International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum

General => Practical Knots => Topic started by: trade use only on May 28, 2010, 08:07:53 AM

Title: throw monkey's fist
Post by: trade use only on May 28, 2010, 08:07:53 AM
Hi everyone

Made Monkey's Fist - 6mm 3strand pp rope with 18mm dia lead ball inside (take as given - have seen discussions whether or not you should weight a Monkey's Fist).

Only managed to throw 12m.  Was in open field and had visions of it soaring through the air carrying some huge distance.

Best I could do was hold my arm high while twirling the monkey's fist to give maximum radius then let-go in a kind of slinging motion.  Rotation direction made it kind of overarm.

Found this on monkey's fists, with some stories about throwing monkey's fists, but nothing on the technique itself
There's a picture of on-line at page

Anyone got any good hints?

Aim is to throw furthest or highest, for general land-based use.

Thanks in advance
Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: SS369 on May 28, 2010, 12:04:11 PM
Look up line throwing techniques that arborists use to put their work lines in trees.
Then there is the use of band powered slings.
Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: DerekSmith on May 28, 2010, 01:36:22 PM
What tracer line are you using?

If your tracer is 6mm PP then it is never going to be able to haul much of it at all.

Try a light weight mono or kite cord and look into how you present the tracer to fly off the retainer as the fist is in flight (a fishing reel might be ideal)

Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: trade use only on May 28, 2010, 09:35:24 PM
Tracer line = "messenger line"?
Yes it is the 6mm line flying out hauled by the monkey's fist.
Managed 14.5m today - second day I've tried.
Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: Dan_Lehman on May 30, 2010, 06:31:42 PM
Not so broadly messenger as precisely (two functions -- flight
and *messengering*) heaving line, I'd say.  And 6mm/0.25"
PP ought to be amply light (I'm trying to recall what examples of
such things I've seen; I don't think any much thinner, and maybe
of heavier fibre).  (I regard this general function of a thinner line
bringing over a thicker/heavier line to entail a sub-class of knots
called "messenger-line hitches" (or "bends", taken in historical
sense of "joint"; "hitch" in the sense of tying the thinner one
to the other in contrast to the two lines playing equally in the knotting).

Can you heave some part of the coil, as well as launching the knob?

I recall one local fellow who assisted in a semi-annual (I think)
movement of the USS Constellation, and he'd been advised on
heaving that the big sin was to drop it short, in the drink; his
attempt in fact went the other direction in missing the mark
and made some loud BANG on hitting an (unoccupied) chair.   :D

Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: SS369 on May 31, 2010, 01:56:14 AM
Seems to me that the main challenge that you face is insufficient throwing weight for the line size you have.
I have tossed a length of poly line with a 16 ounce throw weight easily 75 feet and with a fair amount of accuracy. It was necessary to loft the smaller line over a branch in order to attach a heavy rope to be drawn over and to then climb.
The technique I used was to swing the weight between my feet (front to back,etc.) two or three times and then with a mighty heave, let go.

And pray.  ;-)
Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: trade use only on May 31, 2010, 10:11:11 AM
Heave the heaving line as well as the monkey's fist - been trying that when practicing.  Too many variables for beginner - occasionally helped, frequently got caught up.  For future when throw becomes consistent?

SS369's point - insufficient weight...  Great fun yesterday provided observation - weight of monkey's fist was not sufficient to cause the line to descend after getting it over a high branch.  Even with jiggling the rope, stayed there unmoving.  Will go for four-wrap monkey's fist and see where that gets me.

Yesterday - daughter visiting - had little marine block-and-tackle ("Barton") pair - went up woods with blocks, 6mm rope, short length of 10mm rope for seat and monkey's fist.  For all thoughts of lack of range of throwing monkey's fist - was wickedly effective.  Swirling monkey's fist and launching.  Only problem was - kept hitting at high speed this branch I was aiming to get over which was 6m up in the air.  Like a soccer player who time and again hits the post when the goal is open.  Daughter was amazed by the swirl-and-launch motion.

Anyway, with little time, went for easier lower branch on another tree, removed monkey's fist and re-tied line to becket-block (fixed block) after reeving 3-by-3 and hauled fixed-block up high before tying off from turn near ground level, then formed seat off moving block.  Daughter totally amazed when she found she could loft herself hauling on her own lead-line.

So loads of fun and lots of ideas of doing more...
Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: SS369 on May 31, 2010, 02:24:22 PM
Messenger line should be of the slick variety, throw weight (monkey fist) heavy as you can manage. This combination and not too much whirling and twirling, though that is fun, then with well timed release should put it where you want.
Then tie to the actual work line and do whatever.
Generally just wiggling the throw line won't advance the line towards retrieval, but flipping it with large wavelike actions will do the job.
Title: Re: throw monkey's fist
Post by: Fairlead on May 31, 2010, 08:05:19 PM
I am HORRIFIED to read this thread so far - it is nothing short of downright irresponsible to weight a monkeys fist on the end of a heaving line with ANYTHING.
Just think of the consequences if it hits someone (even yourself).  Leave heaving lines to sailors - made up from 8mm line about 30ft long with a Monkeys Fist or Heaving Line Knot on the end as a weight - coil the line (as appropriate to the rope construction) from the standing end towards the Monkeys Fist.  Secure the standing end, take half the coil in the non throwing hand and half (with the Monkeys Fist) in the throwing hand - Lay back and throw the coil and Monkeys Fist overhand and as high as possible allowing the coil in the non throwing hand to pay off and follow the Monkeys Fist.
What you REALLY need is a THROWING Line - l would suggest something like para cord or lighter with a small sack of sand tied to the end - if this hits anyone it will do much less damage - and its what real tree climbers use.
Sorry, but being a retired navy man, I get incensed by people advocating hard weights in anything that is thrown!