Weight Bearing Grappling Hook

Introduction: Weight Bearing Grappling Hook

Weight Bearing Grappling Hook:

Project Cost: $25+ (actual price depends on length and material of rope)

Construction Time: 15-30 minutes


Trolling Anchor (
I suggest a collapsible one with a locking ring, I found a
decent one at Dick's Sporting Goods.See Picture 2)

Rope (
The diameter and length is up to you and your budget. The stronger
ropes will bear more weight but will cost more to purchase.)

Construction Instructions:

It is relatively easy to make this grappling hook once you gather the materials.
You will need to know how to tie a bowline knot for this project. I have links to a
video below, and there are even more on YouTube if you need them.

Step 1
Lay out the anchor and rope. With one end of the rope, tie a bowline with the loop
passing through the ring on the anchor (See Picture 3). If your anchor does not
have a ring similar to the one in the picture, or at least a hole large enough for the
rope to pass through, one can be made out of pieces found at a local hardware
store. (Though for convenience's sake, I suggest trying to find an anchor with an
appropriate sized ring.)

Step 2
The most common use for a weight bearing grappling hook is climbing assistance,
so it is important to create hand and foot holds for scaling the rope. This is an easy
step, simply tie an overhand knot every 10-12 inches until there is about a foot and
a half left of free rope. Doing this will shorten the length of the rope, but it will
make it easier to climb.

Step 3
When throwing the grappling hook, chances are you will want to control it so that
it does not launch out of reach, so the last step will be a small, yet simple safety
measure. With the remaining free, unknotted rope tie another bowline to create a
small loop a little larger than your fist. (See Picture 4) When you are preparing to toss the
grappling hook make sure that someone is holding on to this loop so that control
of the launch can be maintained. It would be most unfortunate if you accidentally
broke a window or something when testing your grappling hook.

Testing Tips and Important Notices:
Please take in mind the strength rating of the rope you are using. Ropes can not
safely bear weight that exceed their work load. Check your rope's work load
before attempting any climbing. Falls from certain heights can lead to injury and even
death, so do not try climbing your rope if you weigh more than it's working load.
If you plan on climbing your rope, always test to make sure the grapple hook is
securely in place by hanging your entire weight on the rope before ascending.
If everything holds for more than thirty seconds, than the hook is most likely
securely in place. However, this is not an absolute guarantee for your safety.
Never climb alone, have at least one person around in case of emergency
and be wary about what you are climbing and how high you are climbing.
Do not attempt climbing any ropes if you lack physical strength, especially
in the upper body muscles.

Bowline Instructions:


Testing Video:
This is a video of my friends and I testing the grappling hook.

Possible Improvements:
If I were to add any improvements, in hind-sight, now that I've finished my project,
the only thing that I would have done is to fuse the ends of the rope to prevent
fraying. You may want to do this, especially if you will be using it on rough surfaces.
However, if you are using natural rope, and not synthetic, do not attempt fusing
since you will only burn your rope.

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    Question 2 years ago

    What do you think is the height limit for throwing a grappling hook by hand? Can an average strength person get one to the roof of say, a 3 or 4 story building? Maybe even higher?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I recently wanted a grappling hook and I considered those anchors at dicks but thought they wouldnt work very well for climbing but apparently I was wrong.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    about how much does the anchor weigh alone???


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I used a 1.5 lb trolling anchor, but there are larger and smaller ones that can be found


    7 years ago

    I was just curious. But if I were to do this I would be climbing instead of swinging.


    7 years ago

    (Instead of worrying about aiming for the crotch of the branches that is)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It is quite possible for it to catch on itself when wrapped around a tree branch, however, for it to hook on itself would require the prongs of the hook to dig into the material of the rope itself. An alternative option is to aim for the hook to make multiple turns about the branch, but unless you are very skilled this would require the slant of the branch to be less than 45 degrees from the horizontal. If you watch the video of testing the grappling hook that I posted above, I used it on the cross trusses underneath a bridge which were perfectly horizontal. It really all comes down to what you are aiming to do by grappling the branch. Are you trying to swing somewhere or are you just trying to get up into the tree? If it is the former then you would need to aim for multiple turns around the branch, if it is the latter then either one would work, but aiming for a crotch between the branches offers a better chance of getting higher in the tree.


    7 years ago

    Couldn't it just wrap around and hook onto itself if you're using it on tree branches though?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    how does it work on tree branches? does it hold?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    What works best when you use it on trees is to aim for the "crotch" between two or more branches. I have gotten this to work several times on trees with hard, rough, kind of ridged bark. I haven't tested it, but I have the feeling that it wouldn't hold on a smooth barked tree like paper birches. As always bring someone to spot you before testing it out.