly against the line so that the splice is round. Then bind the splice tightly and neatly with one layer of silk thread, careful to have one turn of the thread lie close to the next without overlapping. Do not carry the wrapping more than one or two turns beyond the ends of the splice. Finish the wrapping with a whip finish or the rodmaker’s “invisible knot.” Then soak the splice with two coats of good spar varnish. Be sure to have the last coat of varnish perfectly dry before applying the next. The result will be a smooth, strong splice, only slightly larger than the rest of the line, which will ride through the guides easily and permit you to use the line just as though the splice were not there.

© 1944 John Alden Knight

[Note: Text is from John Alden Knight, the drawing is from a different source. The application of wax may be removed after whipfinishing by soaking the spliced area in turpentine.]

All content copyright Reed Curry © 2006.
Cartoon by Walter Young © 1961, used by permission.