Eye splice

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Eye splices from Carl Smith's 1899 Båtseglareordbok[1]
Eye splice from Alpheus Hyatt Verrill's 1917 Knots, Splices and Rope Work[2]

The eye splice is a method of creating a permanent loop (an "eye") in the end of a rope by means of rope splicing.


For conventional stranded ropes, the ends of the rope are tucked (plaited) back into the standing end to form the loop. Three tucks are the minimum for natural fibres, five tucks are necessary for synthetics.

The ends of the rope are first wrapped in tape or heated with a flame to prevent each end from fraying completely. The rope is unlayed for a distance equal to three times the diameter for each "tuck", e.g., for five tucks in half inch rope, undo about 7.5 inches. Wrap the rope at that point to prevent it unwinding further. Form the loop and plait the three ends back against the twist of the rope. Practice is required to keep each end to retain its twist and lie neatly.

In some cases, the splice is tapered by trimming the working strands after each tuck. Also, the splice can be whipped to protect and strengthen the splice.


A inch of good splice will hold 1 ton. The eye splice has several advantages. The most notable is the permanence of the loop. An equally important advantage is the lack of stress it puts on the rope.


The bowline is a quick, practical method of forming a loop in the end of a piece of rope. However, the bowline has an awkward tendency to shake undone when not loaded. The bowline also reduces the strength of the rope at the knot to ~45% of the original unknotted strength.


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