by Kevin

December 14, 2020

Bank Line Cord Main Uses

When it boils down to cordage and twines, the market is filled with a wide variety. You could easily get overwhelmed with the available options.

The main issue is how to choose the right twine for your job because some twines were crafted to work well in particular situations.

This holds in the case of a bank line. It's a low-priced twine you can use in place of paracord (one of the popular options) without much hassle.

Is the Bank Line a Better Option for Paracord

The plain answer would be yes. However, that's true in certain situations only. I'd recommend its use for simple and lightweight tasks in a home or bushcraft. Today, I'll share everything you should know about the bank line.

I'll throw light on what it's made up of, its uses, and where to shop to bag the best one. Let's find out the bank line's structural component and its tensile strength. Shall we start?

What's a Bank Line Made Out Of

In a nutshell, it's a black nylon cord that mimics the looks of the netting you'd find on any tennis court. So, what makes it stand out from others? It offers much better resistance to UV rays. Plus, it has higher strength and durability and is readily available in the market.

One crucial fact to remember about the bank line is that it's tarred. Ideally, it features a tar coating to enrich its knot holding ability. However, the tar layer gives a slightly sticky feel to the looks.

Anyone can easily recognize the odor associated with tar—however, the unusual smell vanes after awhile. You may get accustomed to it soon. In case you feel uncomfortable with the tar smell, just leave the bank line in your outdoor area in the wind for a couple of weeks.

The wind should dry some tar. Additionally, the undesirable petroleum odor will dissipate to a great extent.

What are the Key Uses and Benefits of the Bank Line

First of all, the bank line takes up less space in a bag. The reason - It has a smaller diameter compared to paracord or other offerings out there. However, you enjoy the same tensile strength as alternatives. I love that space efficiency bundled with strength.

Bank line is hugely popular among bushcraft enthusiasts or survivalists because of its strength and flexibility. You may use it to lash food bags, tents, and gear racks. Creating garden shelters is another possibility.

Bank Line

If you don't go over its tensile strength and flexibility, the bank line stands useful for numerous applications. You could anchor heavy objects in place, tie knots with them, or simply use it for fishing.

Initially, the bank line was designed for trotline finishing. It's the art of setting up a long-distance cord from one bank of a river to another. That way, the product got its name. This particular kind of fishing practice works for catching catfish. Even today, people employ this technique to gain better catch results.

Bank Line: Main Types

Numerous sizes exist in the market. However, we'll check the two most popular types. The #36 bank line is ideal for its strength. On the flip side, the #12 bank line, a thinner model, works well for lighter applications.

The #12 bank line variant can bear about 100 pounds, whereas the #36 bank line can withstand 320 pounds.

When it boils down to type, you may choose between braided or twisted bank lines. Anyone can notice the differences between the two types at first glance. However, I can say for sure that both types are better.

None of them is significantly better than its counterpart. As far as my preferences go, I choose the braided option because I think it's much more potent. The strength is attributed to the fiber weaves and the way they wrap with one another.

Moreover, the braided bank line doesn't easily fray at the ends. So, you don't need to burn it to avoid fraying. The twisted bank line comes with its own perks. If you want to obtain smaller strands, you could easily unravel the individual strands. However, the ends will fray. So, prepare in accordance with this issue.

Where to Buy a Top-quality Bank Line

In case you intend to buy the best one, make sure you check reputed manufacturers only. As mentioned earlier, this isn't an expensive product. So, the question of cutting corners shouldn't arise.

Ironclad Supply (twisted) and Catahoula (braided) are popular brands you may check. Both vendors offer their products through Amazon.

Both products carry an exceptional quality. If used properly, they won't let you down. Let's review each alternative closely, shall we?

Ironclad Bank Line (tarred)

Made by Ironclad Supply, Jonesville (since 1989), this tarred bank line makes an ideal choice for those looking for the best-twisted bank line.

Promoted as a superior alternative to paracord, the product offers better flexibility. Plus, you may use it for many applications, including net making, decoy lines, and as a trotline.

The nylon twine stands perfect for camping, fishing, hunting, or bushcraft. The product includes a dense coating of tar. It's this coating that makes the twine highly resistant to rot, abrasion, moisture, and UV light.

The coating also ensures that it sticks to itself well when tying knots. However, the tar doesn't stick to your equipment or hands.

With a weight of ¼ pounds, the #36 twisted bank line carries a length of 39 yards or 117 feet. The tensile strength is 350 pounds, and the diameter is 0.085 inches.

Catahoula Braided and Tarred Nylon Twine

Amazon's Choice

It's my default choice. Also, it happens to be one of the best-rated nylon twines you can find today. Made in the USA, it encompasses a braided design rather than the twisted one.

So, what does that mean? A braided bank cord won't quickly unravel like the twisted one. Plus, it features a sturdier feel on your hand.

Catahoula applies a special tar treatment, which allows the twine a better grip when tying knots. Even though the tar treatment isn't sticky, it's easily noticeable.

Plus, the tar doesn't leave its marks on other items no matter which activities you're engaged in. In my opinion, this feature is a sign of good quality.

The approximate weight of the #12 variation is around 1 pound. Users can choose from different options, starting from the #12 variant to the #96 variant.

Situations Where the Bank Line Works Better than Paracord

In certain situations, the bank line is more reliable and useful than paracord and vice versa. In my opinion, the bank line makes the right choice for general use.

Why? You can accompany more weight and use it for lighter tasks without bothering about wastage. You may not be motivated to use paracord for menial work because of its premium nature and higher price.

You don't need to worry even if you lose a part of the bank line. You may easily replace it. This twine makes a better alternative to paracord for fishing. You may also use it to make traps or snarls.

You can also read my article on climbing cordelette where I share tips you need to know,e specially if you are a beginner climber.

Bottom Line

The above data highlights the fact that tarred bank line has less stretch, is lighter, cheaper, lighter, and performs well with knots compared to paracord.

The only downside is that it's weaker overall. Despite this fact, the 320 pounds of tensile strength should be sufficient for most outdoor activities.

In case you're out on the fence and wish to know which option will work better for your situation, you've enough information at your disposal. That should help you make an educated choice.

Still, it all depends on the type of activities you indulge in and the applications you use for those activities. As far as I'm concerned, the bank line meets and surpasses all of my expectations.

The rankings on are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

About the author 


Kevin loves bouldering. Mainly because he can practice it alone without considering other people. Although he rediscovered this hobby in the last three years, the boulders turned out to be his most visited landmarks.

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